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Author Topic: Mount Everest, in two billion pixels  (Read 3400 times)
dmerger
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« on: December 19, 2012, 06:34:16 AM »
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/18/photo-mount-everest-in-two-billion-pixels/
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 11:55:31 AM »
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2 billion pixels of mediocre lighting conditions.
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John E
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 09:31:13 PM »
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Thanks for the link, Dean. When I first looked at the photo, I thought -- meh. But when you enlarge it, and see the multitude of tents and other structures in the valley, wow. Now I will be able to visualize the problem when I read stories about the crowds of people all trying to climb the mountain. Unreal.

John
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Petrus
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 12:07:21 AM »
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2 billion pixels of mediocre lighting conditions.

The skies are a bit foggy, but that is normal in the spring season when the expeditions are there. Getting the gigapanorama rig up there little ways up Pumori is not all that easy, and waiting for a perfect light is uncomfortable, to say the least. Looks like the picture was taken around 9 or 10 in the morning, at the latest, and the clouds get worse after that.

If you turn the panorama all the way to the right and follow the darker ridge line up from the glacier, about half way up are some scientific instruments, prayer flags and a few people (zoom in to the max). That is the "Kala Pattar" viewpoint most Everest trekkers go to to take a picture of the mountain.

In April -85 I actually climbed to the hanging glacier, Lho La pass, straight above the Base Camp. An American expedition from Denver was attempting the West Ridge route to the summit, and they let me carry a 10 kg load of macaroni to camp 1. After that I have visited the EBC 3 times, in -98, -00 and -09.

It is also possible to see lines of climbers and camp 3 if you follow the left side of the broken glacier in the V-shaped wall above the notorious Khumbu Icafall, between the dark face of Everest and the sharp and tall looking Nuptse. There is also a clear trail up and over the smooth section to the left leading to the West Col where camp 4 is located. Either the camp is not up yet or it is blocked from view from here, it is visible from Kala Pattar with binoculars or long telephoto. There are also a couple of guys at the icefall, at the edge of the shadow on the left, almost exactly half way up.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 02:28:00 AM »
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2 billion pixels of mediocre lighting conditions.

I am inclined to agree. Just because its 2 billion pixels doenst make it good. Its interesting.. but the photo on the whole.. meh... Ive seen way better of Everest.
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Petrus
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 03:25:16 AM »
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I have certainly also seen artistically better ones with better light and deeper sky (might have taken some myself), but this has more detail than anything I have seen before. That is the interesting bit.
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francois
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 08:19:19 AM »
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I am inclined to agree. Just because its 2 billion pixels doenst make it good. Its interesting.. but the photo on the whole.. meh... Ive seen way better of Everest.

Actually, I don't see this as an artistic rendition of Mount Everest but mostly as a documentary shot. I wouldn't hang it in my living room!
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Francois
dmerger
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2012, 11:50:23 AM »
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Yes, the light is mediocre, but the photo is a composite of 477 photos taken over a long period of time (months/years depending on what source you read).  So, mediocre light was probably necessary.  Moreover, the purpose wasn’t artistic, but to document the current state of glaciers in the Himalayas and how the mountains and those glaciers are being affected by climate change.

As stated above, you need to zoom in to really appreciate the beauty of the photo.  To me, the photo is beautiful in its own way.

BTW, the headline for the photo is wrong.  The actual photo is 3.8 billion pixels.  

Here is another link with some more info about the photo.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/nepal/9757538/Mount-Everest-in-stunning-four-billion-pixel-image-detail.html
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Dean Erger
Petrus
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 01:26:32 PM »
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Yes, the light is mediocre, but the photo is a composite of 477 photos taken over a long period of time (months/years depending on what source you read).  

Absolutely not a long period of time, but taken from one spot without touching the tripod and as fast as possible. There are special motorized tripod heads which turn the camera with a long lens (300mm in this case) and record the angle and position for automatic stitching. Reporters writing the articles do not understand these things.
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shaunw
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2012, 02:00:04 PM »
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Ummm ...well the technology and technical aspects of the image make good reading about...the image itself is nothing more than a hikers snap for me, pleasant enough but fails to evoke any significant emotion.
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Canon 5D mk II Sigma 10-20, Canon 17-40mm L, Canon 24-105mm L, Canon 70-200 L, Lee Filters, Manfrotto geared head/tripod.

''Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop''. – Ansel Adams
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usathyan
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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2012, 02:19:15 PM »
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Thanks for the 2nd link...I was looking and looking for people int he first image, and couldn't locate them...the 2nd link explains where to look! holy crap! This everest thing is no fun! The sense of scale in this simply incredible....This is one amazing thing!
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dmerger
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 02:26:00 PM »
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Absolutely not a long period of time, but taken from one spot without touching the tripod and as fast as possible. There are special motorized tripod heads which turn the camera with a long lens (300mm in this case) and record the angle and position for automatic stitching. Reporters writing the articles do not understand these things.

Your explanation makes more sense than what I read.  Given how the light must change due to clouds, time of day, year etc., I wondered how they got the photo to look like it was taken in one shot.
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Dean Erger
Petrus
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2012, 12:44:16 AM »
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Your explanation makes more sense than what I read.  Given how the light must change due to clouds, time of day, year etc., I wondered how they got the photo to look like it was taken in one shot.

Here is one version of those motorized panorama/stitching heads: http://www.kolor.com/panogear-motorized-panoramic-head.html  The video is quite educational and not too long.

Doing stitches the size of this one is impractical to do manually, what if you miss one shot? I do not know which head they used, but I eat my hat if they did not use a motorized head for a project like this.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 12:47:20 AM by Petrus » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2012, 06:41:45 PM »
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He also did this project to produce a 3D navigable image

http://youtu.be/RSdnJiBCcX8
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kencameron
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2012, 07:03:05 PM »
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2 billion pixels of mediocre lighting conditions.
I think comments like this, while correct as far as they go, are missing the point. You aren't supposed to experience these shots by looking at them as whole images on your monitor as you would a traditional photograph of Everest. The idea is rather to zoom in to many different parts of the image, often and over an extended period of time, as you would if you at the chosen viewpoint with plenty of time and a good pair of binoculars. Considered in that way the lighting conditions aren't that important (although better would be nicer) and the image contains an infinite number of traditional shots whose aesthetic qualities are under the control of the viewer. Adjust what is on your screen to make something nicely composed, if that is your main interest. Or plan a line up a face if you are thinking as a climber. Or use it to do science about glacier melt, as is apparently its main purpose. It is a new paradigm and there is a lot of pleasure and interest to be missed if we think of it simply as a traditional landscape photograph.
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Jaffy
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« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2012, 07:08:45 AM »
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Thanks for posing, I've spent a couple of hours looking at this.
I spent a lot of time as a kid sat on hills with binoculars.

The figures between camps 2 and 3 give a great sense of scale.
I love the geology and the small details; above Petrus' "Kalar Pattar" at about 11 o'clock there is a group of tents on a peak.
To keep kids occupied on christmas you can ask them to find the mountaineer using the ice ladder.
I've even seen what looks like a cat on a rock.  Grin
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Petrus
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2012, 09:03:24 AM »
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I love the geology and the small details; above Petrus' "Kalar Pattar" at about 11 o'clock there is a group of tents on a peak.

That must be Lobuche East, which is a "trekking peak", a relatively easy climb with easy to get permit, $350/4 climbers. This would be he high camp for those who want to get all the way to the summit along the ridge to the right/west.
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OldRoy
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2012, 11:20:44 AM »
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Well, aesthetic considerations aside, I just zoomed right in and I believe I've located Andrew Irvine's "Vest Pocket Kodak" camera. Anyone care to underwrite my trip to recover it?
Roy
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Petrus
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2012, 11:34:22 AM »
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Well, aesthetic considerations aside, I just zoomed right in and I believe I've located Andrew Irvine's "Vest Pocket Kodak" camera. Anyone care to underwrite my trip to recover it?
Roy

Amazing! He did a traverse to the south side? I think you can safely just take a big loan and get your money back after you return with the camera.
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francois
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2012, 04:52:46 AM »
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…I believe I've located Andrew Irvine's "Vest Pocket Kodak" camera.…

Finally!
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Francois
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