Capturing the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at high resolution (150Megapixels)

in photography •  2 years ago

What do you do, when your subject does not fit in one camera frame ?!


Two months ago I was asked to present my work Imaginarium of Tears in Dubai.

Unfortunately due to the amount of gear I had to bring for the exhibition there was not much space left. I had to choose which lens I would take and I could only bring one. I decided to go with the Canon 35mm F1.4 L to put on my Canon 5D MKIII, hoping I would have some time to explore Dubai itself and take some stunning images.

Due to busy schedule of the exhibition, I only had a few hours on my last day to go to Dubai downtown. Which well I guess every Photographer wants to go to Image the Burj Khalifa as a souvenir.

With time running on the clock I started walking around Burj Park looking for the ideal location to image the massively tall Burj Khalifa. But everywhere I went I could not capture it in 1 frame using the 35mm lens on my Canon 5D MK III. Wishing I could also have brought my Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L and or Canon TS-E 24mm F3.5 L II and a tripod.

Normally I would use this combination to create high resolution images by doing several shifting combinations to increase the resolution and image frame by 3X compared to a single photo.


After almost 1.5hours of walking and looking for the prefect spot, I found the perfect point!

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 20.13.57.jpg


It was now time to use the camera and lens combination to create a handheld non tilt shift panorama. Starting in the middle of the top of the tower "Swiped" the camera in burst to the left. Reentered it on the top and "swiped" to the right. Continuing these steps every layer I went down on the Burj Khalifa.

At that time I had no Idea if I would have enough overlay or if I would forget a shot somewhere along the way. Since I had to make around 70 - 80 images to cover the whole area that I wanted to capture. Since I not only wanted to have the Burj Khalifa but also its scene.

Since time was running out I decided to find a cab and to go back to my hotel to pick up my gear an head back to the airport. It was time to go home.

Post process

Lucky enough it was a flight that was far from packed! Yes, no one next to me! Plus there was power in the seat, fast I grabbed my laptop camera and started to load in the images. First loading them in to Lightroom to select a group of images that I wanted to merge. These RAW images where then imported into Autopano Giga 4.4 to stitch and see how lucky I got! Creating the preview took quite some time on my laptop and 1hour later it prompted me with the result!

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 20.46.44.png

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 20.41.23.png

The result stunned me! It turned out almost perfect, as you can see in the image above a few spots where not very well covered due to hand held shooting. And I also seemed to forget to go a bit further on the bottom right which I now had to crop out before I started editing the image to its final result.


Click here to view the image at 150MP

Want more?

Please let me know If you would like to know more about the images proces, or let me know if you would like to see more Images like this.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Ok @mauricemikkers that is just plain awesome. It's a very well written explanation of how you did it. What kind of laptop did you use? PC/Mac?
It is funny, I came across your post on steemit chat and would have passed it right by, but just this last friday, I was driving with my minister and his son, from Rochester Minnesota and we were noting some of the larger buildings and he asked Whats the tallest building in the world. I thought of Dubai, but wasn't sure if it was the one. So I asked "Siri" and boom there it was the Burj Khalifa.
Thanks for sharing this, Upvoted, Following and resteemed



@sighmanjestah When I'm on the road I use my 15" Apple Macbook Pro 2016 - 265GB SSD - 16GB RAM - Nvidea Video card, which does the trick but slow. Its quite an intensive program. At home I have faster hackingtosch. But If you have time the software will almost run on every modern machine, Windows or mac.

If you want to know more about the proces software let me know!


Thanks for the info on the computer. I have a friend, actually the one that took my bee shirt picture that is into photography and asked me for a recommendation on a laptop. I am way behind on PC computers still running Windows XP and so I am hesitant to even think about recommending one of those so I suggested Mac and ideally a MacBook Pro, but her budget will not allow this. She is thinking about getting a Mac Air. I know they won't have the photo processing power as a MacBook. She is hoping to get one after the new ones are out(she will get the older hopefully discounted version.)
She will be using the computer for mostly non photo things so hopefully it will work for her.
Thanks again.

Thank you for sharing!

Incredible as always.

WoW it's like they got money over there or something LOL seriously though those are some pretty amazing shots, Thank you for sharing in HD!!!



Yeah, honestly it's all show no tell. Prestige, showoff it feels like someone is playing sim City. Other hand I wish I had more time and $ to stay and actually create more works like this since I love to capture architecture.

For now I hope the little insights on how to be able to get a nice shot without a super wide angle can work.

really beautiful..I have to visit Dubai now :)


Could work out very well. Tho remember it might not be like other places where you will just go and see whats going on. From the days I was there for work, and had a view on the city I have to say bring a huge bag of money and a good plan on what you want to see or do. If you love shopping I guess its a great place to go. If it comes to culture, Museums, and being able to just freely roam around you are not at the right place. If you like water sports well there are some awesome beaches.

the best stuff. glad to see you still posting maurice!!


Thanks, Tho I was not posting in past months, I hope to create more valuable content in the future. Hope I can balance it with my other works.

Amazing pictures! Love them!! :) Upvoted!!

What a great panoramic image. The city looks gorgeous.
Well stitched together. I did not spot any errors. The photo looks more like a painting with its brilliant colors. Like it.

me parece interesante la información, siempre me llamo la atención la fotografía pero nunca imagine que fuera mas mágico de lo que pensaba pues siempre veía los efectos básicos y nada comparado con lo que usted hizo !! simplemente maravilloso!!