Interactive: Spot yourself at the National Day Parade

The Straits Times has produced a high-resolution panorama of the National Day Parade crowd at the floating platform, where each face in the photo can be zoomed into.

The gigapixel consists of 752 images shot with a 500mm lens. The panorama required special equipment, including a robotic camera mount called a gigapan, several dry runs and even certification to work from heights.

To capture the shot, a camera with a telephoto lens was placed onto the mount, which moved the camera in precise movements to make successive overlapping photos that were stitched together later.

Straits Times executive photographers Ong Wee Jin and Mark Cheong spent months preparing for the crucial moment on Aug 9.

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Mr Ong first approached the NDP executive committee with the idea in May, while Mr Cheong went on a course and was certified to work at heights. To get the shot, he climbed a 23m-tall tower, one of four that support the LED screens on the main stage at The Float @ Marina Bay.

"Numerous tests were done with the camera and gigapan, both at the office and the platform, to make sure all would pan out smoothly," said Mr Cheong.

The gigapan took over an hour to shoot from 5.30pm to 6.50pm, and there was the challenge of varying light levels due to the setting sun.


ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

 

ST picture editor Stephanie Yeow and Mr Ong spent two days stitching the photos together.

The ST Digital team, including senior creative director Rodolfo Pazos and journalist Rebecca Pazos, created the interface that allowed users to zoom in.

Ms Yeow said: "It was a very intense last few weeks but it has been exhilarating seeing the result."

Said ST digital editor Ong Hwee Hwee: "Readers wrote to us, saying they really appreciated the time and effort we took to recreate this giant family portrait of each and everyone who turned up for Singapore's birthday bash."

•Check out the panorama at http://str.sg/ndpspotme

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 13, 2017, with the headline 'Spot yourself at NDP'. Print Edition | Subscribe