#400 – Library of Congress Images – SS Rotterdam at Holland America Line Terminal, Hoboken


Holland America Panorama

This is a panorama created from three separate 8×10 glass plate negative scans. Needless to say, the resultant file is rather large! I recently upgraded my computer as my 6 year old PC with 4GB of RAM struggled with files like this, but the new one has significantly more processing power and Photoshop CC made light work of merging these files. Thankfully the photographer had the incredible foresight to provide plenty of overlap on each individual frame and repositioned his camera intelligently between each exposure, so the merged file has little of the curvature that is often seen when merging pictures into a panorama.


Horses bringing cargo or provisions.


Passing steamboat and riverfront buildings in the background.


Some kind of loading or unloading going on alongside


A lot going on on deck



Young boys watching the proceedings

As is the norm with these glass plate scans, it’s the staggering level of detail that makes looking at these images quite rewarding. I don’t know how these images were viewed or presented when they were taken in the early 20th century, I’m quite certain they weren’t blown up to any kind of signficant size and the astonishing resolution was probably wasted. But when viewed on a high-res HD screen, it’s quite impressive and I dare say that a giant panorama print would be a sight to behold, if somewhat expensive and unwieldy.

Given the wide field of view in the resultant panorama, this is very much the depiction of a scene. By that, I mean that it is almost like standing at a window, or at a vantage point, and taking in the view by looking at different things, then using binoculars (magnifying glass tool) to focus on one particular element, then returning to view the whole scene. I suppose that’s the difference between this and the regular images that are of a lesser field of view.

If your internet connection and computer hardware will take it, I’ve uploaded a high res jpeg to my Google Drive for you to download and luxuriate in the detail! Beware – it’s 76mb, significantly smaller than the 1GB full size file!




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