SHOP

HOW WE CREATE PHOTOS WITH RECORD-SETTING RESOLUTIONS

VAST photos are created by seamlessly stitching together many individual images of a scene. Each individual image is only a small section of the scene and a few dozen megapixels. However, after all the images are compiled together, the result is a photo of the entire scene with a resolution that can be thousands of megapixels.
Example of the stitching technique for creating very high resolution VAST photos using photo of sunrise Manhattanhenge in New York City

OUR PROCESS

Refined over years of practice and experimentation, we have perfected every step of the process:
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This is similar to your phone camera's "panorama mode"
However, phone cameras use lenses that have very wide angles of view and thus only require a few images (taken while you're panning your phone) to capture an entire scene. On the other hand, we use lenses that can be more than 10 times as zoomed in. This means that a panorama photo that would have required your phone to take 3 images, requires us to take 300. And, as you can imagine, 300 50-megapixel images from a very high-end professional DSLR camera results in a dramatically more impressive photo than 3 8-megapixel images from a poor-quality phone camera.
Size comparison of photo types showing the very high resolution large format print sizes of VAST photos
  Largest print size possible without image quality degradation
Size comparison of photo types showing the very high resolution large format print sizes of VAST photos Size comparison of photo types showing the very high resolution large format print sizes of VAST photos

We are perfectionists

  • Every individual image that contributes to the final VAST photo is exposed in the exact same manner in order to prevent incorrect color shifts between sections of the final photo. This requires more than just using the same aperature, shutter-speed, and ISO settings. We also use techniques like physically locking our apertures and carefully adjusting circular lens filters.
  • Given that it takes some time to expose the matrix of images required for a VAST photo, we give great thought to how a scene is evolving (e.g which direction the clouds are moving) in order to determine the best order to take the images.
  • We are very careful with the demosaicing algorithms we use to convert the raw image data from our camera sensors into visible images. This is because we need to ensure a consistent reproduction of luma values across the entire final photo.
  • We use advanced software to stitch the images together, making careful determinations for what geometric projection method to use for the most pleasing final result with the least distortion.
Very high resolution camera equipment, gimbal, and tripod made by Really Right Stuff, Manfrotto, and Canon 5Ds

The Gear Matters

We use a lot of advanced gear in the creation process.
  • We use specially-made gimbal mounts for our cameras that enable us to adjust the point in space our cameras rotate around as we expose the matrix of images. We do this so that the camera's perspective on the scene remains precisely the same between shots. This prevents parallax shift that would otherwise cause asymmetries between images.
  • We use some of the best prime lenses and cameras available. We shoot using the leading telephoto lenses with up to 800mm focal lengths and the latest high-megapixel (30-100 megapixels) 35mm and medium-format image sensors. As a result, VAST photos are strikingly devoid of typical adverse optical artifacts such as noise, chromatic aberration, and lens flare.
  • We use extremely powerful, custom-built, liquid-cooled supercomputers that have enough horsepower to efficiently process huge volumes of image data. A single raw VAST photo alone can be tens of gigabytes in size and take many hours to render.
  • The entire creation process from capture to edit to print is executed using a finely-tuned, color calibrated workflow. We use only the best wide gamut monitors to ensure the most accurate, vibrant, consistent, and flawless colors are revealed in a final print.
Autopano Giga software made by Kolor being used to create and stitch a very high resolution VAST photo
Extreme computing power:
  • The computing power needed to create a VAST photo is immense. We custom build our own liquid-cooled supercomputers from the ground up because you quite simply can't buy pre-made computers that are powerful enough. A single one of our computers is more powerful than a dozen high-end MacBook Pro computers combined.

Printing, Mounting, & Framing

Our focus on perfection doesn't stop once we have the final VAST photo image file.
We want to ensure the highest quality all the way through to the final wall artwork. Therefore, we have developed a custom printing, mounting, and framing process to create VAST prints - the highest quality ready-to-hang photographic displays ever created.

Learn about VAST prints  

Own an Exceptional Photograph

VAST photos are offered as hand-signed, ready-to-hang VAST Prints and as VAST Licenses that allow you to customize a print. Explore the photos currently available in our galleries: