Explore Scotland's cities from your sofa with striking interactive photos

A series of unique interactive panoramas featuring some of Scotland’s most beloved skylines is now online.

Although most of us are currently unable to explore the scenes in person, Craig Stephen’s panoramas allow viewers to virtually walk along the rooftops of cities including Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Perth.

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Craig, a commercial photographer from Perth, said: “These images have never been seen before, but now seemed like an appropriate time to dig out the archives in hope of entertaining folk whilst they are stuck at home. Though not able to freely move around, they can still wander in essence”.

The process of creating these large-scale panoramas involves capturing hundreds of photographs taken while moving the camera incrementally in rows, then stitching them together in post-production. The resulting file is then uploaded to the internet and viewed as an interactive image where the viewer can zoom in and scroll around. The panoramas make files of many gigabytes in size and if printed some would result in a photograph more than 30 metres wide.

Since publishing the images online, Craig has already been encouraged by people’s response.He said: “It is clear that there is a real appetite for this kind of ‘virtual exploration’ at the present time. Without the opportunity to travel there ourselves, we can explore a number of landscapes throughout the country from well known skylines to lesser seen industrial sites.

“The feedback I’ve had from people has inspired me to go out and update some of the imagery during this crazy time. For now, I am only documenting in the Perth area, but once the lockdown restrictions are eased, I will be adding further to the collection.”

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Craig began creating these panoramas 12 years ago while working as photographer for The Scotsman in Edinburgh.

He said: “I’d climb up the Edinburgh hills during my lunch breaks and take the hundreds of photographs required to make the panoramas. Working in Edinburgh at the time, I was aware of just how quickly the landscape was changing and wanted to document the city as it was, while taking in the widest view with the most detail.”

Part of Craig Stephen’s panoramic image of Edinburgh from Calton HillPart of Craig Stephen’s panoramic image of Edinburgh from Calton Hill
Part of Craig Stephen’s panoramic image of Edinburgh from Calton Hill

Having worked professionally for more than 20 years, Craig creates photography for some of the country’;s leading brands and businesses and works extensively in Scotland’s agri-food sector where his images receive a worldwide audience.

Visit craig-stephen.co.uk/interactive-panoramas to experience the panoramic images.