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Olympics Gigapan: Women’s Beach Volleyball

August 06, 2012 by David Bergman

A raucous crowd, DJ’s playing music after each point, and dancers on the sand during the breaks.

Add in some of the top female athletes in the world - wearing barely more than a bikini - and put the whole thing at Horse Guards Parade in the shadow of Big Ben.

That’s London 2012 Olympic women’s beach volleyball!

I’ve been producing super-high-resolution images at the Olympics since my opening ceremonies Gigapan, but this is one of my all-time favorites.


I created it during a match between the USA’s Jennifer Kessy and April Ross and Switzerland’s Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr.

I shot 200 frames using the 36-megapixel Nikon D800 and a 70-200mm lens zoomed to 200mm. Stitched together, the image resolution is 98,101 X 31,747.

That’s over three billion pixels, or 3.1 gigapixels.

You can zoom so far into the image that you can see what color Kessy painted her fingernails.


When I produce these, I shoot every frame manually so I can make sure to get exactly what I want in the frame. I also spend a lot of time on the computer overnight, compositing the image together and adding/removing elements as necessary.

See the full women’s Olympic beach volleyball Gigapan on the Sports Illustrated site.

Since opening ceremonies, I’ve also made Gigapans at gymnastics, swimming, and track and field. I have a few more planned, but this one is going to be tough to beat.

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