Sunday, February 8, 2009

Inauguration Photo

Glenn forwarded me a link to an amazing photo of President Obama's inauguration. It shows fine detail, even of people far away -- through their website, you can zoom into faces far in the distance and still see who they are! The original sender suggested a "Where's Waldo" exercise: Find Yo-Yo Ma taking a photo with his iPhone.

Checking it out further, the photo was created with a battery-operated robot camera cradle (uses your own camera -- even point-and-shoots), that takes 100s of photos. Then, with their software, stitches them together in a super-panorama photo that they host on their website for others to view and zoom in on.

I've long used a photo called Panorama Maker to stitch photos (still using it -- does a better job than Photoshop and is simpler to use). This takes it to a whole new level. It's the kind of technology that I used to buy on a whim. At under $400, I still might!


  1. Waaaaaah! Great photo! I wonder how the photographer put so many photos together so seamlessly. I know Photoshop has a function like this, but...... What software did he use? Panorama Maker? I am going to borrow this photo from you and paste it on my blog if you don't mind. Show us more Rod!

  2. Check out the Gigapan website:

  3. You may stitch 100 photos together to create a gigantic one, but all the photos have to be still. Since we could not take all the photos at exactly the same moment, and if the subjects (such as people) were moving around, how do we stitch them together without a seam? Unthinkable. Anyway, I am going to buy this Gigapan gadget and try.

  4. I did find a seam: a woman with three legs but no head in the gigantic photo. Unimportant though. Who cares?

  5. Ah, but given the inclusiveness of the Obama Administration, perhaps this isn't a seam? :-)

    I look forward to seeing the photos from your new toy! Looking further into the Inauguration photo details, I see the photographer used a 12 megapixel Canon with 5x zoom. I'm still quite amazed that even with those specs, it captured the detail it did at such a distance!

    Only the old version of Panorama Maker lets me stitch together photos both horizontally and vertically, but it often didn't work (perhaps because I didn't include enough overlap in the photos; both the old and new versions do a fine job with either horizon or vertical panoramas). Given that experience, I haven't looked for newer software to do these kind of tiled composite photos.

    Seams are always a problem with animate subjects, since they often don't stay still for the time it takes to make even neighboring shots.