About a month ago I had the unique opportunity to photograph the Las Vegas skyline at sunset from a helicopter (video here). This was the shot I envisioned. It took 20 shots to make this 240+ megapixel high resolution panorama. Each shot itself a composite of multiple shots. I must say while it may not be readily apparent, this is in fact the hardest most challenging photo I have taken yet. Simply getting to where I could take the shot, took several days.
Once in the air, strapped in and hanging out the door of the helicopter, an avalanche of constantly changing variables stood in the way of me getting a clear shot. Back at my workstation, it took me several days to stitch the final composite shots manually (all other tools simply failed). Editing the photo came close to impossible as the base file exceeded 1.5GB (Gigabyte) in size. Layers simply had to be committed and split into multiple 1.5GB files totaling 7GB in image files.
My 8-Core 4.2GHz workstation maxed-out it’s 16GB RAM every time I opened just one of the files and often crawled as it tried to handle editing the the 40,000 x 6000 pixel layers in real time. I am not quite sure what format to make this shot available, but I do know it will be a limited edition print.
This shot was taken with the Canon 7D Mark II using the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM lens. It was taken from about 1500 feet out the side of a helicopter. My experience with aerial photography has been a humbling one so far. It makes every other genre of photography I’ve done so far look like walk in the park.