The world just does not fit conveniently into the format of a 35mm camera. ~W. Eugene Smith
Last Saturday I took those words to heart when I climbed up to the overhead camera position just before the start of our game against Ohio State.
While I took a standard fisheye shot of the stadium with a modern digital equivalent of a 35mm camera, I had something else in mind and in hand.
I had a GigaPan Epic robotic unit holding a Canon G12 camera, which shot 66 individual pictures across a grid from that same overhead camera position at the top of Sun Life Stadium early in the 1st quarter. Those images were then downloaded to a personal computer where software stitched, rendered, and projected the image together into a single image. The massive image was then uploaded to the free user community site gigapan.org, which allows high-resolution images to be stored, shared, annotated, commented, linked, geolocated, and embedded on any website.
The GigaPan process is far from perfect at public gatherings, such as a football stadium. It’s impossible to keep people from moving for a second, let alone the seven and a half minutes it took to complete this image. You’re going to find duplicate people who appear in more than one frame, or parts of people who were at the edge of a frame. Items that move during the process also can oddly appear. There were also a few spots where frames did not align correctly.
There is also new technology which allows users to tag themselves and/or their friends to post on Facebook. Licensing of that technology is still a bit pricey for us.
Photographer and UM alum (and my old college roommate) David Bergman embraced the technology early, creating this famous GigaPan image of President Obama’s inauguration, and these GigaPans for Major League Baseball. Ironically, Bergman was at the game Saturday, shooting conventional images for Sports Illustrated, and can be seen in my GigaPan image.
GigaPan Statistics for this image:
Date Taken: September 17, 2011
Size: 0.58 gigapixels
Field of View: 144.7 degrees wide, 59.1 degrees high
Panorama size: 581 megapixels (37720 x 15404 pixels)
Input images: 66 (11 columns by 6 rows)
Field of view: 144.7 degrees wide by 59.1 degrees high (top=24.0, bottom=-35.1)
Camera model: Canon PowerShot G12
Single image size: 3648×2736 (10.0 megapixels)
Capture time: 2011-09-17 19:41:53 – 2011-09-17 19:46:50
Exposure time: 0.004
Focal length (35mm equiv.): 142.3 mm
Digital zoom: off
White balance: Automatic
Exposure mode: Manual
Horizontal overlap: 7.4 to 20.6 percent
Vertical overlap: 6.6 to 8.4 percent
Computer stats: 4096 MB RAM, 2 CPUs
Total time 7:33 (6.9 seconds per picture)
Alignment: 1:06, Projection: 28 seconds, Blending: 5:59