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Working the GigaPan

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Contributing editor Jim Richardson is a photojournalist recognized for his explorations of small-town life. His photos appear frequently in National Geographic magazine.

Last night's guitar concert by Chris Proctor in Small World Gallery was another opportunity to explore what I can do with the GigaPan. The gallery was full, the music was great, the lighting was, well, moody (to be generous.) So while Chris was making his opening remarks I had the GigaPan set up on a tripod, with the built-in computer driving the camera around on 15 exposure, from which this picture was stitched together. (It was only two weeks ago that I was back at Carnegie Mellon learning about the whole GigaPan process and getting kitted out with a GigaPan outfit.)

Of course this picture doesn't do justice to the whole concept of the GigaPan. For the full effect go here. Then explore what others are doing with the GigaPan here. For a real eye-opener take a look at the hugely popular GigaPan image of the Obama inauguration.

The level of detail is amazing. What is more amazing is that you can do this with a pretty simple device (the GigaPan Epic) combined with most any point-and-shoot digital camera. And even more amazing (I know, I'm breathing a little heavy here) is that the entry price is $299! I can't think of any other under-$300 accessory that expands your photographic horizons as much as this.

The pricier GigaPan Epic 100 will set you back $449 but it will work with some of the smaller DSLRs. Might be worth it.

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