Hyperphotos That Show Surreal Worlds in Mind-Boggling Detail

Gigapixel photographs are generally created by snapping a large number of photos of a scene using a special robotic camera rig, and then stitching those images together afterward using special software. Jean-François Rauzier creates similarly massive images, except his “hyperphotos” are all stitched together by hand.

Judith B. Herman of Slate writes that the Paris-based photographer started out shooting fashion in the 1970s. When the digital age rolled around, he realized that he could finally execute the grand ideas that had been brewing in his mind.

Rauzier creates large images showing seemingly endless fantasy worlds by compositing actual photos. How big are his images? When they’re printed, they’re as wide as two school buses.

Here’s how they’re made: Rauzier first spends an hour or two photographing a particular scene from every angle and capturing every small detail. That’s the easy part. He then hunkers down in his digital darkroom, and that’s where the real magic happens. He spends day after day and night after night compositing the photographs together, using bits and pieces from them to serve as pieces for his resulting scene.

Each of his final works comprise hundreds or thousands of individual photographs blended seamlessly into a beautiful surreal locations that can’t actually be found anywhere here on Earth.

Here’s a video that offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Rauzier creates his images:

The small photos we shared in this post might be neat to look at, but they don’t do Rauzier’s photos justice. To truly appreciate the depth and scale of the images, you’ll need to visit his website to view them through the interactive browser, which allows you to zoom into the smallest of details in each photo. You can also purchase the giant prints from Waterhouse & Dodd.

Hyperphotos by Jean-François Rauzier (via Slate)

Image credits: Photographs by Jean-François Rauzier

  • Wallerus

    I understand how this is surreal, however, you said the same about blurry photos shot behind a screen door?

  • Joey Duncan

    Are you suggesting they over use words like “surreal”?

  • Joey Duncan

    I think this is pretty cool.

  • Michael Zhang

    That, and “abstract”, “awesome”, “jaw-dropping”, “breath-taking”, and “mind-blowing”. We love those terms ;-)

  • Richard Ussery

    Work of this quality is all of the above plus Excellent,phenomenal,superb,exquisite.

  • Mansgame

    Meh, graphics art and photography are completely different areas.

  • capzicco

    Great use of Gigapan

  • Philip Han

    It’s highly subjective, but the fact remains that he’s been doing this for decades, he previsualizes for his final shots, does the actual photography, and then he uses a digital workflow to create a final photograph or image.

    I am extremely picky about photo manipulation, but this has every right to be called photography. I bet he knows and can do more than 99% of photographers out there, he’s been shooting for half a century!

  • Singe

    We can go deeper…

  • Dave

    Photography is a medium for graphic art.

  • Kyle Duren

    Just needs this: “Enhance 224 to 176. Enhance, stop. Move in, stop. Pull out, track right, stop. Center in, pull back…….”

  • thniels

    If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and zoom in on those pictures. The level of detail is absolutely insane! Very cool pictures from a master craftsman.

  • Guy Ivie

    I’m guessing not many people got the reference.

  • VGISoftware


  • Wallerus

    I was saying it was hard for me to think those shot behind a screen door, are as say “jaw-dropping” as the pics above.

  • Michael Bartosek

    I saw a very large print of his work at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, it was stunning to see in person.