The Royal Horticultural Society had used an alternative virtual tour supplier for the Chelsea Flower Show earlier in the year, but were disappointed with the overall quality of that work. We then met the RHS digital marketing team at a trade exhibition shortly afterwards and they were very impressed by the quality of our virtual tours and the depth of colour of the photography in the panoramas. Not suprisingly, we were commissioned to create high-resolution virtual tours at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show at the beginning of July 2017. This involved photographing the Floral Marque (at 3am!), the Butterfly Dome and all 26 Show Gardens on the Press Day which is the day before the gardens open to the public. The Brief was to have all the virtual tours (all 28 of them!) online within 24 hours for the opening day so people interested in visiting could view online on the RHS website what to expect at the show. And boy did we deliver! My personal highlight of the shoot? Meeting ‘The Hairy Bikers’ who, for the whole week of the show, broadcast the Kitchen Show live each morning on the BBC from the RHS own Kitchen Garden installation. I had to capture the panorama 2 minutes before the TV cameras went live – no pressure!
So, a mammoth project to complete in 24 hours – to capture nearly 100 individual high-resolution panoramas (3,000 individual photographs), professionally process the RAW photographs in Adpbe Lightroom, stitch and edit with a bespoke User Interface and host, for the RHS, on our own fast, UK-based servers to cope with the demand once live.
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