For the past month or so I have been working on what will become my largest project to date…literally. I was asked to photograph the falls at Ryan Dam outside of Great Falls, Montana on the Missouri River to great travelers in Great Falls International Airport. The photograph will be printed on five large panels, each of which will be 7-feet tall and 11-feet wide. In other words, the final printed product will be a whopping 55-feet long.
Because the print will be so large I wanted the printer to have as many pixels as possible to work with. While it is true that my 22-megapixel camera could take one photograph to make this project work, I didn’t think it would produce the best image. So I ended up taking a total of 40+ overlapping images of the falls, each of which was exposed for 10 seconds, and then painstakingly each of those images together to create one master TIFF image that will end up being more than 40,000 pixels wide and 220 total megapixels.
Now, I have a relatively new computer with tons of processing power. I thought this would be an easy task for it to crunch, but as it turned out, this project was even daunting for my computer. The final size of the TIFF image consumes 1-1/2 gigabytes of hard drive space.
There’s still a bit of work to do before the photo is final and printed and hung inside Great Fall’s airport, but the hope is when it is done this Montana photography will be a stunning print everyone can enjoy.