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5,449 megapixels! The highest definition VAST photo of a lightning bolt strike from a thunderstorm over the Hudson River and Tribeca Pointe in the Battery Park City neighborhood of New York City; created by Dan Piech

The Hand of Zeus

5,449 MEGAPIXEL VAST PHOTO
New York City
July 25, 2016

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Thumbnail from 5,449 megapixels! The highest definition VAST photo of a lightning bolt strike from a thunderstorm over the Hudson River and Tribeca Pointe in the Battery Park City neighborhood of New York City; created by Dan Piech
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At 5:11pm on July 25, 2016, New York City witnessed one of the most impressive lightning strikes ever photographed. An enormous bolt rocked Downtown Manhattan and Jersey City, completely spanning the Hudson River - and I had my camera set up to capture it.

It was a sweltering day at the height of summer and a thunderstorm was quickly approaching from the west, spreading an oil-slick of darkness in front of it. I've photographed countless storms, but as this particular one roared in from a distance, I knew it was going to be special. A beautiful wall cloud was quickly advancing in front of the rain curtain, electrifying the sky with cloud-to-ground lightning.

Brimming with excitement, I perched myself high up on a building in downtown Manhattan. The air, still thick with the smell of a sunny summer afternoon, was eerily calm as I set up my gear and began exposing images, hoping to capture one of these strikes branching out in front of the rain. Being exposed and elevated hundreds of feet outside with my camera wasn't the safest idea, but it was a risk I was willing to take.

Suddenly, an enormous bolt pierced the sky with a sound so deafening that my ears were ringing despite the hearing protection I had on. An incredible number of stepped leaders raced toward the ground, one of them connecting with a large metasequoia tree in Battery Park City, instantly exploding all 80 feet of it into thousands of pieces. Another one of the leaders crossed to the New Jersey side of the river and connected with a luxury high-rise not too dissimilar to the one that I was on.

For an instant, New York and New Jersey were joined by one of the most powerful forces in nature. It was a beautiful and humbling moment of sheer power.

I’ve spent over a decade chasing thunderstorms, exposing tens of thousands of images along the way, and coming closer than I’d like to being struck more times than I’d like to admit. Almost always, these occasions fail to yield any photographs worthy enough to show for the effort. The public is never privy to these empty harvests and the toll they take. However, as an obsessive photographer, I've continued to head out into storms time after time, undeterred, all in the hope of eventually having the good fortune to be granted an awe-inspiring moment like this.

You may be wondering how I created this exceptionally high resolution VAST photo. I spent hundreds of hours over the course of a year meticulously transforming the original 40-megapixel single-exposure photo into this 5,449-megapixel VAST photo that identically mimics the original.

Learn how I did it  

View the original single-exposure image  

Stunning image clarity

This 5,449-megapixel VAST photo is one of the highest definition photographs ever created. It has a resolution equivalent to 2,628 HDTVs.


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EXPOSURE SPECS

Date & TimeJuly 25, 2016:  5:11pm
LocationNew York City
Coordinates40.719276, -74.012121
CameraCanon 5DS
Megapixels per Exposure50.6
LensCanon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
Focal Length300mm
Aperturef/22
Shutter Speed10 sec
ISO100
Number of Exposures111

FILE SPECS

Total Pixels5,448,801,513
Horizontal Pixels89,889
Vertical Pixels60,617
Aspect Ratio1 : 1.48
File Size16,800 MB
Width @ 300ppi (perfect)24.97 feet
Height @ 300ppi16.84 feet
Width @ 150ppi (near-perfect)49.94 feet
Height @ 150ppi33.68 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
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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.

FRAMING

READY-TO-HANG MUSEUM-GRADE FLOATER FRAME

We have chosen an elegantly minimal floater frame for this VAST photo. This format has the print appear to float inside the frame, as if it is being effortlessly suspended on your wall. Its minimal aeshetic ensures that all attention is directed towards the VAST photo inside.

Note: The frame adds a few inches of additional size to the listed print size at checkout. You are welcome to contact us if you'd like to customize any of these framing options or if you have any questions.

Every print we make has two certificates of authenticity hand-signed by the artist and the printmaker: one affixed to the frame 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.

SIZING GUIDE

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


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LICENSES

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