A new photobook documenting the Sistine Chapel has just been released. Taking advantage of gigapixel photography the book shows the chapel in detail never seen before in print.
If you've ever visited the Vatican City to marvel at the Sistine Chapel, you'll know that taking pictures inside is strictly off-limits. Production and publishing company Callaway Arts and Entertainment, however, were granted permission to capture the iconic works of art in all their glory. Over the course of 67 consecutive nights, a team worked to capture every inch of the Renaissance frescoes using the latest in gigapixel photography. In total, 270,000 images of the chapel were stitched together and used in the 1:1 scale three-volume book. Once the images were finalized, digital proofs were printed and then held back up against the original works for color matching. As a result, they claim the resulting images are 99.4 percent accurate in terms of color. Which if you've ever battled with monitor and printer calibrations is rather impressive.
Unsurprisingly, such a prestigious project comes with a hefty price tag. This limited edition book which is bound in silk and white calf will set you back a whopping $22,000. While many of us will be unlikely to add this expensive edition to their collection, the creators of this book intend that a significant portion of them will end up in institutions where it will be available to everyone. As someone who has made several photobooks in the past, I will be very interested to see the quality of such an ambitious undertaking.