04 April 2010

The Making of the House Sonneveld Panorama

Huis Sonneveld Zitkamer / Living Room
House Sonneveld is located in Rotterdam and is built in the Nieuwe Bouwen style in 1933. It looks very modern, even for today's standards. Since 2001 it is a museum house and you can visit it.

I visited this museum house during Wiki Loves Art/NL. During this photo contest the collections of a large number of Dutch museums could be photographed. Each photographer made his/her photos available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence. This way the photos could be used by others like Wikimedia Commons. The 10 best photos would get a prize.

Let me tell you how I made this panorama. I was shooting all objects the organizers wanted me to. Besides this museum I also visited the Tropenmuseum and later on the Verzetsmuseum. I was thinking that in order to win a prize the photo had to stand out from the crowd (one way to stand out is to give the largest number of photos to the project…click here to see my 314 photos which made me the top contributor :-).

When I entered the living room I decided to make a panorama so you could see all the objects in their surroundings. I assumed no-one else would submit a panorama. Click on the photo below to see the individual photos:

Normally the camera is put on a tripod with a panorama head to ensure the photos align with each other. However, the usage of a tripod is forbidden, so I took the photos ‘guerilla style’. This means you take the photos while rotating your body around a foot (in my case the left foot). It was a very sunny day and the orange blinds were down on the windows of the right side. You can see the orange cast on the individual photos.

All photos were shot in RAW, so colour correcting them in post production was easy. Autopano Pro was used to stitch the photos together. I was not sure to include or exclude the door on the left side of the panorama. In the end I submitted the photo with the door included, because it was my way to lead the viewer into the panorama.

When I won the seventh prize (see here and here), I was extremely happy, of course. I smiled when read the jury’s comment (translated from Dutch):

“Photo does good justice to the subject, beautiful panorama, disturbing is the composition on the left: the open door. The composition is better when the door is omitted". I am very glad they still awarded me with a prize!

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