I've just posted a full, 360-degree panoramic image of Piazza San Marco at night. Click here to see it. As you'll notice, the image is exceptionally wide. The Piazza is bathed in gold. The slow exposure fills the square with a nice mixture of ghosts and real people. There's the nightly battle of the bands between I Quadri and the Florian cafes.
I am in the process right now of printing this image out 2 X 20 feet large on an Epson Stylus 7800 printer. (It's whirring away in the background as I write). The Epson outputs astonishingly detailed prints that are completely indistinguishable from conventional photo prints. And of course, creating a 20 foot wide print is all but impossible using "conventional" darkroom techniques.
At the huge size, the print is quite emersive. For me, the miracle of Venice is the omnispheric, 360-degree nature of its beauty. It isn't a gasp from just one angle. It's on all sides of you. Everywhere you turn. Like the photo.
The drill this year is to mount a show and sell fine art prints. Mostly of Venice. Many images, especially the panoramics, have been hemmed up because of a bottleneck with the scanning and printing process. Scanning panoramic negatives is a bear, as only a few models can handle their whole length. And my previous printer topped out at a measly 44 by 19 inches, radically limiting panoramics. But in the last couple months, in addition to the Epson 7800 printer, I acquired an Imacon Flextight scanner. Together, these machines free genies from bottles.
The photo was shot with a Seitz Roundshot 35/35s. The Roundshot is mounted to a tripod and physically spins around in a circle in order to "look at" the whole scene. It took more than 2 minutes for the camera to complete its rotation, since the amount of light in the Piazza was low and it needed a long exposure time. I set up in the mathematical middle of the square on the left/right dimension, a spot that was easy to find because of the paving stone patterns.