Keywords: Panorama, Photography, Switzerland, Smithsonian, Topsail, Gornergrat, Luzern, Lucerne, Tourism, Travel, Panoramic, Swiss, Java, Panorama Applet, Lake Applet, David Griffiths
About this site: This first page contains 4 ENORMOUS panoramas, each occupying from 204k to 423k. With a good dial-up connection expect each panorama to load in 1-2 minutes; with broadband there's little delay.
You will be viewing these panoramas through a clever Java applet named 'Panorama', written by David Griffiths. There is more information about Mr. Griffiths at the bottom of this page.
About the Bear: Our home base when we visit Switzerland is in the canton of Bern. This bear is the symbol for both the canton and the capital city of Bern. The name means 'bears'.
Copyright © Notice: All photos on this site are MINE. You may use them for any purpose if you credit me (Ralph Walker) and include my web page 'GRUETZI.COM'. The graphic of the Smithsonian Institution's Arts and Industries Building was created by me at public expense, so it's in the public domain. I have no say in what is done with it.
If you wish to contact me,
please send me e-mail.
READ THIS IF YOU CANNOT SEE THE PANORAMAS AFTER CLICKING ON THE THUMBNAILS BELOW: (Naturally you will have to wait a short time to be sure the image is not still loading.) Microsoft used to furnish a copy of their "MSJVM" or "Microsoft Java Virtual Machine", also known as a "JRE" or "Java Runtime Environment", with Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows XP. They were sued by Sun Microsystems for violating their patent on the Java language and finally lost in court in 2007. If you have a Windows computer newer than that, or if you allowed Microsoft to update Windows XP with "Service Pack" 1a or later, Microsoft took the opportunity to remove their offending software from your computer. Now you cannot view any Java content on any website, including this one.
All you have to do to fix this situation is to do what I did -- visit the official Sun Microsystems web page at JAVA.COM and download the official Java Runtime Environment. It's quick and safe. If you do not want to click through my link, just type "java.com" and read about Java before deciding whether to download it. You used to have it. All you're doing is restoring the capability.
THIS IS A SHAKY TECHNOLOGY, but it's just for fun. If you have a problem getting the panoramas to behave, and you have a Java Machine installed, just try using the back button and clicking through the thumbnail again. Sometimes it's balky and I have no idea why. There's probably some disagreement between the Java applet and the version of Java you are using. These days there are more bullet-proof methods of producing animations.
Panorama 1: (This is NOT the panorama. This is just a thumbnail. Click on it.)
Morning in a square in the lovely medieval town of Luzern, Switzerland. This image is a 251k JPG, 4962 pixels by 610 pixels. The window through which you will view it is 600 pixels wide by 580 pixels high.
The original panoramic photo was taken with a Minolta X700 camera, a Minolta panoramic tripod head on a cheap tripod, Kodachrome 64, and 6 exposures at 60° rotation between each one. The panoramic tripod head has click stops which allow you to accurately rotate the camera and snap the pictures rapidly.
Panorama 2:(This is NOT the panorama. This is just a thumbnail. Click on it.)
The Gornergrat glacier near Zermatt, Switzerland. This is a tritone blue image from black and white film, using the same equipment as in 'Luzern' above. The image is a 278k JPG, 5000 by 590 pixels. Viewing window same as 'Luzern'.
Panorama 3:(This is NOT the panorama. This is just a thumbnail. Click on it.)
The train station at Vevey, Switzerland. As a tourist you will spend a lot of time in the stations, so there's plenty of time to set up such a shot. This is a tritone sepia image from black and white film, again using the same equipment and window as 'Luzern' and 'Gornergrat'. The image is a 204k JPG, 4917 by 600 pixels.
Panorama 4:(This is NOT the panorama. This is just a thumbnail. Click on it.)
The Smithsonian Institution's Arts and Industries Building in Washington, DC. I worked in this building from 1968 until 1995 as a computer programmer. While there I created the drawing on which this panorama is based. It is 5440 by 576 pixels, being the bottom and top halves of the original illustration. It was impossible to display the image at the original dimensions using the 'Panorama' applet, thus the division. This is the largest image on the site.
The A&I Building was built in 1879 to house exhibits from the Centennial Exhibition of 1876. It is one of very few public buildings in the world which are identical on all four sides. Each of the four, 300-foot elevations is the same with the exception of the statue and lettering gracing the main entrance. If you visited the Smithsonian before the 1970s, you saw the Wright Flyer and the Spirit of Saint Louis here.
David Griffiths no longer maintains a web site but you can still find his 'Panorama' software and instructions through any search engine.
READ MY LONG-WINDED TUTORIAL on taking and editing Panoramic photos
This website was started in July 2002. It is little changed since then, and was last updated February 21, 2009.
Links to all my websites:
Photos of Switzerland, with an emphasis on transport.
360° Panoramas: of Switzerland, with notes on the 'Panorama" Java applet and my technique.
Zweisimmen.com: Photos of the MOB (Montreux Oberland Bernois) narrow gauge railway in Switzerland, plus information on G (garden) gauge model railroad projects of mine.
Schau.Biz: Swiss shooting medals, beer coasters, etc. for sale.
BernBear.com: Our log cabin in Greene County, Virginia, and examples of the use of the Bern Bear heraldic symbol on decorative objects.