City Lights, San Francisco Panorama at Dusk

City Lights, San Francisco at DuskCity Lights, San Francisco Panorama at Dusk (Touch to see at 4,000 pixels-wide)

This is a 1.1 gigapixel (13,423h x 80,540w, 1×6 ratio) view of San Francisco reduced to 10% of its original width and height. It was created from 112, 11-second exposures with the 21 megapixel Canon 5D MKII, a Canon 500L lens with a 1.4 extender. The photos were taken just after sunset from the Marin Headlands on several different evenings under similar lighting conditions. It took over 20 return trips over a two month period to witness those evenings with similar light.

All of this effort was required to produce an image that would appear to be taken during that 10-minute period that happens about 20 minutes after sunset when the fading daylight and the city lights reach equilibrium. This could easily be printed at 36ft wide by 6 ft tall (200dpi) with fine resolution with little to no pixelation or noise visible at a viewing distange of 1 foot! and it would look good at 60 feet wide I’m sure though I have not seen a print of that size yet.

I used AutoPano stitching software at first, however it (and other stitchers) became hopelessly confused by the numerous bridge cables since one looks like another. So most of this image was hand stitched by me in Photoshop. Also, I did not use a Gigapan machine or a tripod, I used a plastic bucket, a x-large pizza-sized plywood round and some wood shims. This was far more stable than a tripod in the wind with a huge lens, and easier to level and pan across.