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Swiss Re, London, High Dynamic Ranging Panorama

The Swiss Re building, more formally known as 30 St Mary Axe, was completed in 2003 and officially opened in 2004. At 180m its inspiration can be traced back to the Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters built in 1975 by Fosters and Partners.

The panorama is captured using High Dynamic Ranging, known as HDR, based on 21 photographs from a single nodal point. Bracketing is used to under and over expose each location, resulting in 3 images per 'click point' on the panorama.

Combining these images, prior to stitching, provides a wider range of shadow depth and balanced lighting compared to normal exposures. This is especially important in panoramic imaging due to the range of light levels across a scene.

The panorama can be viewed in full screen via the QuickTime plugin, allowing you to look around the scene in 360x180 degrees at high resolution (2.9Mb)


  1. Anonymous6:03 PM

    I believe you may have meant "High Dynamic Range" rather than "High efinition Ranging" when capturing an HDR panorama.

  2. Anonymous10:39 PM

    You are so right! sorry for the typo!

  3. Anonymous3:20 AM

    Nice shot. How did you take this in the middle of the street? (No cars that I can see, did you use multiple exposures to erase them?) You're obviously super experienced at this; how long does it take you to set up, and then how long to take the series of shots?

    Do you have a preferred way to display your panoramas? In person, would you show someone a large framed print of a certain projection, or would you sit them down at your computer?

    This is a fascinating site. I have too many questions, I know. :)


  4. Anonymous10:53 AM


    Thanks for your comments..

    The pano was taken just in the street but on a Sunday so their wasent much traffic.

    The setup took approx 10 minutes in total with HDR, so 3 shoots per click point.

    In general i show the panormas on the computer but also have them as prints at 24 x 18 inch, which are available to buy if anyones interested :)

    Feel free to ask anything else..