How Will Multi Gigapixel Camera’s Change Photography?

Find your way around the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai with this 2.3 gigapixel picture showing all the smallest detail. And here’s a 4.3 gigapixel one too.

And this is what Paul Melcher commented on his industry blog:

photograph that allows you to zoom in and out with incredible definition. The future of photography, right ? wrong.  This image actually denies the fundamental role of a photographer and photography.

Let me explain:  The fundamental role of a photographer, whether a journalist or a stock shooter, is framing. It is to apply upon a subject a very constraining boundary  in order to force the viewer to see exactly what  he wants to show. Nothing more, nothing less. A photograph points to a very specific and very well defined area. Even wide angle photography is a framed vision. The purpose of a photograph is to extract the meaning of a scene and one of its major tool is the scalpel-like defining frame. Rectangular, square, small, big, it doesn’t matter as long as it brings forth the essence of a scene. Or at least tries to.

The 2.3 Gigapixel photograph above does the exact opposite. It throws back on the viewer the burden of discovering a meaningful value to the image, if any. It annihilates the role of the photographer by capturing everything, thus capturing nothing.

Sure, as a tool for architects, or the military, it is certainly valuable. Also, as a novelty, it can attract some attention for a while. However, it will certainly not be a widely used tool for photographer.

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses