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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The World's Largest Photograph ~ Now on Display!

The Great Picture is the world’s largest photograph produced by the world’s largest camera. It is also the world’s largest statement, literally and metaphorically, about the role that photography plays in our society. The Great Picture will be on view at the Culver Center of the Arts ( Riverside, California) from July 16 to October 8, 2011, with a reception on July 16 from 6 to 9pm.

On July 12, 2006, six photographers (Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada), unveiled what Guinness World Records plans to categorize and certify as the world's largest camera and photograph.
The 3,552-square-foot photograph was made to mark the end of 165 years of film/chemistry-based photography and the start of the age of digital photography.

A decommissioned Marine Corps jet hangar was transformed into the world's largest camera to make the world's largest picture. The hangar-turned-camera recorded a panoramic image of what was on the other side of the door using the centuries-old principle of "camera obscura" or pinhole camera. An image of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station appeared upside down and flipped left to right on film after being projected through the tiny hole in the hangar's metal door. The "film" is a 32 feet (9.8 m) by 111 feet (34 m) piece of white fabric - one-third the length of a football field and about three stories tall - covered in 20 gallons (75.71 liters) of light-sensitive emulsion as the "negative".

After exposing the fabric for 35 minutes the image was developed by 80 volunteers using a giant custom-made tray of vinyl pool liner. Development employed 600 gallons (2271 liters) of black-and-white developer solution and 1,200 gallons (4542 liters) of fixer pumped into the tray by ten high volume pumps. Print washing used fire hoses connected to two fire hydrants. The hangar/camera will eventually be torn down, so the photographers jokingly state that they have also made the world's largest disposable camera. [wiki]

The Details:
Approximate size of image: 30 x 110 feet
Approximate aperture: 6mm
Developing materials: 200 gallons of traditional B&W developer, 400 gallons of fixer
Total weight of canvas and rigging: 1,200 pounds.

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