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986 megapixels! A very high resolution, large-format VAST photo of the New York City skyline; gigapixel photograph created by Dan Piech in Manhattan

New York Awakens: Cropped

986 MEGAPIXEL VAST PHOTO
Midtown Manhattan, New York City
February 18, 2018

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If you've never seen a sunrise in New York City, you're missing out on one of the more beautiful experiences this world has to offer. I don't make that statement lightly. The interplay of man-made beauty and natural beauty that occurs on a New York morning is surreal.

Many photographers choose to focus their sunrise photography efforts on capturing the sun and sky, facing their lenses east. For this VAST photo, I chose to direct my lens westward towards the New York skyline which was reflecting the sunrise transpiring behind me. This is the interplay of man and nature that I love so much: buildings gleaming in the bouquet of beautiful hues nature has provided.

Hours before this scene happened, I was setting up my panorama gear in the dark of night on top of a private building in Queens. It was freezing cold and a snowstorm had left a blanket of snow in which I had to work. The dark city loomed in front of me. It was 5am on a winter Sunday with a new moon so it was about the darkest the city ever gets. My cold fingers were a constant nag to head back inside to warmth - and the uninspiring, dark skyline didn't provide much motivation.

Shortly after 6am the skyline slowly began to brighten. I turned around and faced east to see the horizon beginning to glow. It was this glow that was illuminating the cityscape.

At this point, it was just a matter of waiting for the perfect moment when the skyline was its brightest relative to the sky behind it. I love moments like this because they provide a stark contrast between foreground and background, leading the foreground to pop out of the image. Furthermore, we are accustomed to cityscape photos where the skyline is darker than the sky behind it, so this scene, with its inverted lighting, made for a particularly unique image.

At 6:42am, the moment was perfect. The 845 United Nations Plaza tower was brightly aglow with the fire of the swiftly progressing sunrise. I began shooting the 42 exposures that comprise this panorama of the New York City skyline. I needed to do so as quickly as possible to ensure consistent lighting and to capture the moment before it passed.

In this ultra-high-resolution scene are thousands of windows, home to countless New Yorkers awakening to a beautiful sunrise.

Note: A small part of the southern tip of Roosevelt Island was originally visible in the lower-right corner of this image but has been edited out of the final image for artistic intent.

Stunning image clarity

This 986-megapixel VAST photo is one of the highest definition photographs ever created. It has a resolution equivalent to 476 HDTVs.


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EXPOSURE SPECS

Date & TimeFebruary 18, 2018:  6:42am
LocationMidtown Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40.746117, -73.957213
CameraCanon 5DS
Megapixels per Exposure50.6
LensCanon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
Focal Length200mm
Aperturef/7.1
Shutter Speed1/8
ISO800
Number of Exposures42

FILE SPECS

Total Pixels986,468,061
Horizontal Pixels53,499
Vertical Pixels18,439
Aspect Ratio1 : 2.9
File Size5,640 MB
Width @ 300ppi (perfect)14.86 feet
Height @ 300ppi5.12 feet
Width @ 150ppi (near-perfect)29.72 feet
Height @ 150ppi10.24 feet
Canon 5DS
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
Canon 5DS
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
VAST PRINTS

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VAST Prints are fine art photographic paper prints that arrive ready to be mounted and/or framed. They are created using the sharpest photographic printer in commercial use: a very rare specialty printer that formerly printed military surveillance imagery.  Learn more  

Every VAST Print has two certificates of authenticity hand-signed by the artist and the printmaker: one affixed to the print and one standalone. Additionally, each print is assigned a unique serial number via a permanent hologram seal and recorded in our registry. Its provenance is tracked and verified using state-of-the-art digital blockchain encryption technology.

VAST DISPLAYS

THE HIGHEST QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHIC DISPLAYS EVER CREATED

VAST Displays are ready-to-hang works of art that contain a VAST Print sealed between flame-polished acrylic glass and an aluminum backing. A hidden brace on the back causes the display to gracefully float off the wall for a sleek, modern frameless look that complements nearly any decor style.  Learn more  

SIZING GUIDE

This VAST photo becomes a stunning conversation-starter wherever it's showcased. It's offered in 4 large-format sizes:


48 in
16 in
60 in
20 in
78 in
26 in
96 in
32 in
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