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name and portrait Marcus Hamilton

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city and country London, England

personal statement I have always had a camera to hand since childhood and the magic of photography has followed me through life. I took pictures for fun and ran my own company in the advertising and print business for a living. However, this all changed when I discovered the creative opportunities available with panoramic and specifically 360-degree panoramic photography.

We only have one crack at this life and I decided this is what I want to do - all the time. I soon found that the techniques required take time to really master and so I set out to shoot and process in as many and varied situations as I possible so I could achieve the goals I set myself. It did take time. As any photographer will tell you, we're always learning. But I am happy to be a part of the relatively small band of 360-degree photographers who bring a very special view of life to the world.

I like to make sure my work, like my life, has as much variation as I can possibly manage to cram in. I have shot 360’s of hotels, shops, ships and power stations. I have exhibited a 360° image that was 3 metres long, backlit in a lightbox at a London art show. I once shot a 360 inside a gas turbine which would be heated up to 700 degrees Celsius a few hours after I finished. I'm about to shoot a 246 ft luxury yacht, inside and out.

I enjoy making interactive 360 movies which work for people on screen, but I also really get carried away with making pictures which are just Art. This led me into the world of Stereographic projections, or 'Little Planets'. Although a great deal of technical work is required, a photograph still has to be formed in the mind's eye before it will achieve that “Wow” factor we're all looking for.

To keep the search for panoramic images going, I bought a camper van, which works for me in many ways — as my accommodation, digital darkroom and general traveling companion. My stories and pictures on the road can be seen in my blog “CamperPanMan”.

I believe creativity keeps you young, and I'm so happy panoramic photography found me in time.

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first image
first image title The Last Wave
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first image place date Godrevy Beach, Cornwall, England, 15th October 2009
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Yet again, the CamperVan transported me to a very special part of the world. The surf beaches of Northern Cornwall in South-West England are among the best in Europe. This particular late Autumn day had found me shooting panoramas since dawn, but just as I started to think about packing my gear away for the day, the most beautiful golden evening light fell upon me. I rushed to Godrevy Beach and found many surfers going for a late ride after work. The man in the picture was heading out for one last wave.

Equipment: Nikon D2X with Nikkor 12mm lens. 360 Precision Absolute panoramic head, Manfrotto tripod. Stitched as a cylindrical 360 panorama with PTGui.

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second image title Number Nine Nîmes
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second image place date Nîmes, France, 5th May 2010
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My CamperVan and I rolled into the 2000 year old city of Nîmes on a grey, overcast day and the famous South of France sunshine seemed to have deserted me. But even grey clouds have a silver lining and I think this Roman amphitheatre has an enhanced dramatic feel thanks to the patterns formed in the clouds.  The statue of the matador brings life to the picture and is a reminder that bullfighting is still performed here as well as concerts. The title of this photograph is a nod to John Lennon's '# 9 Dream'. Both the song and the photograph have a slightly surreal feel.

Equipment: Nikon D2X with Nikkor 12mm lens. 360 Precision Adjuste panoramic head, Manfrotto tripod. Stitched as a cylindrical 360 with PTGui.

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third image title Planet Luna Park
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third image place date Luna Park, Sydney, Australia, 5th January 2011
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The fabulous city of Sydney is famous for the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, but I knew the amusement park with its big grinning face would be a better subject for a 'Little Planet'. Luna Park is a popular amusement park on the North shore of the harbour. It first opened in 1935 and seems to be still as popular as ever today. This can be a problem for a 360-degree photographer as I must have been asked by at least 30 tourists if I would take a photo for them.  As soon as they see a tripod with some expensive equipment mounted on top, the requests start to flow! Of course, I obliged with a smile and a snapshot every time.

Nikon D2X with Nikkor 10.5mm full frame fisheye lens. 360 Precision Adjuste panoramic head, Giottos tripod. Stitched as a spherical 360 panorama with PTGui.

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fourth image title Planet Norway
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fourth image place date Bigdøy, Oslo, Norway, 28th December 2009
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The Oslo fjord has so many fantastic secrets it could easily be a project in itself. In fact, that project is high on my CamperPanMan list of things to do. This stereographic projection was shot on the Bigdøy peninsular - a magical place in both summer and winter. The white wood building is a popular café but as my explorations were just after Christmas I had the place to myself. The deep blue sky contrasts well with the winter trees and the channels in the snow were made by me as I scrambled knee-deep to and from my chosen position.

Equipment: Nikon D2X with Nikkor 10.5mm full frame fisheye lens. 360 Precision Absolute panoramic head, Manfrotto tripod. Stitched as a spherical 360 panorama with PTGui.

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