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Epic Gigapixel Photo Of Birmingham Challenges London In Skyline Stakes

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In an Instagram-fuelled world where we're all just three clicks away from photographing and publishing whatever it is we see before us (usually food), it's gratifying to know that some photographs still take days and days to see the light of day. 

This is a gigapixel, a frighteningly big photo achieved thanks to four rows of 33 separately-taken shots meticulously stitched together, and many hours of waiting for the right moment. For the full effect, head here

Commissioned by John Lewis to launch their new Birmingham store (opens September 24), you can pan almost 180°  across the Brum skyline, as well as zoom into the tiniest of details. 

Photographer Will Pearson took the shot from the penthouse apartments of Brum's iconic Rotunda Tower, using a seriously pimped up medium format Hasselblad with a Phase One digital back and 300mm lens. It'll cost you. 

Pearson said: "It was a long wait. I arrived at the Rotunda in a storm that lasted deep into the night, but was lucky to have the perfect conditions at dawn."

Hot Air Balloon

One of our favourite finds from scouring the super high resolution image - which is also known as a deep zoom photo - is a hot air balloon above the trees to the far left of the cityscape, some 15 miles from where the photographer stood. 

And the other thing that's evident is how many damned seagulls Birmingham has. The nearest shoreline is over 100 miles from the West Midlands city. What the hell are they all doing there?

Big though the photo is it's dwarfed by Pearson's biggest ever shot, this monstrous 360° shot taken from the Shard, in London. Vertigo, all round? 

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