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About Us

Alfred Zhao and His World Record Image

Alfred Zhao, Ph.D., inspired by beautiful landscapes, shoots large-scale gigapixel images while traveling the world and uses GigaPan because, as he states, we best capture the natural beauty and depth of the places he visits.

An IT professional, Dr. Zhao is interested in high-performance parallel computing; and with photography as his favorite hobby, gigapixel image stitching, post processing, viewer presentation, feature extraction, and storage solutions are perfect subjects for his research. “Being able to bridge the technology gap between computing and photography is my passion,” he says.

Why GigaPan

To Dr. Zhao, GigaPan’s offering of panoheads, stitch software, website services, and an online social network is a great platform and top choice for many photographers, suitable for both hobbyists and professionals.

As the EPIC Pro motor is strong enough to support a digital SLR with up to a 400mm lens and has a user interface which is flexible to expand and easy to use, Dr. Zhao says the hardware has the best value compared to other robotic panoramic heads.

His set up includes the EPIC Pro and a Canon 7D with a wide range of prime lenses. Some of his favorites are the Canon 85mm F1.2 and Canon 180mm F3.5 Macro. “I can shoot a set of 400 images within 10 minutes,” Dr. Zhao says. “That efficiency fits perfectly in a compact travel schedule.”

He posts all of his gigapixel images on GigaPan.com for viewing, exploring and sharing because “GigaPan web technology is stable and well maintained. In gigapixel image display, even though there are many other solutions, the most widely used and accepted is GigaPan.”

Dr. Zhao also benefits from the GigaPan.com social network, which is very active, knowing that almost all image contributors use GigaPan hardware and are eager to share their images and comment on each others work.

Favorite GigaPan

Dr. Zhao’s favorite GigaPan image is his famous Shanghai Skyline, which, at 272 gigapixels, held the record for the world’s largest image from December 2010 until February 2013, and still remains the largest image shot by a single camera. If printed, the Shanghai Skyline image would be the size of 7,000 billboards. The image was taken in May 2010 using the EPIC Pro and a Canon 7D with a Canon 400mm lens and 2X teleconverter.

“It was a big challenge to shoot this image as I was trying to explore the technology limitation. The latest world record utilized four panorama heads shooting at the same time. For a single head, it will be very hard to set another record.”

More than two years after the Shanghai Skyline image was created, it still remains one of the most popular images on GigaPan.com. Viewers love the image because it captures a variety of surprises and hidden objects within one of the most populated cities in the world. In addition, a viewer can scroll and click through a massive 830+ snapshots created by users and fans.

Dr. Zhao says the Shanghai Skyline GigaPan image was not the end of his panorama journey and he plans to continue to challenge the limit as new records appear. He is exploring locations to shoot another world record image using GigaPan technology and welcomes suggestions. In addition, anyone interested in participating or contributing to this endeavor can contact Dr. Zhao at rongkai.zhao@gmail.com.

More About the Artist

To see more of Alfred Zhao’s GigaPan images, visit his profile on GigaPan.com or view his portfolio. A few of his other favorite GigaPan images are Great Wall, Wu Yuan - Vegetable Garden in Yan Tian Village and Farming Fields - Kauai - Hawaii.