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Photo in California Could Be World’s Largest

July 14, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) – What is believed to be the world’s largest photo was successfully created in a hangar that had been converted into a massive camera at the former El Toro Marine Corps base.

About 30 people showed up Wednesday to see the fuzzy, 28-by-108 foot black-and-white image taken by six photographers from the nonprofit Legacy Project. The photo, taken Saturday, shows the control towers, palm trees and a portable toilet.

The photo was created using the centuries-old principle of “camera obscura” after a gumball-size hole was opened in the hangar’s wall, allowing a tiny beam of light to enter.

The image then appeared upside down and flipped left to right on a sheath of light-sensitive fabric the length of one-third of a football field and about three stories tall.

The cloth was exposed for 35 minutes. The photographers and 60 volunteers developed the image by moving the fabric into an enormous, 1-foot-deep tray.

“That was the magic: seeing this image come to life in the tray,” photographer Jacques Garnier said. “That made all the work worthwhile.”

The photo will be wrapped around a tube and eventually shipped to a temperature-controlled warehouse in Riverside. A few museums have expressed interest in displaying the photo, though no firm commitments have yet been made.

Guinness World Records has created two new categories for the project – world’s largest camera and world’s largest photograph. Certification of the records will take about three months.

The ambitious project was the latest by the group of shutterbugs who wanted to memorialize the Marine base before it was gone. The base was decommissioned in 1999 after more than a half-century of use.

Developers plan to build a 375-acre park, museum district, sports complex and thousands of homes on the base.




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