Pho­tog­ra­pher sets panoramic photo record in Bei­jing

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHANG YUCHEN zhangyuchen@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

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