Largest photographs in the world

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Most of the photographs that are claimed to be the largest are stitched from smaller images. The Legacy Project photograph made in Irvine, California, is an exception to this in that it was made as a single exposure on a seamless piece of sensitized fabric using a building as a huge camera.



The largest seamless photograph made in a single exposure was made using a Southern California jet hangar transformed into a giant camera. The most recent claim to the largest image stitched together was by the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Largest seamless example

Orthorectified negative (top) and positive (bottom) representations of The Great Picture, partially obscured by two people.

On July 12, 2006, six photographers (Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada), unveiled what is currently the world's largest camera and photograph.[1]

The 3,552-square-foot (330.0 m2) photograph was made to mark the end of 165 years of film/chemistry-based photography and the start of the age of digital photography. It was taken using a decommissioned Marine Corps jet hangar (Building #115 at El Toro) transformed into the world's largest camera to make the world's largest picture. The hangar-turned-camera recorded a panoramic image of what was on the other side of the door using the centuries-old principle of "camera obscura" or pinhole camera. An image of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station appeared upside down and flipped left to right on film after being projected through the tiny hole in the hangar's metal door. The "film" is a 32 feet (9.8 m) by 111 feet (34 m) piece of white fabric covered in 20 gallons (75.71 liters) of light-sensitive emulsion as the "negative".

After exposing the fabric for 35 minutes the image was developed by 80 volunteers using a giant custom-made tray of vinyl pool liner. Development employed 600 gallons (2271 liters) of black-and-white developer solution and 1,200 gallons (4542 liters) of fixer pumped into the tray by ten high volume pumps. Print washing used fire hoses connected to two fire hydrants.[2]

Largest example assembled from multiple pieces

Sea Containers House decorated for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

For the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a 100 m (330 ft) by 70 m (230 ft) print of a photograph of the British Royal Family family during her Silver Jubilee was erected in front of the Sea Containers House under renovation.[3]

The scene was originally produced on 6x6 cm transparency film shot with a Hasselblad 80mm lens in many overlapping sections. 80 rolls of film were used over several sites with this scene being finally chosen. The site is the estuary of Nasparti Bay at the base of the Brooks Peninsula on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Shot[clarification needed] in 1987 or 1988 to be ready for the opening of the museum in 1989. The installation is actually two scrims of identical size, one behind the other in mirror image to give the viewers a 3-dimensional experience while walking beside the diorama.

Within the Canadian Museum of Civilization, one wall of the massive Grand Hall is composed of a scrim covered by a photo of a forest. The photo is about 100 m (328 ft) by 15 m (49 ft).[4]

Conventional digital photograph (panorama)

The following are the digital photographs that have held the record for being the largest in terms of pixel count, beginning with the largest in chronological order (note: large digital images out of chronological order or lacking milestone significance are moved to acknowledgement section).

Electron Micrograph of a Zebrafish Embryo 281 Gigapixels (2012)

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Shanghai 272 Gigapixels (Dec, 2010)

Shanghai Skyline

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Sevilla 111 Gigapixels (Dec, 2010)

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Sugar Loaf 92 Gigapixels (Sept, 2010)

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London 80 Gigapixels (Nov, 2010)

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This image is the largest spherical panoramic photo in the world.

Arches 77 Gigapixels (Sept, 2010)

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Budapest 70 Gigapixels (2010)

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Corcovado 67 Gigapixels (Jul, 2010)

(Not a cropped image, the sides of the picture are not straight. The real picture is smaller with the black parts on the edge.)

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Vienna 50 Gigapixels (Jul, 2010)

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Marburg 47 Gigapixels (Jul, 2010)

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Dubai 45 Gigapixels (May, 2010)

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Swiss Alps 31 Gigapixels (Apr, 2010)

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Paris 26 Gigapixels (Mar, 2010)

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Paris 26 Gigapixels is an interactive image showing a view of the French capital and its famous monuments, from the Eiffel Tower to the Pantheon. It was shot by photographer Arnaud Frich using a custom-made panoramic head and 2 Canon 5D Mark II DSLR cameras with 300mm f4.0 lenses and two 2x tele converter (equivalent 600mm f8.0). The 2346 images of the project were then assembled using Kolor Autopano Giga software. The website was created using several technologies: Kolor Autopano Tour, KRpano and Microsoft Research's HDview.[7]

Gigapixel Dresden 26 gigapixels (2009)

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Prague 18 Gigapixels Spherical Panorama (2009)

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This image, when published in 12/2009, was the largest fully spherical panoramic photo in the world. It is 192,000 pixels wide and 96,000 pixels tall. When printed, it is 16 meters (53 feet) long at regular photographic quality (300dpi). It was shot in early October 2009 from the top of the Zizkov TV Tower in Prague, Czech Republic in collaboration with Prague 3 town hall. Canon 5D MKII digital SLR camera and a 200mm lens were used. Hundreds of shots were shot over a few hours; these shots were then stitched together on a computer over the following few weeks.[8]

Largest season image in the world - Ilmenau (Germany) 18 Gigapixel (2009)

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Yosemite-17-Gigapixels/Glacier Point (2008)

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The Last Supper (2007)

The 16.1 Gigapixel size was reached by HAL9000 Srl. The project "The Last Supper" was claimed to be the largest digital panoramic photo. It is a stitched photograph created merging 1677 shots from a single point into one photograph, each shot 12.2 Megapixel in size.

Harlem 13 Gigapixels (2007)

The 13 Gigapixel size was reached by Gerard Maynard.

The 2045 images were taken with a Nikon D2X with 300 mm lens mounted on a modified Peace River Studios PixOrb. The stitching and exporting was done automatically by Autopano Pro.

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Parete Gaudenziana (2006)

The 8.6 Gigapixel size was reached by HAL9000 Srl.

The project Parete Gaudenziana was claimed to be the largest digital panoramic photo. It is a stitched photograph created by merging 1145 shots from a single point into one photograph, each shot 12.2 Megapixel big.[9]

Gigapix (2004)

The previous record belonged to Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research.

One of these attempts was by Dutch company TNO. The project dubbed "Gigapix" was claimed to be the largest digital panoramic photo, although it is a stitched photograph by merging hundreds of small sections into one photograph. The photograph is 78,797 by 31,565 pixels large. It was taken on a Nikon D1X camera.[10][11][12]

A preview of the image can be seen at:

Unknown title (2003)

The previous record belonged to Max Lyons of Gigapixel Images. He had at one stage claimed to have created the largest photo. It consisted of 196 images that were stitched together. Since then this claim has been surpassed by that of the TNO attempt. TNO's Gigapix is 2.5 times larger.[13]

Portrait of a Coral Reef (1999)

The previous record may have belonged to Jim Hellemn of Blue Ocean Art. In 1999, Hellemn created a 1.77 gigapixel underwater photocomposite image, which was designed to facilitate life-size reproduction of a 20 ft high by 70 ft wide section of Bloody Bay Wall, a vertical coral reef wall in the Cayman Islands. The image consisted of over 300 images that were manually stitched together from 4000ppi drum scans of Fuji Provia 100 transparency film. To make the image, a grid of 280 frames was photographed with 30% overlap to accurately cover the reef wall with full-spectrum light revealing the natural color and detail of the reef. Additional frames of marine life carefully photographed in the same grid composited in place to complete the scene. The on-site photography, requiring 23 dives and over 12 hours underwater to complete, was accomplished over a ten-day period by Jim Hellemn, with assistants Larry Hellemn and Peter Neubauer, using a neutrally-buoyant camera platform Hellemn designed specifically for the project. The post production of the image was completed in six months using multiple Macintosh G4 computers at Photographix in Poway, California, a digital graphics company owned by Hellemn.

A zoomable version of the image was made available to the public in 2000 using the ER Mapper's ECW (file format) and Image Web Server software on a site operated by Fugro-Pelagos, allowing visitors to explore the life-size image. The project and the techniques used by Hellemn inspired researchers at Miami University to use similar methods to produce wide-coverage video mosaics to study coral reefs.[14] The image was published in the October 2001 issue of National Geographic Magazine, "Portrait of a Coral Reef".

A preview of the image can be seen at:

Other large digital photos (Acknowledgement)

Below are the list of other large digital photos that were not record holders, non-milestone images after 2012 will not be listed anymore.

Cannes 65 Gigapixels

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Grubhörndl 63 Gigapixels

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Nice (the bay) 52 Gigapixels

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Madrid 41 Gigapixels

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Saint-Raphaël 41 Gigapixels

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Roquebrune sur Argens 22 Gigapixels

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Miraflores 22 Gigapixels

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Barcelona 21 Gigapixels

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Carriere des Grands Caous 20 Gigapixels

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Nice (the port) 19 Gigapixels

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Vancouver's North Shore 18 Gigapixels

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The image is the largest Canadian photo created as of August 20, 2011.

Megeve valley 16.71 Gigapixels (2009)

Photograph of: France

Shot took place on February 20, 2009 on the terrace of the 1st floor of the restaurant "Le Super Megève ", located in Rochebrune, 1754 meters (Megève, Haute-Savoie, France).

The panorama stretches in 180°, from left to right, from the Torraz (1930 metres) to the Aiguille du Midi (2487 meters). Are visible the village of Megève, the Aiguille du Midi, the Mont-Blanc...

Assemblage of 2321 pictures of 12 million pixels stitched into a picture of 16,71 billions pixels. (217452x76846 = 16,710,316,392 Pixels).

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Mount Lebanon Valley | LEBANON (2011)

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Grimaud Village 14 Gigapixels

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Vancouver 12 Gigapixels

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VISTA Gigapixel Centre of Galaxy (2012)

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  1. ^ "Guinness Certifies World’s Largest Photograph and Camera". PR Newswire, United Business Media, July 13, 2006. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  2. ^ "World's largest photo taken in defunct El Toro base hangar". July 13, 2006.
  3. ^ Huge 100-metre-wide photograph of the Royal Family unfurled by River Thames to mark Queen's Jubilee
  4. ^ Rob d'Estrube (2006). "Canadian Museum of Civilization: Grand Hall". Destrube Photography. Canadian Museum of Civilization.
  5. ^ Faas, Frank G.A., et al (August 6, 2012). "Virtual nanoscopy: Generation of ultra-large high resolution electron microscopy maps". The Journal of Cell Biology (Rockefeller University Press) 198 (3): 457-469. doi:10.1083/jcb.201201140.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Shanghai Skyline - Stitched From 12,000 Pictures". GigaPans. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  7. ^ "Making of" (part 1, part 2, part 3). Paris 26 Gigapixels. March 11, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  8. ^ Martin, Jeffrey (December 18, 2009). "Prague 18 Gigapixels – How was it made?". 360Cities – Panoramic Photography Blog. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  9. ^ "8.6 gigapixel stitched photograph of Italian fresco revealed". Rob Galbraith. October 19, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  10. ^ Libbenga, Jan (November 17, 2004). "Dutch snap world's largest digital photo". The Register. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  11. ^ "How to make a gigapixel picture". BBC News. November 19, 2004. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  12. ^ Becker, David (November 17, 2004). "World's biggest digital pic". CNET. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  13. ^ "Breaking the Gigapixel Barrier". Tabaware. December 14, 2003.
  14. ^ "In the Eye of the Storm – Annual Report 2005". Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007.

External links

Official websites

Further reading