One image: 100 pictures, give or take.
I went to a talk by a photographer named James Balog recently. He’s done some pretty amazing stuff over the last 20 years. Recently, he’s gotten good press for a way he’s accomplished a series of images of the country’s largest trees. Essentially, he climbs the trees, shimmies out a rope, and then rappels down, taking hundreds of digital images along the way. Then he spends countless hours stitching them together. The effect is a new way of looking at some of these large trees and a technique that can be used even without the skills (or equipment) to rappel down a free-standing line from 300 feet. Some of his work can be seen at jamesbalog.com (flash required).
Stitching images together to form larger images is nothing new. Of course, with really large numbers of images, it’s all but prohibitive to do so on film. Scanning takes a long time and virtually always requires post-processing just to get the images ready to use. Then, the files tend to be quite large (my high-resolution scans of 35mm start at 110Mb each), while a digital file with equivalent resolution is smaller on disk. Combine low-marginal-cost digital capture with easily-accessible digital imaging power and a lot of experiments with such collages are being attempted. Some of them are really wacky and some less so.
The picture above is one of my attempts using my friend Beth’s dRebel. There’s also a slightly larger version. I’m not sure the effect really comes across in a jpeg this size. Maybe I’ll post a couple larger ones as I get this worked out…
Note: I’m not going to try to do a daily photoblog like some folks do. I don’t shoot pictures every day and I’m pretty sure I’d eventually be forcing myself just to come up with something at the expense of any quality or interest.