Michael James Murray
My photography deals with the 360° panoramic space compressed into a spherical form. The lack of constraint made possible by the spherical 360° allows for in-depth explorations of objects, structures, and textures and how they relate in both the natural and manmade world.
I use the camera to investigate and analyze the spaces where man and nature intersect. By photographing the world this way the camera is omnipresent, allowing for an epic narrative of complexity and intricacy of an area to unfold. Whether it be the disorder of ancient ruins in Rome, the pristine skyscrapers of New York City, the densely kaleidoscopic geography of the American Southwest, or the rugged coastlines of New England.
What I enjoy most about my process is how I make my photographs. I never use the viewfinder of the camera to compose the image. I take note of the proximity of objects and structures to the camera. I’ve developed a sense of “echolocation,” I can “feel” if an object or structure in space is too close or far away and move the camera accordingly. I endeavor to feel consumed by the area I’m in. To make one 360° spherical panoramic photograph, I require at least 30 individual images. Atop my tripod is a high-resolution digital camera attached to a special mount. It ensures that each image is precisely aligned with the others surrounding it and that each image overlaps by the same amount. This is essential for the next step in the process. Because all the images are precisely aligned and they all overlap by the same amount, I am assured that the final composite image will be free of errors and will blend seamlessly. I use specialized software to organize and process my raw files and specialized software to assemble them into a finished image. Adobe Photoshop rounds out the process by allowing me to precisely adjust contrast, color, and tone. Recently I have incorporated a drone with a high-resolution camera to make aerial 360° Panoramas.