Stunning ‘gigalapse’ shows London in detail as it changes throughout a day

london gigalapse 24 hours gigapixel time lapse
Visualise

We’ve explored plenty of incredible gigapixel shots over the years, and we’ve enjoyed lots of creative time-lapse sequences, too.

Now, the two formats have now been combined to produce what you might want to call a “gigalapse.”

The panorama was shot in February this year from atop 1 Canada Square — the U.K.’s second-tallest building.

Called “24 Hour London,” the ambitious project was made possible by Nikon, creator group Visualise, and contact lens outfit Lenstore.

As the project’s name suggests, the final image drifts through one entire day in the capital. The website that presents the work comprises 24 images — one for each hour of the day — each with 7.3 gigapixels, or 7,300 megapixels. To put that in perspective, check how many megapixels your smartphone shots contain (hint: probably around 12).

The huge pixel count means viewers can zoom into the shot to see buildings and other features in impressive detail, while also enjoying the changing colors of the cityscape as the day progresses.

Visualise’s Henry Stuart, who organized the shoot, used a Nikon D850 camera with a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm lens mounted on a robotic motion-control device to capture a total of 6,240 photos across a 155-degree view.

During each hour throughout the 24-hour period, the camera snapped 260 images in precisely the same way to ensure the final stitched image offered smooth transitions for the viewer.

Speaking to the Evening Standard about the creation of the gigapixel time-lapse, Stuart said one of the main challenges was the blustery conditions at the top of the building, which stands 236 meters high (about 774 feet).

“We needed a head that was heavy enough to mitigate the wind shaking the camera, and accurate enough for us to stitch the images together in exactly the same way for all the images,” the photographer said.

To explore the gigapixel time-lapse, drag on it to move around the city, and zoom in to see it in greater detail. The time will advance automatically, though you can hit pause to freeze it, or use the time slide-bar to see the city at a specific time of day.

And if you feel like some more London-based time-lapse fun, check out this video offering a glimpse inside the cockpit of an aircraft coming in to land at London City Airport.

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