I covered my first inauguration and what an inauguration it was.
Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States in a ceremony on the west front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Before Tuesday, I had photographed five presidents and covered big events including the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and concerts like Live 8 and Live Earth.
But this one was the biggest.
It deserved a big photo.
I made a panoramic image showing the nearly two million people who watched President Obama’s inaugural address. To do so, I clamped a Gigapan Imager to the railing on the north media platform about six feet from my photo position. The Gigapan is a robotic camera mount that allows me to take multiple images and stitch them together, creating a massive image file.
My final photo is made up of 220 Canon G10 images and the file is 59,783 X 24,658 pixels or 1,474 megapixels. It took more than six and a half hours for the Gigapan software to put together all of the images on my Macbook Pro and the completed TIF file is almost 2 gigabytes.
Use the controls to zoom and pan around the photo. You can also double click to zoom in and double click again to get even closer.
(If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you may not see the embedded flash player above. Click here to view it on my blog. Additionally, you can view the panorama full screen or on the Gigapan site.)
Since people move around slightly as the photos are taken, there are a few small glitches in the image. The software did a fantastic job, however, and there is amazing detail when you zoom all the way in.
I’ve only just started to explore the photo myself, but I found Yo-Yo Ma taking a picture with his iPhone.
If there’s enough interest, I might make the image available as a large print. I’ll write another post in the next few days showing some of the more traditional photos I shot, but they’re only a “measly” 12-megapixels each.