Its resolution is 2,252% greater than
a typical fine art photograph.
It is one of the highest quality images
Camping in the woods of northern Maine doesn’t offer many amenities, but for those willing to wake early enough, the sunrise views are worth it! Mt. Katahdin reflecting in Sunday Pond near Baxter State Park is one such iconic view. Baxter Peak, the middle summit, is the highest point in Maine at 5,267 feet above sea level and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
I brought a fellow photographer and pitched a tent near the edge of this small pond for a couple days, exploring the area and shooting panoramas and timelapses. A large storm front blew through overnight making for some epic timelapse material in the moonlight and very wet gear! By dawn the clouds had nearly all vanished and we watched the sky turn to a vibrant blue as the fog lifted. The crisp, fresh air provided a clear view of the mountain without any haze and its stillness left a mirror reflection in the pond.
Happy with the timelapse material we had captured, I dried the camera, switched lenses, and cautiously carried my Panoneed robotic panning head and tripod into the bog. I was careful to stick to moose and deer paths through the bog to not damage any of the fragile bushes and moss. I positioned the camera to shoot a 360° panorama of the whole scene with the dew on the spider webs, the mountain’s reflection, the sunrise through the trees behind me, and a small cabin in the woods. I chose a 70mm focal length to give me about 1,500 megapixels for plenty of resolution. With the tripod fully extended and the camera a little over 7 feet in the air, an aperture of f/16 gave me enough depth of field for the ground to be in focus. I metered the landscape and decided to shoot a bracket of 7 exposures to capture the full dynamic range of light from the brightest sunlit tree to the darkest rock in the shade. It took about 20 minutes to capture all 945 photos.
Post-processing this VAST photo back at the computer took several weeks. It was a real challenge to stitch with such dramatically changing light throughout the scene. I had to edit and blend each row independently as well as some specific images to get a perfect panorama, because portions of the sky and pond were darker than others with the sunrise. Some of the clouds had drifted too during the several minutes it took to capture all the individual frames, and they had to be aligned by hand as well. The finished product is a symbol of what draws visitors to the Katahdin region year after year.
Camera settings: 70mm, f/16, ISO 200, and 7 exposures spaced 1.3 EV apart from 1/1250 to 1/5 second.
Stitching data: 135 positions x 7 brackets for a total of 945 photos.
Equipment used: Nikon D700, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, Promote Control, Panoneed robotic panning head, and Really Right Stuff TVC-34L tripod w/ leveling base. RAW conversion to 16-bit TIFF via Lightroom, exposure fusion with Oloneo, aligned via AutoPano Giga, and blended in Photoshop.
This 494-megapixel VAST photo is one of the highest definition photographs ever created. It has a resolution equivalent to 238 HDTVs.
|Date & Time||June 16, 2013: 6:51am|
|Location||Baxter State Park, Maine|
|Megapixels per Exposure||12.1|
|Lens||Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED|
|Number of Exposures||938|
|Aspect Ratio||1 : 3.74|
|File Size||2,820 MB|
|Width @ 300ppi (perfect)||11.93 feet|
|Height @ 300ppi||3.19 feet|
|Width @ 150ppi (near-perfect)||23.87 feet|
|Height @ 150ppi||6.38 feet|
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