Whopping 35-billion-pixel Toruń photo is largest panorama in Poland and one of the largest in the world
A Polish husband-and-wife team of photography pioneers has produced the biggest ever photo-panorama in Poland.
Measuring a whopping 35 billion pixels, the image shows the beautiful historical panorama of the northern Polish city of Toruń.
In a project of staggering proportions, the photography duo took over 1,700 individual photographs of the Toruń skyline, which took them more than three hours to take.
Back in their studio, a supercomputer took around 36 hours to stitch the images together into 85 columns of 20 images, which produced a file of over 100 gigabytes.
After five days of making corrections, the couple needed an astonishing 40 hours to upload the image to the server.
Now, visitors to the website of their ‘For Photography’ foundation (forphotography.eu) can marvel at the Toruń vista and zoom in to see unprecedented details.
The record-breaking project was carried out by photography duo Marek and Jadwiga Czarnecki.
The couple have produced thousands of panoramas of towns and cities in Poland, won many prizes and published a host of books.
Together they were pioneers of wide-angle panorama photography in Poland, and their work has been recognised in Germany, the UK and as far away as Australia.
However, their dream has always been to make a huge gigapixel panorama of their home city of Toruń. For many years, though, this was not possible.
“For several years, together with Jadwiga, we have been planning to create a very large gigapixel panorama of Toruń. The lack of access to appropriate equipment and ultra-fast computers was an obstacle. This year we managed to bring everything together,“ Marek Czarnecki told TFN.
To create the monster panorama, the couple used a Canon 5DS camera with a 50 Mpix sensor, a Canon EF 400mm, F/2.8L with a double focal length converter producing an actual focal length of 800mm.
They placed this kit onto a motorised head that can be programmed to hoover up all the shots needed for the panorama. On 18 July, the weather was just right and they managed to get the 1700 plus shots they needed.
Although it is the largest gigapixel panorama in Poland, the husband-&-wife team were not entirely sure what the final size would be. After all the files were stitched together it turned out that the final size has 300,000 pixels along the bottom and 11,222 pixels in height, which gives a total of over 35 gigapixels.
At 35 billion pixels, the giga-panorama is the largest to ever have been made in Poland and one of the largest in the world. The image creeps into the global top twenty, pushing out an image of Prague that measures 34 gigapixels.
Marek, though, is keen to point out that the Toruń image could have made it even higher up the rankings. “A lot of people enlarge their images by adding pixels, but this produces a blurry image when you zoom in. We didn’t do that. We have what we call native sharpness.”
The community-minded couple have decided to make the panorama available for free to the local tourism office in the hope that it can be used to promote the city.
“It has been such a hard year for Toruń because of the pandemic. The city has 200,000 people but in an average year 2.5 million people come to visit. That number has been drastically reduced of course this year,” Marek said.
“So we want to give the panorama to City Hall to use in some way to promote the city,” he added.
The choice of showing the panorama of the city from the opposite bank of the Vistula was a good and perhaps obvious one.
The breath-taking view with its charm and harmony is a symbol of the city and routinely features in rankings of the ‘7 Miracles of Poland’.
The image shows the historical panorama of Toruń from Kępa Bazarowa on the opposite bank of the Vistula.
After zooming in on the panorama, even the smallest details can be observed. Highlights include the Sailor’s Gate, the soaring steeple of the Church of the Holy Spirit, the solid dimensions of St. John’s Cathedral and the city defensive walls running along the bottom.
The full panorama can be viewed on the website forphotography.eu.