World’s Largest Pinhole Camera Takes World’s Largest Photo.
The Great Picture is a black and white panoramic print of Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, an old military outpost. The print measures 111 feet wide by 32 feet high on seamless white muslin cloth.
Created in 2006 by six artists using an abandoned F-18 hangar in Irvine, California, as a camera, not only did they create the world’s largest print photograph, they used the world’s largest pinhole camera to produce it. By light-sealing the hangar, and using the light sensitive cloth, the “camera” took a panoramic shot of the base. The image was originally produced as part of the Legacy Project, a photographic and historical record of the base before being transformed into what is now the Orange County Great Park.
After producing the negative, 80 volunteers helped with the development of the print in custom trays the size of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The Great Picture has been on display across the United States since 2007 and can currently be viewed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington until November 2014”. – Jeff Swartz. (Photos by Caters News)
The Great Picture memorializes a moment of radical change in photography. The image is a final marker at the end of 170 years of film/chemistry-based photography and the commencement of digital dominance. The photograph was made using an abandoned fighter jet aircraft hangar in Southern California transformed into a gigantic camera obscura—the world’s largest camera.
The Great Picture is the largest photograph ever made, but its meaning and import reaches far beyond size. The camera obscura technology and the hand-applied photosensitive emulsion bring The Great Picture full-circle back to photography’s origins. The scale of the undertaking and the image reinforce The Great Picture’s position as a marker of the border crossing as photography moves out of film and into pixels. It’s an extremely analog photograph, handmade in all respects, but within minutes of completion, extensive press coverage transmitted digital versions of the image across the world. “It’s a negative from the very beginning of photography and a digital positive. It’s the bracket. On one side, the infancy of photography and on the other, the technology revolution,” summarizes Carol McCusker of the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego.
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