Photographer sets panoramic photo record in Beijing
An Argentine-born photographer set a new world record in Beijing by using a special panoramic camera to take the longest photographic negative ever made, shot of Beijing’s Second Ring Road, Guinness World Records confirmed.
Esteban Pastorino Diaz broke the record by taking the 79.37-meter-long photographic film of the downtown ring road in China’s capital city in June. He shot the entire 32.7-kilometer length of the rectangleshaped road in one take.
Born and reared in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the 43-yearold photographer broke the Guinness World Record three days after arriving in Beijing on June 17.
The idea of shooting the entire Second Ring Road came from the agency 180China, an advertising agency in China, and Didi Kuaidi, an online taxi-hailing service and sponsor of the project along with Mercedes-Benz.
The agency heard of Pastorino’s previous record, set by creating the longest photographic negative, shot in downtown Buenos Aires in March 2012. It was 39.54 meters long.
They suggested Pastorino do the project in Beijing to “encourage people to rediscover the beauty of Beijing, a beauty that is usually missed due to the fast-paced life”, Pastorino told China Daily in an email.
The road, built in the 1980s and expanded in the 1990s, roughly follows the footprint of the old city wall, which was pulled down as part of the city’s modernization. It passes by many historic parts of the city.
There were lots of preparation to do, especially since the entire Second Ring Road covers a long distance that had to be photographed in a very narrow window of time when traffic was light.
Pastorino worked with a production company in China, Moto Production, before traveling to Beijing. They took videos and photos of the road and scouted the site to settle on which time of the day would be the best for shooting.
At 4 am on June 20, Pastorino and his crew hit the road. To capture the shot, their vehicle maintained a speed of 15 miles per hour. It took about an hour and a half.
The photographer designed the special panoramic camera used in 2010.
“I believe that extreme panoramas like this can give a closer feeling of a megacity like Beijing, depicting the different architecture and the tremendous size of the city. Something that is difficult to do with a single photograph of normal proportions,” he said in his email.
He first photographed the New York Marathon as a onepicture project in 2011. In 2012, for his record-setting shot of Buenos Aires, he created a 360-degree rotating camera and took a route through the city that lasted 14 minutes and 45 seconds. As his log says, the camera rotated 97.5 times on its axis throughout the route.
“I was always interested in bringing panoramic photography to its limits,” he said. “This kind of panoramic photography gives particular optical effects that are not present in other kinds of photography.
“The most particular is that there is not a single point of view, since the camera is continuously exposing the film and the car on which it’s mounted is constantly moving.”
In the photo, Beijing is shown from four sides in a single image. There are also some distortions due to the movement of the car.
Because the film took over an hour, the changes of light during the shooting right after the sunrise are very noticeable.
Pastorino’s work is widely exhibited in museums and in artistic publications. In 1993, he graduated as a mechanical technician, and after three years of studying mechanical engineering, he abandoned his studies and dedicated himself to his interest in photography, according to his website and his emailed answers to questions.
He studied advertising photography at the Academy Fotodesign in Buenos Aires. He was later selected as artist-inresidence for the Photographic Center of Skopelos in Greece, as well as at programs in the Netherlands, Spain and Finland.
His deep passion for photography has led him to also design and build every camera he uses.
He was able to visit Beijing only for a short time, but he hopes he can return soon to explore more aspects of the city.
“Doubtless the dynamics of the city are very complex and hard for a foreigner to understand in a few days. But at the same time, this makes the city more interesting since the city can be known on many levels,” he said.