From a distance, they are familiar scenes of Scottish industry, landscape and well-known buildings.

Zoom in close, however, these skyline panoramas reveal fascinating detail of everyday life, even down to blades of grass, chimney pots, laundry on the washing line and resting birds.

The series of unique interactive gigapixel panoramas featuring some of Scotland’s best-known skylines had been kept under wraps for more than 12 years.

Now the Perth-based commercial photographer who took them, Craig Stephen, has shared them so we can all zoom in to see in incredible detail every tiny element, providing a virtual stroll along the rooftops of Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Perth.

The photographs have been created by capturing hundreds of photographs taken while moving the camera incrementally in rows, then stitching them together in post-production.

The panoramas make files of many gigabytes in size and if printed some would result in a photograph over 30 metres wide.

However, when it is uploaded to the internet and viewed as an interactive image, the viewer can zoom in and scroll around, viewing it in incredible detail.

It means tiny features on buildings, street art, rooftops and wildlife can be easily seen.

Craig explained: “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”.

He created the panoramas 12 years ago while working as a commercial photographer 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.”

The photographs include a mesmerising image of Grangemouth’s Ineos refinery which, when zoomed in, reveals the complex networks of pipes, chimneys, ladders and tanks.

One picture taken from Edinburgh’s Salisbury Crags towards Carlton Hill allows viewers to dive in to see plant pots and bundles of papers piled next to windows in the Scottish Parliament.

While another captured from Blackford Hill towards Edinburgh Castle shows the leafy suburbs with their neat back gardens.

The images, which are now online, have proved particularly popular – especially with lockdown restrictions making many of the locations they show, out of reach.

Craig added: “It is clear that there is a real appetite for this kind of ‘virtual exploration’ at the present time.

“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.”