• Panorama Rouen 1431
    created by Yadegar Asisi in 2016
    photo © asisi

King’s Balcony Scene in Panorama Mesdag

Friday, 16 August 2013

One of the new rooms at Panorama Mesdag (The Hague, Netherlands) presents a mini panorama of 22 meters wide and 4 meters high, showing the balcony scene on Dam Square (Amsterdam) on April 30, 2013, after the inauguration of the Dutch king Willem-Alexander.

It consists of 720 images (10 rows of 72 photos) stitched together to one 3.6 Gigapixel image, delivering the illusion of being there. Sound effects add to the atmosphere of the scene by the Dutch photographer Jan van der Woning (1949). The mini panorama attracts lots of free publicity and will be on show through November 4, 2013.

Van der Woning’s Amsterdam Dam Square and Balcony Scene Panorama is part of an exhibition of the International VR Photography Association (IVRPA). Its members had a show at Panorama Mesdag five years ago, and they are back now by popular demand, with new images from around the world. The IVRPA has 300 members worldwide, creating interactive computer models from panoramic images and objects. The exhibition at Panorama Mesdag shows their work in two dimensions. This results in odd-looking images, showing impossible views on our world. The audience constantly needs to adapt to each new image: What do I see? Where am I? Does right connect to left? It is both alienating and liberating to view these refreshing views on reality.

The photos are often more than 360 degrees, so there is a repetition of a part that already has been taken. Small changes in the time that passed, result in a shift in time, a transformation of time and space. The images give an ‘impossible’ view of our world.

Jan van der Woning likes to shoot landscapes, cityscapes and people, and often focuses on the nicest moment of the day, the twilight zone sunrise or sunset and the darkness of the night that precedes or follows it. He is very conscious on how to put a three dimensional world into a two dimensional photograph, combining the strange and different character of the light with the extraordinary scope, seeing ‘panoramic’, with a surplus. In the Antarctic and in northern Alaska the sunrise and sunset last for hours or do not occur at all because the sun stays above the horizon, so these places were a real Eldorado to the Dutch photo professional, who also travelled Middle and South America and Borneo, Indonesia for WWF, Greenpeace and Readers Digest to make panoramas of illegal logging.