| Take Me Out To The Ballgame!
chicago architectural photographer, photography, architecture, photographer, interior design, furniture
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Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Earlier this year I got a call from Valspar Paint, who happen to be a sponsor of our beloved Chicago Cubs.  They were redoing their offices and they wanted to put a mural of Wrigley Field on one of their walls.  The idea was to create the feeling that you were at the game.

All right, I thought, I can do that.

The image was going to end up being 9 feet by 12 feet and they really didn’t want to print it at any less than 150 dpi.

All right… I think I can do that.

So here’s what we knew: the final image would have to be around one GB to meet our print size.  Even with my P65+,  I was going to need several images — 14 in fact!  I planned on two rows of exposures, seven shots each to stitch together.  For verticals I would just use the shift on the camera back; 35mm up and 35mm down.  That’s asking a lot of movement from most digital formula lenses. Fortunately my Rodenstock 90mm HR – W was up to the task and would be wide enough (given seven panels) to give me the composition we wanted.  There’s not a lens on the planet that would have had a big enough image circle and stayed sharp enough to do the whole thing without panning (which would have been ideal).  Going from side to side, I would simply have to rotate the camera.  Now the trick would be to attain a perfectly level pan over about 90 degrees.  Enter the Arca Swiss Cube Tripod Head!  I’d been looking for an excuse to buy this thing for months.  Sure it would cost nearly as much as I was going to clear on the assignment, but then I would have a REALLY nice tripod head.  Easy!

We wanted to catch from the left foul pole to home plate.  We had some lovely box seats that didn’t really afford the perfect view for the shot, so we traded those with some fairly buzzed college boys who were all too happy to make the exchange.  Once we got into our seats,  I set up the camera and started looking at different lenses to see which would give us the perspective we wanted in seven panels.  I started with the 55mm.  Nope.  Way too wide!  Then the 70mm…still wide.  The 90mm?  Really?  I never would of guessed we’d go that long… alrighty!  Below is the final, stitched and retouched 14 panel image.

And here is a 100% Crop from the scoreboard/bleachers…

I could NOT believe the detail we ended up getting out of this thing!  And let me tell you, if there’s one thing that will convince you to buy a new 12 Core Mac Pro, it’s trying to stitch together (14) 60 megapixel images.

All in all, this was really a lot of fun.  I love a technical challenge and this was one of the hardest I’ve faced.  Patsy and I had a great day at the ballgame and the clients were just great to work with.  Take me out to the ballgame anytime!


  • Peter Barnes
    Posted at 06:48h, 26 August

    Well done Christopher. That is amazing detail. How do you deal with the movement of people between shots in a stitched pano like this?

  • chris
    Posted at 10:57h, 03 September

    That was actually no easy task, Peter. Mostly I stuck to the aisles, where there were the fewest people, to blend my layers. I spent several hours masking the whole thing.