Gorgeous gigapixel image puts Dubai in the spotlight
As camera technology and editing techniques continue to improve, photographers are able to capture incredibly detailed snaps. From staggering landscapes to shots of the night sky, the number of gigapixel images being released is on the rise, including the stunning shot of Dubai you see here. Shot as a promo for Bentley Motors' Flying Spur W12 S, viewers are able to zoom and pan around the image as they please.
Bentley isn't known for doing things by half – its cars offer major-league luxury as well as huge performance. It should come as no surprise, then, getting the gigapixel image of Dubai involved plenty of heavy lifting. A camera was suspended 264 meters (866 ft) off the ground, where it was up against hazy 40°C (104°F) temperatures and 25 km/h (16 mph) winds.
The finished image was made up of 57.7 billion carefully-stitched pixels, all of which were edited to make sure the light and color levels were perfectly matched across the whole image. All told, the process involved 1,825 individual frames and 48 hours worth of editing, while the completed image took a staggering 18 hours to download.
Having zoomed right into the badge on the Flying Spur, viewers are able to pan around the image as they please. The level of detail on offer is extraordinary, to the point where you can tell what kind of plants people have on their balconies, and clearly make out ripples in the water of Dubai Marina.
Bentley says the technology used was actually developed by NASA to create panoramas out of images taken by Curiosity as it roams around Mars. This is actually the second time the company has used the tech, having captured a Mulsanne on the Golden Gate Bridge last year.
For detailed snaps from within the gigapixel photo, check out our gallery, and anyone keen to play a (very expensive) game of Where's Waldo can keep an eye out for the orange Flying Spur W12 S sitting on the docks of the Dubai Marina.