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Olympic panorama before 100m final shows photographers, Beijing National Stadium  
Sunday, August 17, 2008 | by Rob Galbraith
A 360 degree high resolution panorama, shot by Kari Kuukka from a photographer's corral about 30 minutes before the start of the men's 100m final at Beijing National Stadium on Saturday, gives an up close look at the working shooters in attendance and the Canon and Nikon gear they were using.

Tight Quarters: Photographers readying to shoot the men's 100m final at Beijing National Stadium on Saturday (Photo by Kari Kuukka)

To view the Flash panorama in its own window, click here. The Shift key will zoom in, the Command (Mac) / Control (Windows) key will zoom out. Click and hold down the mouse button inside the photo to navigate around. (If you pan down to track level you'll see many more photographers in position for the race as well.)

Kuukka, a freelance sports photographer based in Porvoo, Finland, shot the panorama for fun and not as part of an assignment (he's covering the Olympics for Iltalehti, a daily national newspaper in his home country). Kuukka is also blogging during the Olympics, in Finnish.

To make the panorama, four photos were captured with a Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG circular fisheye attached to a Canon EOS 5D set to record CR2s. Normally, Kuukka would use a tripod with panoramic head, but in this case conditions required that the camera be attached to his Gitzo monopod instead. A special mounting plate sitting between the camera and the monopod allowed him to rotate the rig around its nodal point, which is a must in this type of panorama work.

PTGui for Mac handled the stitching of the panorama, while the viewer Kuukka employed was Flash Panorama Player.

Revision History
August 18, 2008: Added more information about how the panorama was made.

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