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About the project Giga Sofia

  The Giga Sofia project began in 2010 with the 3 gigapixel photo taken from Mount Kamen Del. This was my second climb to the top because the pictures from the day before turned out to be absolutely unusable. And besides the better result at the second attempt, I thought I had failed again. For objective reasons, I had only one week to prepare and capture the images. There was no way I could chance upon the ideal weather and reach the ultimate synchronization of my equipment, half of which was borrowed. However, I decided to upload the result to the Internet. During the first days, the site reached more than 5,000 unique visitors per day.

For me was the memory of meeting a bear in the woods, which growled to me twice and threw me into thinking where to pass on my return.

 Giga Sofia 2014 is the result of a much longer preparation. For these four years, modern equipment developed in the desired direction for me – cameras with more megapixels, super telephoto lenses at affordable prices, more powerful computers and more accessible web interface for mobile devices. I had more time for experiments and waiting for suitable weather conditions. So, on October 1, in the last clear day of 2014 and with the recently purchased Tamron 150-600 mm and UDAP Bear Deterrent Pepper Spray, I managed to climb Mount Kamen Del at around 2:40 p.m. together with my friend Stefan, who had previously asked me to call him if I was to make photos. Unfortunately, despite the preparation there were surprises. I had taken into account the time of the sunset, but I had not envisioned that before the sunset the mountain will begin to cast a shadow. I improvised on the go by changing the camera settings and managed to compensate the shade to some extent. While I was shooting the panorama, for the first time in my life light entered through the viewfinder and that made pink and green lights appear on some of the dark images. Thankfully, that affected only a minor part of the final picture.

 Naturally, I make plans for more detailed images of Sofia, although I have almost reached the theoretical maximum, which is about 80 gigapixels for this view. Even if I use the best optics for Nikon, I will need more than perfect weather to benefit from it.

 Mount Kamen Del, located in close proximity to the city of Sofia, presents a rare chance for the lovers of gigapixel images. There is no building in the world to provide a view from a height of 1300 meters. I do not know of any other gigapixel picture that has captured a metropolis together with the surrounding villages and towns in such depth. Though slightly visible, one can even see the silhouettes of some mountains in Serbia, distant at 110 km!


About Giga Sofia 2014:

date and time taken: 14:40 - 17:00, 1st of October 2014
date of publishing: 7th of December 2014
panorama range: 180.55° X 26.61°
frames: 2288
frame resolution: 6000 X 4000 pixels
format of output file: PSB
size of output file: 86.4GB
resolution of output file: 470 000 X 69 270 = 32 556 900 000 pixels
resolution of spherical projection: 31 454 632 431 pixels
camera: Nikon D7100
lens: Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD
focal length: ~582mm(actual maximum) x 1.532 crop = ~891mm
camera settings: 1/320 - 1/640 сек; f/13; ISO 250;
robotic panoheads: Gigapan Epic Pro
computer: Asus Rog G5550JK, Intel Core i7-4700HQ, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 250GB SSD + 1TB HDD
stitching software: PTGui Pro
panorama viewer: Krpano

About Giga Sofia 2010:

date and time taken: 14:03 - 14:57, 10 Август 2010г
date of publishing: 24th of August 2010
panorama range: 172.25° X 22.44°
fames: 684
frame resolution: 4288px X 2848px
format of output file: PSB
size of output file: 9.4GB
resolution of output file: 161 606 X 21 062 pixels = 3 403 745 572 pixels
resolution of spherical projection: 3 365 426 863 pixels
camera: Nikon D300
lens: Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR
focal length: 300mm X 1.52 = 456mm
camera settings: 1/1250 сек; f/9; ISO 500;
robotic panoheads: Gigapan Epic Pro
computer: Gigabyte GA-7ZMMH, 2x512MB SDRAM
stitching software: PTGui Pro
panorama viewer: Krpano