It’s clear to see that there have been vast improvements in camera technology, people and companies are pushing for further developments allowing for more pixel rich shots and quality in the final image. Gone are the days of the Polaroid (even if Instagram is making the style cool again), we’re living in a megapixel driven age. However this is already being usurped by the ever encroaching gigapixel image.
I recently attended the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley, London to support my team (which is Everton if anyone asks) and after the disappointing result all was forgotten for another trip to the London stadium. However, something caught my eye a couple of weeks later. A company, 360 Cities, had been commissioned to take a ‘Gigapixel Panorama’ of the stadium when in full swing.
I decided to visit the website and peruse the image that had been taken. There were some inconsistencies with the stitching and blending of the hundreds and thousands of images but all in all, the overall result was nothing short of mind-blowing. An image had been previously created for the 2011 FA Cup Final and it held the unofficial record for “the world’s largest sports photo” however the team at 360 Cities wanted to achieve a greater, better image.
360 Cities used a Digital SLR and had to borrow a workstation capable of 16 core processing and 256GB of RAM. The final image for the 2012 Final came out at an impressive 25 gigapixels. Let’s bear in mind that 1 Gigapixel is 1000 times more than 1 Megapixel, it puts into perspective the scale of that job.
With the ever present use of Social Media, 360 Cities allowed people to tag themselves who attended the final, the previous total of 24,000 was the target to beat and they are hoping to achieve the accolade of ‘most tagged photo of all time.
The concept of gigapixel panoramas isn’t just restricted to stadia, many world cities have had panaroma created which allow people to view in amazing detail the streets and architecture of buildings. Companies are also commissioning them so they can engage potential customers by hiding products in them.
Gone are the days where I can remember flicking through old 6” by 4” prints that I used to get and thinking to myself ‘I only have 36 shots in this film, I need to be careful what I take photos of.’ I never would have dreamt there would have been images created that can show so much detail.
More information on the Wembley Panorama.
360 Cities site can be found here.
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