Thursday, 29 January 2009

Photo Geek Time

This is incredible. David Bergman has used a Gigapan imager and specialist software to create a truly massive image of the Inauguration. You can zoom in and still get incredibly strong images of different sections of the crowd. The best comparison I can make is with Google Earth - the ability to pan and zoom on different sections.

Why this is special is because the stitching between the different images is relatively faultless.

Imagine trying to do this by hand. You take, say, five images panning across the horizon. Your hands wobble, the camera skews and the focal length means that you will get some fish-eyeing or barrel distortion. All of these make it very difficult to get an image which looks perfect in all sections.

Even the so-called expert programmes are not hugely much better. Supposedly they identify common pixels and stitch on that basis. But the results, at least to my eye, are always disappointing.

So that is why this image is so fantastic. Yes it requires specialist equipment and software, but the camera itself is a bog standard point and shoot. And what's more, the equipment and software only costs $379 (admittedly, that's more than most people will pay for a gimmick, but cheap in photo cricles).

Thanks to The LibDigPig team for bringing this to my attention

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