San Francisco Moonlight Panorama

Moonlight over San FranciscoMoonlight Over San Francisco (Touch to see at 4,000 pixels-wide)

This is a 1.1 gigapixel (15,000h x 75,000w, 1×5 ratio) view of San Francisco reduced to 5% of its original width and height. It was created from 100, 11-20-second exposures with the 21 megapixel Canon 5D MKII, and a Canon 400L 5.6 lens. The photos were taken just after sunset from the Marin Headlands on several different evenings under similar lighting conditions.

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 34ft wide by 6 ft tall (200dpi) with fine resolution with little to no pixelation or noise visible at a viewing distance of 1 foot! It could be printed at 50 feet wide and look great from 2 feet away.

I used AutoPano stitching software at first, however as with the other panorama, 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.

Contact Patrick at the email address on the menu for more information and for a larger file.