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name and portrait Ignacio Ferrando Margelí

company Abaco Digital
website name ábaco digital
website url
city and country Zaragoza, Spain

personal statement I was born in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1967. I started to go to the mountains on school trips, and I loved that… When I was 16, I was doing all the outdoor activities that a student with a low budget could do: go hiking, climbing… and I was very lucky to enjoy those activities in the mountains close to my house: the Pyrenees. It was by discovering the beauty of this amazing scenery and thanks to the special moments I lived with lots of good friends that I felt the urge to save all that, and photography became the solution.

Photography was a serious hobby for me. I got my first Nikon FM2 and began to teach myself all the photography techniques that I needed to get nice pictures of the mountains. Lots of slides are a witness of those exciting years.

I got a job in a multimedia research center at the university. I learned to make interactive CD-ROMs and multimedia products. One day in 1995, Apple gave a presentation to us on a new technology: QTVR. It was fantastic and gave me the opportunity to combine my work with my hobby… so I convinced my boss to buy the software and I began to make panoramas.

In 1998 I co-founded my own company, “Abaco Digital”, to work on multimedia and internet projects. Making panoramas was one of our services and I made a lot of cylindrical panoramas… and virtual visits.

I have tried to use these new techniques to show my outdoor activities. For years I have done a lot of research on new gear: tripods, heads, monopods, handheld panoramas. As a result, I made some fun panos of climbing, skiing, mountain biking, paragliding, rafting, mountain rescues… I love my work and I’m always trying to push the limits of panorama photography, and to convince my clients that this kind of special work is totally worth it.

Interactivity is for me the most important advantage of panoramas on the internet. It allows the user to feel like he is “there”, and I try to get images that put the viewer on places where he would not normally be or doing activities he would not normally do, and that’s really fun!

Panoramas are also the best format to show the magnificence of the mountains, my favourite playground! So I made a collection of panoramas of the Pyrenees, in a large format. I searched high and low to get the best viewpoints, got up early and waited to get the best light to capture the beauty of the mountains, and I published a book with it.

My latest challenge is to take spherical aerial panoramas. But technology develops really fast and I’m sure that I will be facing new challenges for panorama photography soon.

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first image
first image title The Mountains’ Angels
first image subject Helicopter mountain rescue training
first image place date Over the Pineta valley, Huesca, Spain, August 2008
first image caption The Guardia Civil mountain rescue team are a group of very special people. Their work is to save lives in difficult situations. I wanted to show their work from a different point of view, and a spherical image was perfect. They were training for rescue from a helicopter and I tried to show the view from the outside of the helicopter while it was using a hoist.

To make the photos I used a monopod while sitting on the floor of the helicopter. It was really exciting because I did not have much time, and I needed to shoot very carefully with all these items really close. Luckily the pilot was very good and he kept the helicopter stable and the final result was really good.

second image
second image title Millions of Flowers
second image subject Offering of flowers to the Pilar’s Virgin
second image place date Zaragoza, Spain, October, 2009
second image caption In my home town there is a big church known as “The Pilar” . Every year on the 12th of October there is a big traditional gathering when more than 250,000 persons go to offer flowers to an image of the Virgin Maria, the virgin of the Pilar. The flowers are arranged in a big pyramid, and I tried to show this event from the top of this mountain of flowers. I used a monopod to place the point of view over the flowers.

third image
third image title Over the River
third image subject Rafting on the Gállego river
third image place date Huesca, Spain, May, 2009
third image caption In my search for a different point of view to show outdoor activities, I imagined how to show rafts on a river — I had to be over the rafts in the middle of the river. A team of specialist installed a rope across the river and I moved along the rope to reach the center of the river. I was at least 2 meters above the racing water and I was afraid, not so much of falling into the river, but of one of those crazy guys lifting a paddle and hitting me.

The spherical image allowed me in this case to show both the action and the landscape in which it occurs at the same time.

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