The Largest Photograph in the World on View Sept 6-29

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The Great Picture

The world’s largest photo – 107 x 31ft – will be exhibited from September 6 to 29, 2007 with a premier showing at the Art Center College of Design, South Campus Wind Tunnel, Pasadena, California.

“The Great Picture” – as it’s aptly titled – was made with the oldest photographic techniques available: a pinhole camera and “film.”

The “pinhole camera” was a converted jet aircraft hangar using 24,000 square feet of six mil black viscuine; 1,300 gallons foam gap filler; 1.52 miles of two-inch wide black gorilla tape; and 40 cans of black spray paint to darken the box. The aperture size was a one-quarter-inch (6mm) pinhole 15 feet above ground, with no lenses.

What served as film was a 1200-pound seamless and unbleached muslin specially ordered from Germany and 80 liters of Rockland Liquid Light – a gelatin silver black and white sensitizer hand-painted onto the fabric under safelight illumination.

The humungous photograph was developed in 600 gallons of traditional black-and-white developer and 1,200 gallons fixer delivered by ten high-volume submersible pumps onto a custom Olympic pool-sized developing tray.

The finished photo measured 107 feet and 5 inches by 31 feet and 5 inches (32.6 x 9.6 meters) or 3,375 square feet in area. That’s about three stories high by eleven stories wide.


Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.