Destinations Central & South America

This may be the best photograph of Machu Picchu ever posted on the Internet

Nov 15, 2012 10:31 am

Skift Take

The Incan citadel is on a list of endangered heritage sites due to environmental eroding, but photographers like Cremer and Google Street will make sure the monument lives forever on the web.

— Samantha Shankman

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Jeff Cremer  / PeruNature.com

Jeff Cremer, Destin, and Gordon McGladdery during the shooting of the Machu Picchu sequence. Jeff Cremer / PeruNature.com


A photo with perhaps the highest resolution of any image ever captured of Machu Picchu has been posted online.

At 15.9 gigapixels (one gigapixel is equivalent to 1000 megapixels), the image of the Inca citadel allows viewers to see the site in impressive detail.

The online image was taken using a Canon 7D with a 400mm lens. It actually consists of 1,920 pictures taken using a robotic camera mount, which were then stitched together. The photographer was Jeff Cremer, the photo tour director of Rainforest Expeditions, a tour operator that specialises in trips to Peru. He believes his image is the highest resolution picture of the World Heritage site that has ever been taken.

View the complete 15.9 gigapixel image here

“In 2008, the World Monuments Fund placed it [Machu Picchu] on its Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world due to environmental degradation mostly from tourism,” he said.

“I believed that this extraordinary site deserved a remarkable photo to hopefully raise awareness and help in its preservation.”

He pinpoints his favourite part of the image as the person standing on top of one of the mountains in the background.

“Before I explored the image I never even knew that it was possible to climb up there,” he said.

Mr Cremer, who is originally from Colorado in the USA, is now based in Lima. When he is not taking high resolution photographs, he leads tours for aspiring photographers into remote parts of Peru.

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