Panoramas can be of different sizes and differing in their scope. I love finding scenes that can be totally encompassing and immersive. Looking in a circle 360 all the way around and looking up and down. Most of these panoramas include everything you can see from a single point, except a 36" circle just below the camera where the tripod sits.
The Bridges are also HDR allowing not just a 360 field of view, but also including all the detail, both in the shadows and highlights.
The strange distortion comes from stretching a single point above the camera to be across the entire top of the image. Think of a world map and how the closer to the poles you get, the more distorted the scale becomes. As a quick time movie these become interactive allowing both zooming in and out and moving all around so the image is not distorted.
© John Anderson, Photographer