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A Homemade 4,000-Megapixel Camera

Boy, I thought my 16.7-megapixel Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II digital camera was awesome. After reviewing this must-read piece about a recent exhibition of pictures in California taken with a 4,000-megapixel camera, however, I was quickly brought back down to Earth...

But you won't find this camera in any stores. Physicist-turned-photographer Graham Flint and his wife Catherine created spectacular murals with the help of a 100-pound homemade gigapixel camera which, in essence, is a film camera that uses 9 x 18-inch Kodak film specially designed for NASA. You may have seen Graham's handiwork in action: He was one of the designers of the camera used in NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Here's how the process works:

  • The film is sent to an Ohio lab (that archives the nation's reconnaissance film) where a device Graham Flint designed digitally scans it.
  • The 4,000-megapixel images are saved to a hard drive or DVD, then mailed to the Flints' home in New Mexico.
  • Katherine Flint, now a consultant for Adobe, transforms the image files using Photoshop.

If this sounds like a lot of work to you, that's only the beginning... Those raw image files can taken as long as 45 minutes to open, then take anywhere from three hours to four days to adjust the image for color and perfect the lighting.

I suspect, if you're impressed by my description, you'll be blown away after looking at a sampling of the Flints' handiwork.


The Giagpxl Project.org

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