It was no coincidence that Sasha Grek, the Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Russia Magazine (NGRM), introduced me to Oleg Gaponyuk and AirPano team. Giving me their contact information he probably knew that our friendship could turn into something amazing. He was absolutely right – we set off on a GRAND ADVENTURE, and with each passing day this adventure becomes even more and more exciting.
My name is Viktor Lyagushkin. I work as a photographer in National geographic Magazine specializing in extreme underwater photography. In search for my photo stories I go deep into the cold water, under the ice, and into the underwater caves. My friends and teammates from PHOTOTEAM.PRO always help me. Together we create stories about wonderful places and amazing people that explore them sometimes balancing between life and death. It happens so that there are only a few hundred people in the world that work in such extreme conditions; only few of them can handle a camera; and none of the extreme underwater photographers actually heard about spherical panoramas or knows how to shoot them. That’s why when Oleg Gaponyuk told me about panoramic photography I realized that we’ve discovered a whole new dimension to explore. It’s very hard to capture the beauty of an underwater cave or an entire sunken ship. With help of panoramic photo technique this task becomes much easier.
Orda Cave was our first joint project with AirPano team. While in 2010 we spent 6 months in the cave shooting its amazing galleries, working on Orda Cave Awareness Project. And spherical panorama of the Cave became the next logical step for AirPano team and us.
Now that we have successfully completed test photo shoots, and all “know-how” technologies are tried and true, we can say with confidence that Orda Cave spherical photo panorama is the beginning of an entirely new series of unique underwater virtual tours that have never been done before in the world. Here are just a few locations that we plan to shoot this year: Orda Cave, the Baltic, the White Sea, the Blue Lake (Chirek-Kel) in Kabardino-Balkaria, the Tkhach Caves in Adygeya, the Issyk-Kul’ Lake, and dry caves of Ural.