I had a visit this week by an American Panoramic Photographer who was interested in shooting a quintessentially Melbourne image. I figured I would take him down to the river and see what we could achieve near Crown Casino towards dusk.

There are about 6 large gas flame units on the south side of the Yarra River in front of Crown that shoot huge balls of flames into the sky on the hour after dark. I was hoping for a 7pm test case to work on exposures and then an 8pm “money shot” but they didn’t fire the flames up at 7pm as it was not dark enough. So at about 7:45 the sky was perfect and we started our pano captures. I shot with my Canon 7D and Sigma 15mm Lens for a 250 Megapixel project and my guest shot with a Canon 5D and Canon 15mm for a 60 Megapixel project.

I managed to get my baseline pano shot with 26 frames and then the sky changed colour so I re-shot the key Southbank side of the river with another 5 frames. I then got ready for the flame balls with no real clue what sort of exposure they would require. I was all over the map trying to follow the flames as they moved up and down the row of towers and changing exposure along the way. In the end I captured an additional 2 frames out of 60 that looked like they would work with the baseline pano.

Once I got  home after dinner I had a fast look at the files and I thought I had something worth working on. I put a few hours in that night and more the following morning and I felt this project was worth including in my upcoming gallery exhibition in just 2 more days!

I worked like mad to finish it up and rushed over to the lab and ordered a 40″ x 40″ Metallic Print on Artmount. They said they could have it ready for me by Friday at 5:30pm. The show was planned to start at 6pm so I would be really cutting it close.

The finished Little Planet turned out very well and it is an impressive big square panel!

Explore the interactive version of this Panorama below. If on iOS – click here

Flaming Crown at Dusk, Melbourne Australia in Victoria