November 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Massive Photo of Concertgoers: Creepy or Awesome?

If you attended Red Bull Culture Clash in London’s Wembley Arena on November 7, there’s a somewhat decent chance you’re in this super-high-resolution photo:

“The photo was taken using GigaPan technology that allows photographers to take gigapixel panoramas that give fascinating detail and allow people to zoom in and interact with the image,” said GigaPan director of business development Susan Thesing. “The technology is already being used at major venues like sports arenas, so it’ll be interesting to see how the music industry and large music venues start to use the tech as well.”

On one hand, this is just downright cool — a high-definition panorama photo that makes your iPhone 5 look like a fingerpainting tray. And we can get behind any technology that lets people get more out of the music they love — and that includes reliving concerts by finding themselves in a gigantic high-definition photo.

gigapan concerts

These people were at the concert, and are free to tag themselves.

On the other hand, is this creepy? It comes as no surprise that everyone in a big venue is being filmed, and in fact we’re all being filmed on the regular already, anyway.

But will it affect your enjoyment of a show if you know that any second could be the one that ends up on the internet, replete with a permanent memento to the world of your devil-horns-hands raised aloft as you screech for “Free Bird?”

Actually, in that case, putting a damper on your enthusiasm might not be the worst thing in the world, but still… could this sort of thing change what it means to be in an audience?

Then there’s the biometric aspect to it. Right now, concertgoers can choose to tag themselves in these photos, but the possibility also exists to auto-tag people. Facebook could potentially sponsor an event, then auto-tag people who attended, and let their friends know that they were there.

Did your boss think you were sick the day after your favorite band came to town? Not anymore, she doesn’t.

Perhaps we’re taking this too far. At the core, GigaPan is just plain neat, and nobody attends Wembley Arena with anything close to a presumption of privacy. We’re not trying to get all grumpypants about it, but still, as these things continue to evolve, we hope that it’s still possible to lose yourself in the crowd as you lose yourself in the music.

After all, even notoriously reclusive filmmaker Terrence Malick can now be seen dancing on the internet for your viewing pleasure: