Gigapanning in our Perimeter: 6 Young Women Experience Using the Gigapan Cameras


Ellis School is located between Shadyside and East Liberty in Pittsburgh, PA. Every year in May the Upper School (grades 9-12) has 10 days of special classes that we call “Mini-Courses” after exams are finished. Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab generously loaned us 4 Gigapans to creatively explore our immediate environment around our campus. Students made decisions about which direction to walk for each shoot. They photographed in Mellon Park, the new shopping center nearby, and East Liberty. As it was quite hot, we ended up photographing cool church interiors at least twice. Students were definitely inspired by the impressive architecture of these structures. They also experimented with sky gigapans, 360˚ views, extremely narrow views, and Escher-like staircases. We tried manipulating big tiff files and hit the limits of our computers’ ability to compute!

Rather than assign a theme, it was interesting to see what areas the students would chose to explore themselves. Some of the funky accidents and outcomes hinted at possible creative possibilities for future projects. The girls loved having their images on the public forum of the Gigapan website, and they loved looking at what other people posted all over the world. Students sometimes saved their stitched images as tiff files, sized them down, tweaked them in Photoshop and made fairly large prints. In short, they had a wonderful introduction to this unique medium.

Here are the website addresses for the student gigapans:

Hannah’s:    East Liberty Presbyterian Church    Bakery Square, East Liberty    Fountain, Mellon Park, adjacent to the Annie Seamans Memorial    Calvary Episcopal Church, East Liberty


Shae’s: East Liberty Presbyterian Church (360˚)   “Industry” (old Nabisco Factory)



Morgan’s:   Gated Courtyard at Mellon Park  Sacred Heart Church in Pittsburgh   Ellis Arbothnut  House


Ashna’s:  East Liberty Church   Mellon Park


Chelsea’s:  Sky Gigapan  (Mellon Park)  Stairway  Inside Church


Campbell’s:   Sacred Heart Church  Sacred Heart Church

Posted by Karen Kaighin
Photography and Video Instructor, Ellis School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania