Absolutely breathtaking photo of the Presidential inauguration

By now I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of photo and video material of the inauguration of our 44th President.

The picture you see above it probably no different from any of the other of 1000’s made that day.

There is however one big difference – it is a whopping 1,474 megapixels. For comparison – your home camera probably shoots in 7 or 8 megapixels.

Of course, a massive photo is useless without some fancy tricks to help view it, so click here to view the original, and use your mouse or keyboard to scroll around or zoom in – you’ll be able to zoom in far enough to see who in the crowds around President Obama was bored, and who was freezing their backside off in the frigid DC weather.

The photo was made by David Bergman with a regular Canon G10 camera, mounted on a Gigapan robotic mount. The final image is built around 220 different photos, and took almost 7 hours to create on his Mac.

If you are feeling creative, and want to make your own panoramic photos, you can buy your own Gigapan robotic mount for just $279.

The Birds Nest 360

I’ve seen a lot of photos of this years Beijing Olympics, but none of them impressed me as much as this massive panoramic photo made by Finnish photographer Kari Kuukka.

You’ll need to be patient when the photo loads, on my fast connection it still took almost a minute. Once the counter reaches 100%, use your mouse to drag the picture around, for a 360 degree image of the men’s 100 meter finals.

If you see something in the image you’d like to get a closer look at, use your SHIFT and CTRL buttons to zoom in or out. If you turn the image around, you’ll get up close and personal with some comedic photo journalists making funny faces, and if you look “down”, you’ll see the dome of the panoramic camera used to make this amazing photo.

(Image source: Kari Kuukka)

A screensaver that can make frequent fliers feel at home?

One of the signs that you are flying too much, is when you can’t sleep in your own bed without the soothing background noise of a jet engine, or when you find yourself looking out your bedroom window and feeling annoyed that all you see is the street, and not puffy clouds.

If you fit that description, then I suggest checking out Holding Pattern “First Class”. Holding Pattern is a screensaver for the Mac and PC that shows panoramic scenery from 57 different flight routes. The program has some of the worlds prettiest shots, including aerial photography of New Zealand, the Sahara, the Great Barrier Reef and Mount Rainier.

The photo you see above, is a real snapshot of how amazing the application looks. True flight junkies can turn on engine noise, set the time zone of the images, the flight path, the cruising speed and even the plane population (imagine being able to turn off seatmates in real life!). If you are lucky enough to have more than one monitor, you can even stretch the view over multiple screens.

Holding Pattern costs just $17.95, but you can get a taste of how nice it looks with their free version, Holding Pattern “Coach Class”. Of course, since this is a free version, you don’t get as many features, and only 15 different aerial views. Once you’ve installed this, you’ll probably be like me, and upgrade to first class right away!

You can download Holding Pattern here, just don’t blame me if you spend all day at work staring at your approach into LAX, instead of getting some real work done.

360Cities: Panos of Some of the World’s Coolest Places

360Cities provides panoramic tours of several of the world’s major cities. Mashed with Google Earth for easy searching, the site features panoramas of restaurants, landmarks, hotels, bars, shops, places for rent, and more. Currently, 360Cities currently features the following destinations:

  • Prague
  • Moscow
  • Venice
  • Vienna
  • LA
  • Belgrade
  • and Syria (I know it’s not a city)

However, they’re adding more cities regularly. Personally, I’d like to see more detailed descriptions about the locations profiled in each city. I imagine that’s coming. In the meantime, the site is a cool way to explore a city before visiting.

[Via Neatorama]

The Coolest Picture Ever

I saw this image shortly after I woke up this morning, and it did several things:

  • It made me smile — because it’s beautiful.
  • It made me frown — because I have to work indoors today.
  • It made me want to share it with you — because it is, indeed, the coolest picture ever.

Tristan “Shu” Lebeschu is a photographer who makes “action panoramas.” When you click over to check out the full image, don’t forget to rotate the image around; the real surprise in the image is behind you.

So amazingly cool.