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The Spheron Panocam at the
Museum of Western Australia's Land and People Exhibition

Land and People Exhibition,
Western Australian Museum, August 2001

The Location: The Western Australian Museum's current exhibition, "Land and People" profiles the evolution of Perth's environment and inhabitants, from Prehistoric times to today. In the foreground of the opening view of the panorama, we can see reconstructions of a Giant Wombat, Giant Echidna and Giant Python, while in the background, a particularly vicious-looking dinosaur pursues smaller prey.

As you pan to the right, a display of original maps, paintings and photographs, supplemented with an interactive information kiosk introduces us to some of the Aboriginal inhabitants of the Perth districts at the time of European settlement in the area. More displays illustrate native food sources and land-management practices, and the ways in which the early white settlers attempted to deal with the challenges of a harsh climate and conflicting cultural values.

This area of the museum, Hackett Hall, retains much of its original architecture, and the ceiling has been restored to its former beauty. The three-story high hall has skylights along the top floor, but features normal tungsten lighting in the lower levels.

Tech Notes: We shot this panorama with the Spheron Panocam, a single-pass digital panoramic camera, downloading the images directly to the Spheron software on a laptop running Windows 98. A Nikon 24mm rectilinear lens was used. Because of the nature of the single-pixel digital scan system used on the Panocam, a taller field of view can be obtained from the lens used, compared to the field of view the lens provides when used on a film camera. We were pleased to note that the Spheron Panocam tolerated the mixed lighting conditions in Hackett Hall extremely well.

We wish to thank the Western Australian Museum for allowing us to shoot inside the exhibition, and Douglas Elford for his expert assistance.

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