India’s first gigapixel wedding images
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of big images. Back in 2014 when we shot Ladakh Timelapse we were amazed by the quality achievable in 4k. That was video and by most popular standards, as of date, video is limited to 8k (i.e 8000 pixels wide). Photos however present a different possibility altogether. Say hello to pano!
Panoramas have been around since 1850s (yikes!) but modern software and computation power have made them more accessible than ever. My tryst with panos began around 2010 when I started as a landscape photographer. Around 2012 I stumbled on something called Breznier method and it seemed like a perfect marriage between typical landscape style panoramas and portraiture. I won’t discuss details of the basics of Brenizer method here because this blog is about something that takes it to the next level … Gigapixel images.
A gigapixel image is anything that is above 1000 megapixel in resolution. To put that in perspective, that is something you can expect to easily fill a 100 ft x 75 ft board perfectly if you are viewing from a distance of 10 meters. Even by most panorama standards, that is huge! I never intentionally thought about making gigapixels in weddings and to be frank didn’t quite realise that I have taken a few until recently!
We recently posted an image on instagram which was stitched using downresed images. Just for my kicks I thought of figuring out the formula for what the full resolution of the image would be and it turns out to be this (geek alert)
Resolution of panorama = Megapixel count of camera * (1+ ((n-1)*(1-y)))
N = number of images taken to create panorama
Y = overlap factor. For eg, if there is 20% overlap between images, y becomes .2
I usually shoot with about 20% overlap in photos. Given that we want the left side of equation to be greater than a 1000, turns out for my camera (Nikon D750) the value of n needs to be above 53.
We immediately sat down and dug from the archives any panorama that was stitched with more than 53 images and voila … we found our gigapixels 🙂
I promised to share the technique behind making such images so here are a few (there is a video of the post processing as well). I’m assuming anyone reading beyond this is already familiar with the basics of Breznier method.
- Pre visualise the final panorama – You can take an image from your cell phone (they have sufficiently wide field of view)
- Don’t shoot in a hurry – even if one image of the entire grid comes out shaky, the panorama may not stitch properly
- Try to ensure that there is no movement (of subject or in background)
- Try to keep the exposure and white balance to manual – It will make the stiching process easy
- During post processing – work on a high end computer with lots of scratch disk space, you will need lot of computing power to achieve a gigapixel (My laptop is an i7 6820, 32gb ram, gtx 970 with lots of ssds and it still felt sluggish)
- Correct for distortion and fill up areas that may have been omitted by mistake (for eg, sky)
You can take your gigapixel a notch higher by adding off camera flash to light up the subject (as in the case of second image). Or make an HDR … the possibilities are endless.
Unfortunately, my website doesn’t allow embedding of these images hence I’m sharing the link below. Enjoy these two super super detailed images with extremely shallow depth of field. If you have any questions, leave in the comments below or ask us on our facebook page.
DONT FORGET TO ZOOM IN 😉
- A gigapixel portrait image from an Indian wedding in Thailand – http://gigapan.com/gigapans/196144
- Gigapixel from a reception in Baroda, Gujrat – http://gigapan.com/gigapans/196141
- Bonus (although not a gigapixel but still a hefty 660 megapixel family portrait just before the baraat started) – http://gigapan.com/gigapans/196147