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See the World's Largest Photograph

World's Largest Photograph on UC Riverside's ARTSblock

The photo’s mammoth scale of 32 x 111 feet earned it a place in Guinness World Records, and made it a photo history landmark.

(July 27, 2011)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -– UC Riverside's Sweeney Art Gallery & Culver Center of the Arts present The Great Picture: The World’s Largest Photograph & The Legacy Project, an exhibition in three parts that tells the tale of the
successful campaign to make the world’s largest camera and photograph.

The photo’s mammoth scale of 32 x 111 feet earned it a place in Guinness World Records, and made it a photo history landmark.

“It is also an exploration of the 172-year-old conflict between painting and photography, and the more recent waning of traditional, analog, darkroom photography in the wake of digital dominance,” says Tyler Stallings,
artistic director of the Culver Center of the Arts and director of the Sweeney Art Gallery.

The two-story atrium at the Culver Center of the Arts provides a rare opportunity to present such a gargantuan photograph. The Great Picture will be on view now until Oct. 8.

The Culver Center of the Arts is at 3834 Main Street Riverside, CA 92501. It is part of the university's ARTSblock in downtown Riverside.

News coverage from KTLA:

 The Great Picture
The World's Largest Photograph & The Legacy Project

The Great Picture Facts

* Final size with rigging: 31 feet 7 inches x 111 feet, 3,505 square feet in total
* Image size: 28 feet x 108 feet, 3,024 square feet in a single, seamless piece of fabric
* Photograph type: black and white negative image with a gelatin sizing and a hand-coated silver gelatin emulsion
* Subjects depicted in the photograph: the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro control tower, twin runways, and heart of the future Orange County Great Park, with a backdrop of the San Joaquin Hills and the Laguna Wilderness
* Location: former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, Irvine, CA
* Camera location: Bldg. #115, a former fighter jet hanger that served as a helicopter hanger for the Seaelk squadron during its final days
* Camera size: 45 feet high x 80 feet deep x 160 feet wide

Materials used to darken the airplane hangar to make it into a camera

* 24,000 square feet of six mil black viscuine
* 200 large cans of spray foam gap filler
* 8000 feet of two-inch wide black Gorilla tape
* 40 cans of black spray paint
* Fabric base of the photograph: single seamless piece of unbleached muslin specially ordered from Germany
* Total weight of fabric and rigging: 1,200 pounds
* Aperture size: one-quarter inch (6mm) pinhole—no lens or optics were used
* — Aperture height: 15 feet
* Date of emulsion coating: July 7, 2006
* Emulsion: 20 gallons of Liquid Light—a gelatin silver black and white sensitizer that was hand-painted onto the fabric under safelight illumination
* Date of exposure: July 8, 2006 at 11 a.m.
* Exposure time: 35 minutes
* Date of development: July 8, 2006
* Developing materials: 600 gallons traditional B&W developer, 1,200 gallons fixer
* Developing "tray": eight mil vinyl pool liner—114 feet x 35 feet x 6 inches deep
* Sanctioned by the Guinness Book of Records as the World's Largest Camera

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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