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Panorama: Tokyo in extreme detail

By Bryan Chan, Los Angeles Times

Jeffrey Martin at work in Tokyo. Photo by Asahi Shimbun

Jeffrey Martin at work in Tokyo. Photo by Asahi Shimbun

The gigapixel images by photographer Jeffrey Martin keep getting bigger and bigger. This time it is a 150-gigapixel panorama view from Tokyo Tower. We’ve featured Martin before.

The image is 600,000 pixels wide. The average mobile phone shoots photos about 3,000 pixels wide. If this image were printed, it would be about 330 feet wide. The details are extremely fine with license plates and faces recognizable from afar.

And this wasn’t even his biggest. That one (the world’s largest, according to Martin) was of London, weighing in at 320 gigapixels. But Martin says the one from Tokyo Tower is better because of the lighting and the number of people in it.

This image, as with his others, was created by shooting a series of photographs in a circle and then stitching them together. His camera of choice was a Canon 7D  with a 400mm telephoto lens mounted on a special “gigapixel robot” called the Clauss Rodeon. This device allowed the camera to move and shoot very quickly, making it possible to shoot more than one photo every second.

The shoot was split over two days as the time-frame for access to the non-public area was tight so he, “had to work very, very fast, all the while literally dripping with sweat.”

Jeffrey Martin at work in Tokyo.

Martin adjusts his Canon 7D mounted on a Clauss Rodeon VR head. Photo by Asahi Shimbun

It took months to assemble and stitch the nearly 16,000 photos from about 128 gigabytes of jpeg files into three sections that were then combined into the 360-degree panorama, which itself was a 200gb psb file. Martin needed some serious processing power for such enormous data. He used a Fujitsu Celsius R920 workstation computer with 192GB of RAM, and things were still pretty slow at times. Just saving one of the files in Photoshop took a couple of hours. “So, days and weeks went by for some stages of the production,” Martin said.

In producing this panorama, he said he was reminded of how challenging these are to create. “It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done it before. It’s always difficult and each place has its unique problems.”

Also check out his 45-gigapixel image panorama from the top of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower.


  1. August 1, 2013, 3:08 pm

    jeffrey, u rock! luv anything about japan, esp modern day edo…

  2. November 5, 2013, 12:20 am

    It's truly terribly attention-grabbing post. All the remarks square measure terribly useful and really sensible. Panorama: Tokyo in extreme detail. the panorama the panorama Thanks for distributing…

    By: Dennischavez03

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