York Town Square

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Panoramic views of York County, Pa., offer wide-eyed wonders

Visitors watch the sunset in Wrightsville, Pa., along the Susquehanna River between the Columbia-Wrightsville and Wright’s Ferry bridges. This wide-angle photograph was taken with a smart phone. (See video of additional panoramic scenes below.) Also of interest: Video calls community’s attention to child abuse and York newspaper photogs transform into Web videographers and A virtual photo tour – and an actual tour – of York County’s vintage Schultz House.

Paul Kuehnel is a veteran York Daily Record/Sunday News photographer who is more than a photographer.
He’s an applied scientist, constantly experimenting with new technology. Such as a high-end smart phone.
And he’s a good writer, as he penned this explanation of how he does panoramic photos with his smart phone that appeared in the York Daily Record (9/28/10), “Wide-eyed wonders”: … .

Paul Kuehnel’s captured these panoramic images.

York County’s beautiful urban and rural landscapes can be difficult to capture in just one photo. These days, though, all you need is a phone. Thanks to the panoramic function of a Motorola Droid X smartphone, I was able to stitch together several images taken with the phone’s camera to give a wider look at the county.
While a panoramic camera can photograph vast landscapes, it is also the perfect tool for documenting a wide scene in a confined space such as Christ Lutheran Church’s steeple clock. With my back to the fourth clock face, I shot views of the other three clocks that could be melded into a single image.
Using an automated process, the Droid X shoots up to six individual photos in succession – while the operator rotates – and then stitches them together. Some of the wide photos are only a few photos stitched together, while others offer more than a 180-degree view.
Panoramic cameras are nothing new, but technology has made them more accessible. The king of panoramic cameras, the Widelux, grew in popularity during the 1950s and still has a faithful following. This mechanical camera wrapped the film in a curve and recorded a 140-degree image using a moving lens with little distortion.
The best camera is one that you have with you all the time. A camera phone with an integrated panorama function is a super-wide lens that’s always at your side.

Other posts showing Paul Kuehnel’s work:
Cigar-making Red Lion on top of York County.
Milkman’s relic humming around York County today.
Copper top of York Square’s ‘Teapot Dome’ needs to be recharged .