John Duarte and His Beginnings with Gigapan
John Duarte is a Los Angeles based photographer and video director whose work has been featured in major media outlets such as CNN, Huffington Post and Entertainment Weekly.
Although relatively new to Gigapan, Duarte has already used the Gigapan EPIC Pro for high-resolution landscape photography and has plans for time-lapse and virtual 360 degree virtual tours. His first gigapan, Los Angeles from Griffith Observatory, was shot in June 2013 and featured this beautiful lookout over the city at dusk.
“I'm new to creating gigapixel images, but Gigapan has definitely broadened my photography skills,” says Duarte. “Every time I go out and shoot with the EPIC Pro I discover a new technique that improves my workflow and image quality. It has made me hyper-aware of the really tiny details.”
Duarte was looking into buying a manual, nodal point, panohead when he discovered gigapan.com and the EPIC Pro. He began delving into the images on gigapan.com and became inspired. “I thought photographers were really pushing the envelope and I wanted to be a part of that community. I instantly came up with a bunch of projects I wanted to use the EPIC Pro for, and added it to my arsenal.”
His gigapans have so far covered the Los Angeles area, including the city and nearby landscapes, and Yosemite National Park.
“I found the EPIC Pro to be the best, most accurate, and quickest tool to get stitched, high resolution photos from a DSLR,” says Duarte. “It takes a lot of the technical aspects of shooting panoramas out of the equation and allows me to focus on being creative.”
Duarte publishes a new gigapan every few days on gigapan.com. He also shares his images on his blog, john-duarte.com/blog, and on multiple social media platforms like Instagram and Tumblr.
Duarte is inspired by fellow photographers, particularly those working in cinema, nature, and travel. “I'm always up for an adventure and I always make sure to bring my camera along.”
Favorite Gigapan Image
Duarte’s favorite gigapan is Yosemite Valley and Half Dome at sunset from Sentinel Rock. Captured during a week long trip to shoot gigapixel landscapes in Yosemite National Park, this gigapan was shot with the EPIC Pro and a Canon 5Dmark3 at F6.3 w/ 3 bracket exposures with a Canon 300mm f/4L IS lens.
Duarte particularly likes this image because of how well it captures the light at sunset, especially because dramatic light changes can be a challenge when shooting a gigapan. “I was pretty excited after I stitched this gigapan together and found that the gigapan's exposure stayed pretty consistent throughout the photo. The final gigapan really captured the feeling of being on the top of the mountain at sunset. I also had an encounter with a black bear and her two cubs on the hike back down. You could say I risked my life for this particular gigapan.”
Duarte has more plans for his EPIC Pro that tie into his studio work. “I love how versatile Gigapan is. I'm currently working on a project that involves combining studio shots with gigapan landscapes,” he says. “So far, the photos have an amazing and surreal quality to them.”
Next month, Duarte plans to take the EPIC Pro on a 10-mile hike to a remote Native American reservation in the Grand Canyon called Havasu Falls. He is also experimenting with the EPIC Pro and macro photography.
To see more of John Duarte’s gigapans, visit his profile on gigapan.com or view his portfolio at www.john-duarte.com.