Setting a record
The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. The setting for a world first in automotive photography. With a width of 104 metres and over 53 billion pixels in total, Bentley has created the world’s most extraordinary photograph of a car.
But not just any car.
The new Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase is the world’s finest handcrafted car. The pinnacle of the Bentley range, it was the perfect subject for Bentley’s first gigapixel image.
Gigapixel images are photographs so large that they comprise literally billions of pixels. Pictures of this size simply cannot be captured by normal means – they require specialist equipment and software, as well as teams of highly skilled people.
Bentley set out to create a single gigapixel image that would encompass both the epic bridge vista and the intricate nature of Bentley craftsmanship, ultimately displayed in such fine detail that the keen-eyed viewer can pick out the individual threads in the embroidered Bentley emblem on one of the front seats.
To achieve their aim, the bridge was photographed using a system originally designed by NASA, to enable its Mars Rovers to take the first panoramic photos of the red planet’s landscape.
On zooming in, the car’s sleek lines and exquisite duo-tone finish are revealed. Further zooming reveals not just the exterior brightware, but the handcrafted interior details that make it truly unique, culminating in a shot of a Bentley badge on the seat.
Having completed this journey into the depth of the image, viewers are invited to delve deeper still, with an interactive 360° exploration of the Mulsanne interior.
The Big Picture
The creation of the image was far from straightforward. To get the range of viewpoints necessary, a ten-strong team, led by acclaimed automotive photographer Simon Stock, captured the image as 697 smaller photographs, using three Nikon D810 cameras. Retouching the image conventionally would have proven impossible, due to the extreme file size involved. Consequently, it had to be broken, once again, into segments that could be handled by the studio computers, before final re-assembly.
The finished picture is believed to be the largest photo ever taken of a car – and it could even be the biggest picture ever used in an advertisement. It is certainly the most extraordinary.
Explore the image here