It’s far too rare that the camera can do justice to the scene you remember witnessing with your own eyes.
Sure you can use an editor to enhance colours or remove blemishes but it never quite matches your memories.
I find that panoramic images allow me to produce a photo that brings me closer to the original vision than any other type of editing. Here is a selection of panoramas from our recent road trip through Europe.
Two of the things that make Amsterdam famous are bikes and canals. It amazed us that people would be able to find their bikes in some of the busier areas. You would expect to see a lot of fresh flowers at the Amsterdam floating flower market, but no, choose the wrong time of year and it’s just wooden souvenirs and a million bulbs. A massive Palace and manicured gardens were not what we expected to find when we spent the night in the little Dutch town of Apeldoorn. It may have been the warmest winter in over 100 years but a few places, like this lake outside Berchtesgaden, still managed to freeze solid. When we arranged a horse-drawn sleigh ride high in the Austrian Alps on Christmas Day we certainly did not expect it to look like this. So much for a White Christmas. A stunning view of the mountains around Berchtesgaden. It’s not likely that I would agree with Hitler on much at all but I certainly see why he loved this place. The Reichstag and the surrounding area of Berlin not only contain some amazing architecture but the thousands of chips in the stone caused by bullets are a stark reminder of the war. Occasionally common sense wins out over emotion, even in times of war. We are lucky today to be able to visit beautiful structures like the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin which was to be destroyed. An ice skating rink and a small Christmas market take centre stage in the Old Town Square of Bruges. Such personality and beauty is something we don’t get in Australian towns. Even though it looks more like a movie set these days, there is no doubt the castle at Ceske Bujedovice is incredible, especially in the mist. The town is also home to the original Budweiser brewery. If you never take a road trip around the Alsace wine region in France then your life will be incomplete. Filled with vineyards and enchanting fairytale towns like Colmar, there is something for everyone. Cologne is best known for the impressive Cathedral and 4711, but the bridge has become very popular with those who feel the need to leave locks around the world. I don’t get it! Right on the Czech / German border is a little town called Hrensko. It’s a picturesque place which is very popular with Germans who cross the border for clothes at extremely cheap prices. Dresden is a marvel. It was almost bombed to the ground during WWII but has been rebuilt in its original image and using much of the original materials. It was worth the effort. No matter which side of the river you wander in Dresden you will be rewarded with beautiful views and some of the finest architecture you will find anywhere in the world. This historical mural in Dresden “Procession of Princes” depicts a parade of 35 rulers of Saxony between the years 1127 and 1904. It’s also tough to photograph. It never ceases to amaze and excite when you drive around a bend and Europe and are confronted with another awesome ruin. Living in a young country makes these experiences somewhat surreal. This is a great example of why I love to get off the Freeways, Interstates and Autobahns of the world. You have to be on smaller country roads to witness this type of peaceful beauty we found in Austria. As an artist of sorts, I have enormous respect for guys like this in Hanover. The amount of work that goes into each piece only to have mother nature take it a few days later. Commitment! Although it only made our itinerary on a whim when bored with Munich, Innsbruck was a welcomed addition. Stunning scenery, a nice Christmas market, great food and views for miles make it a winner. Multicoloured buildings add so much character to every city I have seen them in. Innsbruck is another great example that my home town could learn a thing or two from. Cesky Krumlov came highly recommended by a number of my Travel Agent colleagues and their advice was spot on. It’s cute, relaxing and friendly, everything you need for at least a few days on any road trip. We went hours out of our way to see these windmills in Kinderdijk. Sure they were pretty impressive but expensive fees were charged to get you close. We then discovered 5 windmills near our hotel in Bruges anyway, and they were free. If you go to Paris and just check off the tourist attractions you are selling yourself short. Getting out and just walking the streets brings the real city to you and you see some amazing things as well. The view from our apartment in Montmartre for New Year’s Eve. Such a disappointment that all fireworks were cancelled due to the recent tragedy. Still, I’ve spent NYE in worse places. This is one of those iconic views around the world. Everyone that travels to Prague is legally obliged to take a photo of the Castle and Cathedral from across the river. It is spectacular though. It was purely accidental that we drove through the historic town of Provins in France. I had never heard of it but it is an incredible hilltop walled town with a link to Joan of Arc and a thousand-year-old church. The view from the hills near the Walhalla Monument outside Regensburg is beautiful by any definition. This was taken from old stronghold ruins where we sat and watched the River Cruise ships meander by. You can’t do a German road trip without at least one enormous schnitzel, so we had 4 or 5 enormous German schnitzels during our three weeks… and sausage… and potato pancakes… and pretzels… Rothenburg ob der Tauber may have one of the world’s most photographed intersections and been the inspiration for the town in Disney’s Pinocchio, but it is equally beautiful outside the walls. Even though it was Christmas Eve and we were a little disappointed not to have been freezing in the snow, Salzburg still managed to delight us with beautiful views, like this from the Castle. 11 degrees Celsius on Christmas Eve in Salzburg and the sun was out. Hot for that time of year but I thought the locals (just out of frame on the left) who were sunbathing were stretching credibility somewhat. We rushed through Colmar in the morning and I was a little disappointed that we were heading to Troyes instead of staying longer. But Troyes ended up being one of our highlights. Beautiful!
How do you get the best from your photos? Do you feel you have ever been able to match the live scene?