Text and pictures © 2006-2014 Guillaume Dargaud
Last updated on 2012/11/29
"Your nose is high-resolution while I live in a near-scentless fog." — Richard Summerbell, (Thank You For Being) My Dog.
People have long been asking me why I don't put up wallpapers in higher resolution than 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768. They are right, after all who uses a 640x480 VGA screen nowadays (except for cell phone users) ? Myself I have a 1920x1200 screen at home and something even bigger at work, so I can't blame you. The first reason is laziness (I have scripts that do that for me); the second one is greed: if you want higher resolution, pay 50¢ for it; good large images get pirated (sorry, 'have their copyright infringed') quickly; and a final reason is that I think there are very few images that deserve such huge resolutions.
Hyped-up resolution is all this is about. The images below cannot be obtained from the cameras I owe. So how does this work ? I zoom in and take an array of images of my target, then assemble them in appropriate stitching software. Such software is usually meant to create panoramas, but it will work just as well if your resulting image is square.
Of course, you could just purchase a higher resolution camera, but the advantages of this method are the following: it increases the resolution in proportion to the number of images taken; it also goes around lens quality limitations; it can improve the dynamic range is you are careful. The main drawback is that you can only photograph static objects (landscape, art...). And if you resample down the result to a normal size (as shown here), then the noise becomes truly insignificant.
So here are 4 of my highest resolution images. Just click a thumbnail to display the large one below. It may take a while to load each large image, so please be patient. And if you want another high resolution image, there's a panorama of the early morning on the east face of the Vercors.
Left: The west face of Mt Aiguille, Vercors, seen in the evening. Resolution: 8655*5488: 47 megapixels. The image you see below is a one-ninth reduction of the original.
Right: The 'Barre des Ecrins' in the evening, in the Ecrins Range as seen from Roche Faurio. The path taken by the climbers is clearly visible. Resolution: 13011*8250: 107 megapixels. The image you see below is a one-sixteenth reduction of the original.
Click any of the thumbnails to see it in large below. You also want to press the [F11] key to enlarge you window.
Right: A panorama of Tsaranoro performed with 3 lines of images (instead of the usual unique line). Resolution: 25396*5619: 142 megapixels. The image you see below is a one-ninth reduction of the original. I had to proceed quickly in order to avoid having the shadow shift between the shots.
Left: The main wall of Tsaranoro, Madagascar. Resolution: 15372*10360: a whooping 160 megapixels ! The image you see below is a one-sixteenth reduction of the original.
Right: Zoomed in view of the Great Temple and Temenos at the antique city of Petra, Jordan. Resolution: 8223*4042: 31 megapixels. The image you see below is a one-quarter reduction of the original.