Tuesday, November 1, 2011

MLB Postseason Gigapans!

In October 2011, I flew just over 9000 miles ... 
from New York/Orlando/Dallas/Milwaukee/Tampa/St Louis/Orlando to St Louis. 
That is easily the most travel that I have done in a one month period. 
St Louis Cardinals manager Tony Larussa speaks during the World Series Celebration

Shooting panoramic gigapan photos from the entire 2011 Major League Baseball playoff run was an amazing experience. My friend, David Bergman, a leader in the use of gigapan photography, brought me on board to help him tackle this MLB project. We were tasked to shoot gigapans of every MLB playoff game during the 2011 postseason. What an assignment!
For those who do not know, the gigapan is a device that helps you to take extremely detailed panoramics by stitching together hundreds of photos together. You just program the device with the scene you want to capture, and you let it go!

The St Louis Cardinals World Series Celebration

Most of the images that I made were comprised of about 300 to 400 images (each one, shot with a Nikon D700, a 12 megapixel file) and stitched together the file is easily in excess of a 4 gigabyte file.  The amazing thing is that online you will see the wide shot of the baseball game, but you are able to zoom in and see people in the stands and, if you connect with Facebook, you can also tag yourself and your Facebook friends. Of course, the art of the gigapan is subtle. Anyone can get a gigapan on and let it shoot, but are the players in the right spot? Are they duplicated somewhere else on the field? Is there a real moment on the field of play?

Fans at Game 6 

On October 27th, I witnessed World Series game 6. In addition to seeing one of the greatest postseason games ever, I was the first person to ever shoot a World Series gigapan from behind home plate. Normally, the position has to be in dead center field because the goal is to showcase as many fans as possible. I was able to shoot from behind home plate because for games 6 and 7, David and I produced "dueling" gigapans from opposite sides so that we could virtually photograph everyone in the stadium. 

World Series Game 6 - Texas Rangers at St Louis Cardinals . All the blue squares represent all the people who tagged themselves on Facebook. 

This web feature has been very popular with the fans who pop onto the MLB.com website. According to a recent USA Today newspaper story, the use of this technology has driven over 100,000 page views on MLB.com this season. Here is a link to the 2011 MLB Tagoramics that David and I produced this postseason. 

A photo of me from World Series Game 7.  This is from David Bergman's gigapan from home plate.


  1. Hi! I'm wondering if there is a way to buy a panoramic print of the STL Cardinals World Series Game 7, such as this tagoramic picture: http://mlb.mlb.com/photos/gigapan/?gpId=11f9db11955753aba04fad20eed44009&c_id=stl. Thanks!

  2. I was at Game 6 and remember finding myself in the pic when it was still on the Cardinals' website. Is it still available somewhere? I would love to find myself in the pic again, and blow it up on part of a wall in my Cards-themed basement if at all possible. Please let me know. ssschoeffel@gmail.com.