Take a look at that photo above. Seems pretty standard, right? Well, zoom in. And keep zooming. There’s an incredible degree of detail at work, and you won’t start appreciating it until you realize this camera captured not just a city but its people in exacting degree.


The photo is the work of one Jeffrey Martin, and there’s a lot more to it than you might at first realize. Martin took two days to shoot the photo and four months to edit together every image he shot. In fact, how he put the image together is almost as interesting as the image itself.

First, Martin had to get permission from the Tokyo Tower in order to ascend to the top and set up his gear. Once he got up there, he used a Canon 7D with a 400mm lens. Needless to say, he didn’t shoot the photos by hand; instead he configured a Clauss Rodeon gigapixel robot, essentially a device designed to shoot panoramas, to take photos at a rate of more than one per second. Then he had to move the entire setup around the top of the tower to capture Tokyo at three different points.

When that was done, then came the editing; he had to use a Fujitsu Celsius R920 workstation in order to do the heavy lifting needed to stitch together the thousands of photographs it takes to assemble one of these zoomable panoramas. But the end result is, as you can see, worth it and then some.


If you’re interested in more of Martin’s photography, he’s done more than one panorama of Tokyo and has designed others for Prague and London. Yes, we’re sure there’s somebody naked in both of them, but we haven’t found them yet. You might want to keep an eye out for when Martin is in your city, just in case.

Dan Seitz

Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.