Ready for Assessment

I have spent much of this morning putting up my images and I am pleased with the way that they look. I had a few hiccups along the way with aligning them correctly and making sure that they were straight but I seem to have overcome this now.



Now all that is left to do is to give my presentation later this afternoon. Hopefully my nerves will not get in the way!

Finals & Artist Statement

Anthropogenic Impact on the Environment



For this project I have decided to concentrate on the theme of landscapes, a subject that I am passionate about. Each of the 6 images shows a “stereographical” interpretation of a particular type of landscape.

I have chosen to photograph landscapes that are not conventionally perceived as beautiful and have moulded them with the aid of digital manipulation to make them unapologetically abstract and give the viewer a new take on the landscape that they have been invited to view.

The images show a compacted landscape, an encapsulated environment and I chose to make them spherical to convey a planet. Each image in turn shows man’s influence within each landscape and how as a species we are changing the environment around us to our own advantage and means.

These images are not meant to convey either a positive or a negative message, just an interpretation of how we are shaping the environment around us.


Richard Brochu-Williams

Dungeness Power Station, Kent, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

West Cambridge Site, University of Cambridge, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sheltered Scheme, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Rickney’s Quarry, Nr Ware, Hertfordshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir (Covered), Cambridgeshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell A & B, Suffolk, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams


Kirby Muxloe

I have been taking advantage of the good weather that we have been having and I travelled to Leicestershire to practice some more panoramic shots. This shoot was not the urban landscape that I have been photographing of late but it was a good opportunity for me to practice my technique and to keep myself familiar with the software that I am using. I find that if I do not do this on a regular basis, when I come back to use the software, it takes me twice as long to achieve my desired results because I have forgotten how to do certain things. By regularly practising, I become accustomed to what I am doing and I find that I work more efficiently.

Kirby Muxloe has a wonderful castle and this was the setting for this shoot. I really enjoy visiting castles and I am enticed by the architecture. The sense of history and what has gone on inside these magnificent constructions really draws me in.

The well known British proverb “An Englishman’s home is his castle” meaning: An English person’s home is a place where they may do as they please and from which they may exclude anyone they choose, strikes a chord with me and I think that my castle images work well with the stereographic format, as this provides an environment of it’s own for the castle, suggesting further that not only is the castle a place of privacy but it can be encapsulated in it’s own little world, providing a kind of private retreat.

I am continuing to photograph castles alongside my urban landscapes and I shall be comparing the two, to see which images have produced the best results.

Kirby Muxloe Castle, 360º Equirectangular Panorama

Kirby Muxloe Castle, 360º Equirectangular Panorama, © Richard Brochu-Williams

Kirby Muxloe Castle, Stereographic Projection

Kirby Muxloe Castle, Stereographic Projection © Richard Brochu-Williams

I was pleased with the results that I achieved during the weekend at both Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire & Rickney’s Quarry, Hertfordshire. It was certainly a productive weekend.

References, (2014). an Englishman’s home is his castle: definition of an Englishman’s home is his castle in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). [online] Available at:’s-home-is-his-castle [Accessed 22 Jul. 2014].

Framlingham Castle

On my way to visit Sizewell, I took a detour and visited Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. It is a lovely place to visit and whilst taking a well deserved break I took the opportunity in taking some images to produce a stereographic image of the castle and it’s surroundings.



Framlingham Castle, Suffolk © Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved.


The above image was made by stitching 15 different photographs together to make an equirectangular image and was then edited using the Hugin software.

Test Shoot 3

I decided that I wanted to do another test shoot so that I could become more confident at stitching my images together and using the software efficiently. I drove out to a nature reserve near to my home and decided to shoot there.

These are the 16 images that I obtained:

The following pictures show some of the editing processes that I went through to obtain one final image.


As you can see in the above image, the stitching had not worked as well as I had hoped. Therefore I decided to tidy up the image in Photoshop.


  • I selected the part of the pavement that had not lined up correctly by using the pen tool.


  • I then copied (via layer) and placed the new layer where the missing path was.


  • I then used the transform tool to make the new layer blend in


  • Finally the clone tool is used to remove the part of the path that is no longer needed

A similar process was used in another part of the image. This can be observed in the 3 images below:


  • Selection made using pen tool and new layer created via copy


  • Warp tool used to move pavement


  • Old part of pavement has been removed using the clone tool

Final Equirectangular Image


Photoshop Process


After image has been transformed into a stereographic projection, there is a noticeable hole in the centre of the image. This will need to be fixed. This is done by selecting an area of existing road from the image and copying it into a new layer, which is then placed over the hole and blended in for a seamless look.


  • Layer placed over hole


  • Final screen shot after blending

Final Image



Looking at the final image after it had been completed I could see that it was not as perfectly spherical as I would have liked. I went back to see if I could make improvements on my stitching but I was not having much luck and I even tried different software. The person that was with at the time of taking the photograph had stated that the area was a little hilly and there was an area that would have been better suited for me to take my pictures from. This was the “viewpoint area” and there was a signpost for it, which I had missed. In the future, I will have to take any hills / slopes into consideration and maybe adjusting my horizon line may have worked in this instance. I’m glad that I have found this out now rather than later into the project, as this is something that I can possibly rectify whilst on the shoot. This shoot definitely turned out to be a learning curve.


Morris, S. (2014). How To Stitch Together a Panorama in Photoshop Manually. [image] Available at: [Accessed 23 Jun. 2014].

Test Shoot 2

Yesterday I decided to do another test shoot and this time I was a lot more careful with my settings than I was on my last shoot. I set everything on my camera to manual mode, including the focus. The following settings were used:

  • f/10
  • 1/125s
  • 200 iso
  • 12mm focal length

I shot at 4.45pm when the sun was not so bright and luckily for me it was a much cloudier day than my previous shoot.

On this shoot I took a total of 18 pictures but when I tried stitching them together I was coming up against a lot of problems. I reassessed the images and decided that 2 of them were not required and omitted them, which left me with a total of 16 images to stitch together. This was the same amount that I used for my last panoramic image, therefore I think that I have found that 16 is the ideal number of images to be working with.

I came up with a few more problems whilst working on this stitch and it took me a total of 4 attempts but overall I found the process easier.


Stitching process.


Image stitched, ready for 180º rotation and to be worked on in Photoshop.


Image placed into Photoshop. As you can see, after the stitching process the image does not line up correctly. This is corrected in photoshop with the use of the clone tool.


Finally, you will notice that the water fountain has not lined up correctly and will need to be worked on.


This is done by copying the fountain from the original image, resizing it and placing it over the incorrectly lined up fountain.


The fountain is then blended in by colour matching the grass and using a mask.


The image is then enhanced by adjusting the levels, highlights, shadows and saturation.


The image is then turned from a 360º equirectangular to a stereographic image.


I am a lot happier with the outcome of this image than the image that i took the week before. My highlights are not blown out and I feel that I have edited this image to a higher standard. I particularly like the cloud details within this image as they make it look less flat. I am pleased that I have made progress and hope that as each day passes, that my images will improve even more.

Plans, Ideas and Concepts

Today I have been giving consideration as to where I want to do my shoots for my project. I have been thinking along the lines of places that I like to visit and seek refuge in. I like to take a drive at the weekend, usually to the countryside, so that I can escape the hustle & bustle of the city and escape the stresses of the week. Favourite places of mine to visit are English Heritage properties and those of the National Trust. After looking at other photographers who have captured landscapes, I have certainly been inspired to capture images within a country setting. Catherine Nelson’s images have really inspired me to go forward with this idea.

I will be taking my camera out with me tomorrow and doing some more shoots, as I definitely need more practice taking the shots and making sure that I get my exposure correct and I definitely need more practice on the software. From here I will be able to access if this is the best way forward.

Artist Research – Catherine Nelson

Catherine Nelson is an artist/photographer from Sydney, Australia. In the past she has worked in film and television creating visual effects and has worked for films such as Moulin Rouge & Harry Potter. Her work has presented her with the opportunity to travel worldwide but she has since returned back to her own studio and dedicates much of her time to her own practice.

The work that I was intrigued by was from a series called “Future Memories”. The images within the series are compiled from many images that are stitched together and contain many assembled details.

Cloverdowns, © Catherine Nelson

Cloverdowns, © Catherine Nelson

Coast, © Catherine Nelson

Coast, © Catherine Nelson

Forster, © Catherine Nelson

Forster, © Catherine Nelson

Ghent, Lillies, © Catherine Nelson

Ghent, Lillies, © Catherine Nelson

All images © Catherine Nelson. All rights reserved.

These images are different to the other “small planet” images that I have viewed in the past, in the sense that they have a more dreamlike quality to them and they look as though they could have been painted rather than photographed. This may be due to the fact that Catherine studied Fine Arts and this could be an influence on the overall finished look. This is a look that I think works well and gives the images a more serene & surreal quality to them.

This series looks at what could possibly be “memories” of our planet sometime in the future. With concerns on environmental issues, overdeveloping, the cutting down of forests etc, we are destroying the planet at an alarming rate. These images could serve as a warning that if we do not act now that images such as these will truly be only memories. I really like the concept behind these images and I think that they really serve their purpose.

Catherine’s work is inspiring not only by the images being works of art in their own right but because of the concepts behind them. Catherine’s work can be viewed on her website.


Nelson, C. (2014). Catherine Nelson – Visual Artist. [online] Catherine Nelson – Visual Artist. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jun. 2014].

Practice Shoot at Boscobel House & Gardens

Yesterday I spent a pleasant day at Boscobel House in the West Midlands and we were also treated to the displays from the nearby airshow, which was something unexpected. I seized this opportunity to refamiliarise myself with taking 360º panoramic shots.

In the past I have always shot in landscape orientation but after reading some of the tips that I found online, I decided that I would follow the advice and shoot in portraiture mode, as this enables you to capture more of the sky (zenith) and the ground (nadir)

“To build a 360°x180° panorama you have to take pictures on all directions, but not only on the horizon. You should also shoot the sky (zenith) and the ground (nadir)” (Duret-Lutz, n.d.)

Armed with my camera I proceeded to take my shots. At this stage I am capturing my shots hand held but this may need to be considered later on in the process.

Images obtained

The following settings were used:

  • “M” mode (Manual)
  • 1/500s
  • f 11
  • Focal length 12mm
  • ISO 200

When I got home I stitched the photos together using the Hugin Software to create a Equirectangular image. This took me longer than I had anticipated as I had not used the software for a while and had to keep on referring back to my notes. Hopefully throughout my Major Project I will become more accustomed to the software and it will become second nature.

Screen Shot of Stitching

Screen Shot

Equirectangular Image


Stereographic Image


All Images ©Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved.


I am pleased that I have managed to achieve another stereographical image, the software took a little time to get used to again but I don’t see this being a problem within my project. Looking at the final image, I have realised that I need to consider my camera settings more carefully. The above picture has a lot of blown out highlights and this doesn’t make for a professional looking image that would be suitable for my Final Major Project. Looking back, it was a particularly bright day and maybe adjusting my aperture or shutter speed settings to compensate for this would have been good practice or even using my ND Filter.  I was unable to use my ND filter due to the fact that it only fits my 18-200mm lens and not my 12mm-24mm wide-angle lens as the thread on the ND filter is ø67mm and my wide-angle lens has a thread of ø77mm. I have also considered shooting later on in the day, maybe dusk. More experimentation is needed to achieve better & higher quality results.


Duret-Lutz, A. (n.d.). Wee planets. [online] Flickr. Available at: [Accessed 9 Jun. 2014].

A Walk Around Cornwall

I have had a lovely Bank Holiday Monday, walking the coastal paths and taking a visit to Land’s End. I managed to take some landscape pictures but as of yet have not had the time to edit them. I hope to have some ready for tomorrow but I did manage to do some more 360º panoramic shots, even though I forgot to bring my tripod with me, therefore I have had to make do with hand held.



360º Panoramic, St Just, Cornwall © Richard Brochu-Williams


The above panoramic was made from around 12 hand held shots and I couldn’t resist making another “Small Planet” image – entitled “A Walk Around Cornwall”.



“A Walk Around Cornwall” © Richard Brochu-Williams


Whilst making the above image I encountered a new problem with the Hugin Software (my fault, not the software’s). The problem was that my files would not save big enough and became increasingly pixelated, no matter what size image I started off with and even trying to save them in TIFF format and uncompressed….I was still coming across the same problem. After 2 hours of perseverance, I discovered that the canvas size was set incorrectly…something I will keep an eye on in future!