< Previous Day | Next Day > 20 October 1999, Tuesday
1999 Photographs from Krakow | Panoramic Photographs 1 2 | 1997 Photographs and Text from Krakow | Poland Site Index | Home
Wednesday morning, I set off intent to make at least two panoramic images: one at Wawel castle and another at the main square. The sky was slightly overcast and kept the lighting consistent and even, perfect for the 360 degree images. I headed to the central square first hoping to arrive before the many kiosks and merchants set-up for the day. During my last visit to Kraków, the tower was clad in scaffolding. Today, portions of the Cloth Hall and the entire facade of St Mary's church were wrapped in scaffolding and safety netting.
Maximizing the information while minimizing distractions in the scene, this is always the most difficult part of establishing a location for panoramic photographs. Because the image takes in a full 360 degree view, one complete circle, it is impossible to idealize a single viewpoint and ignoring surrounding elements. A panorama captures the entire environment.
I found a decent location, capturing the top of the church tower, the top of the bell tower, the facade of the cloth hall and a view down Grodzka street. As I set-up, three large red Coca-Cola trucks parked near the edge of the Cloth Hall began to make deliveries and workers started assembling a kiosk. I guessed they would not be allowed to remain parked in their location for too long. I packed up my equipment and walked to Wawel, hoping the trucks would depart by the time I returned. When I arrived at the castle, selecting a location was much more direct. An open area occupies the center of the grounds, allowing a view of the west facade of the cathedral.
When I returned to the central square about an hour later, the Coca-Cola trucks were just finishing their morning work, as I had hoped. I found my preselected vantage and made the panoramic photograph. Afterwards, I walked over to the artisan who had set-up easels and were selling small watercolors or ink washes of various scenes from the city. For the past few years, my wife and I have begun a custom of buying a few small paintings from each place we visit as reminders of our travels. The artists create the same scenes over and over again, varying the colors and linework of each painting slightly, depending on the mood of the day. The smallest ones probably only require a few minutes to paint. I doubt they paint these scenes from direct observation any longer, the lines and forms are ingrained into their minds. This is why I find these little paintings so interesting. They are a representation based illustrator's idealized perception of the place. The speed of production allows only the most basic and minimal methods to convey that message.
I spent the rest of the afternoon casually walking the streets and enjoying the city. I followed the Wisla River through Kazimierz and walked over a bridge into Podgórze. I bought some bread. I took the tram back. It was simply an enjoyable afternoon. Near sunset, I headed back to my hotel to try and catch some sleep in the early evening. I knew tomorrow would be a very long day.
< Previous Day | Next Day > 1999 Photographs from Krakow | Panoramic Photographs 1 2 | 1997 Photographs and Text from Krakow | Poland Site Index | Home