The Battle at Bristol shattered the record for the largest attendance recorded at a college football game.
A high-resolution 360-degree gigapixel photo taken at Bristol Motor Speedway is letting people search for themselves in the crowd.
Fans can also purchase a panoramic photo of the kickoff between the Tennessee Volunteers and Virginia Tech Hokies for $34.95.
The Battle at Bristol shattered the single-game college football attendance record with 156,990 fans in attendance.
10News Digital Producer Mark Bergin caught up with photographer Chris Gjevre, who took the gigapixel photo, during a Skype interview on Wednesday afternoon.
Mark Bergin: How was the Battle at Bristol 360-degree gigapixel photo taken?
Chris Gjevre: The timing of the photo was interesting because we shoot a panoramic photograph to publish, and this particular one the timing was to get the kickoff initially. So, that was done from the roof, and immediately upon finishing that was when the timing was for me to go down to the field to shoot the gigapixel.
So, the timing was in the first quarter, and it was done from a tripod looking 360 degrees, and several rows of photographs captured on a still camera moving in a very unique way in that it has to be done so that the lens is rotating on what’s called the iris pupil.
It’s a little technical, but it has to be rotated in the right place, otherwise you get what’s called parallax.
MB: Did the Bristol Motor Speedway present any challenges as a venue?
CG: No, very cooperative. It was probably my third or fourth time there.
I’ve attended about three races as well. So I was familiar with the venue, and we’ve been talking to them for probably about six months about this. So, there was a lot of prep involved, but everyone did a really good job of kind of organizing and coming together.
MB: Your company shot a panoramic and gigapixel photos of Neyland Stadium for the Tennessee – Oklahoma game on Sept. 12, 2015. Your company’s owner said he first went to Neyland Stadium six years ago to shoot a panorama, and it was the first time he’d been at a stadium with more than 100,000 people. What was it like to be in a stadium with 155,990 fans, which broke the single-game attendance record for college football?
CG: (It was a) very exciting environment I have to say, and a lot of very nice people. I’ve shot the same kind of image in a basketball environment, which is very intimate compared to a football environment, and this was such a big stage
It was outed across the country as kind of the game of the weekend. So, a lot of hype went into building up the event, and it was unique. It had its own experience I’m sure.
Photo Gallery: Photos from the game action at the Battle at Bristol
MB: How did the venue compare to other panoramic and 360-degree photos you’ve taken?
CG: Well, this venue was unique in that it’s very much lit for the field, or the track as it were. So, the upper deck area is very dark, and that was a unique environment that we wanted to do it from the sideline rather than from the center of the field (to) take a little more time (to) try to get it a little better than in the 2.5-minute (to) 3.5-minute time window that we are typically used to doing.
So, that was done a little unique and different than our normal gigapixel is done, but…
MB: When you shot the gigapixel photo at Neyland Stadium, it only took about 2 minutes and 40 seconds. How long did the gigapixel photo at the Bristol Motor Speedway take?
CG: This particular photo took a little longer. It was about 12 minutes to photograph this particular one because of the size of the venue.
MB: What would you say to a fan who was up getting concessions or who was in the bathroom, who missed out while the gigapixel photo was being taken?
CG: Yeah, we get that quite a bit, and all we can do is apologize. It takes a series of photographs. It takes quite some time to do it, and like I said this particular one (took) 10-12 minutes. That happens. There’s just nothing much we can do about it. All I can do is apologize.
MB: Did you find more people tag themselves with the Battle at Bristol because it was the largest college football game ever in terms of fan attendance compared to other venues and sporting events you’ve photographed?
CG: Yeah, I haven’t looked at the numbers, but I’ve seen a lot of interaction with it. It’s turned out to be a very successful one.
MB: Is there a way your company verifies who is tagged in the photo?
CG: There is. We refer to it as “double opted in” because initially when you go to the site and view the gigapixel, you’re asked to agree to the terms, which is the first opting in, and then once you want to tag yourself, it requires an email or Facebook or Twitter sign in, and that’s how you’re verify it.
It sends you a message that you have to specifically say this is who I am before it’ll actually tag your name on the gigapixel.
MB: What’s next for your company?
CG: We have eight events this weekend coming up Saturday and Sunday, and that’s not including an NFL game which is this Thursday. So, including that, we’ve got nine in the next few days, so it’s a very busy schedule, and I’m personally shooting University of Nebraska, and then the home opening game of the Minnesota Vikings this weekend.
MB: Is there anything else you’d like to add, specifically about your experience at the Battle at Bristol?
CG: It’s the fan photo. It’s really done for the fans to enjoy and play and show other people that they were at the game. This was a game where I’m not sure if they are going to do in the future. I would think (they would), but this was the first, and hopefully the first of many, and they all had the privilege of being there, and it was really a fun time. Great weather. Everything about it worked out really well.
(© 2016 WBIR)