14th January 2020

In_pictures Instagram vertoramas show world in a ‘different way’

In_pictures Instagram vertoramas show world in a ‘different way’

In_pictures

in_pictures Kings College, CambridgeImage copyright
Sarah Fouracres

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“I really love the vertorama taken at King’s College in Cambridge… it’s a truly stunning space.”

“I want my photography to stand out by showing people the world in a different way.”

That is Sarah Fouracres’ aim when she posts her vertoramas on Instagram.

A vertorama is a vertical panorama, a photograph that sweeps from the ceiling to the floor and is particularly well suited to grand locations like cathedrals and stately homes.

“I’d seen a couple of accounts on Instagram that featured vertoramas and was always fascinated by them,” she said.

“It was after an Instameet at Norwich Cathedral, where I came home disappointed with my images as they looked just the same as everybody else’s, that I wanted to find a technique to make my images stand out and showcase the enormous scale of the building.”

in_pictures St Paul's Cathedral, LondonImage copyright
Sarah Fouracres

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“St Paul’s Cathedral is truly breathtaking and I was delighted this year when they finally allowed photography inside… I made sure I was first in the queue to dash in and capture the frames I needed before too many people flooded the shot.”

in_pictures Norwich CathedralImage copyright
Sarah Fouracres

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Norwich Cathedral’s founding bishop, Herbert de Losinga, built the cathedral in 1096 using Normandy stone shipped from Caen

Fouracres, based in Norfolk, challenged herself in April to shoot her first vertorama on a return visit to the cathedral – and has been shooting them since.

“Most of the time I have a good idea of how they will look but every now and again they throw me a surprise and I’m like: ‘Wow, I didn’t expect that’,” she said.

in_pictures Marble Hall at Holkham, NorfolkImage copyright
Sarah Fouracres

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This Marble Hall, with its soaring pressed-plaster ceiling and walls of English alabaster, offers a grand welcome to the 18th Century Holkham Hall in north Norfolk

in_pictures Galeries Lafayette, ParisImage copyright
Sarah Fouracres

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“The Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette (Paris) is truly stunning… I definitely felt Christmassy after seeing this.”

Sarah’s pictures, taken on a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera are usually made up of seven to 15 frames stitched together, with each frame made of three shots taken at different exposure levels – therefore each vertorama can contain between 21 and 45 separate images.

“These over- and under-exposed images are blended with a correctly exposed show to create a frame with High Dynamic Range (HDR) – essentially, an image that mimics how the human eye sees the world,” she said.

in_pictures Aviva Marble Hall, NorwichImage copyright
Sarah Fouracres

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“I like this image of Marble Hall, the Aviva visitor entrance on Surrey Street in Norwich… I’ve walked past this location so many times and had no idea of the beauty inside.”

Shooting the images takes Sarah only a few minutes. “It’s the post-production workflow that’s the time-consuming part and it can take several hours before I’m happy with the final image.”

And the hardest thing about shooting a vertorama? “Finding spaces clear of people,” said Sarah.

“Having the odd person in frame can give a great sense of scale to an image but when a location is very crowded it can be a bit frustrating, so get up early and be there first before the crowds arrive.”

in_pictures Sainte Chapelle, ParisImage copyright
Sarah Fouracres

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“The stained glass windows here at the Sainte Chapelle, Paris, are some of the most beautiful in the world… Vertoramas are classically curved so by standing with my back to the east curved architecture and working with the perspective rather than against it I knew this would exaggerate the sense of height.”

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See more of Sarah Fouracres’ images on Instagram

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