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State of the Art: A $2M Lamborghini Disintegrates, and The Moon As You've Never Seen It

By David Schonauer   Wednesday March 13, 2019


How long does it take to photograph a $2 million car disintegrating?

About two years.

At least, that’s how long Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner spent creating a shot of a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV coming, literally, to pieces. His photo is part of a “Disintegrating” car series that, until now, had made use of small-car automobile models. The new picture, titled “Disintegrating X (Lamborghini Miura),” takes the idea to a challenging new level.

“It had always been my dream to create an art piece with a real car,” Oefner told Lamborghini magazine. “One day, a friend said to me, ‘I have a Miura and I’m having it restored. Why don’t you take the opportunity to create one of your Disintegrating images?’”

The vintage Lamborghini used for the photo sells at auction these days for around $2 million, notes PetaPixel.

Over the course of many months, Oefner and his team visited workshops around the Lamborghini Factory in Sant’Agata/Italy to photograph every piece of the car as it was being carefully restored, notes PetaPixel. Oefner ended up shooting more than 1,500 individual photos, which he then stitched together into a final composite image.

“I worked on the scale models in my studio, which is very quiet, and creating was almost a soothing process,” Oefner says. “With the real car it got a lot more complicated: I was in the workshop where you’d have constant noise. […] I did this in July, so it was 44°C in the workshop, I was sweating, and it smelled like gasoline in the air. It’s way more tangible when you do it with the real thing.

The video below shows Oefner’s process.

“Now, when I look at the photograph, all the smells and the ambiance of the workshop come back,” says Oefner, whose exploding car image is the product of a meticulous attention to detail.

The same can be said for astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy’s extraordinary image of the Moon. It is made up of 50,000 individual photos shot with two different cameras — a Sony a7 II and an inexpensive ZWO ASI 224MC astrophotography camera.

He also used an Orion XT10 telescope with a Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro tracking mount.

Each of the cameras he used had different objectives: One was for photographing the earthshine and stars while the other shot the detail on the moon, notes My Modern Met. “The moon,” McCarthy explains, “was captured in ‘tiles,’ so I’d point the camera at it and take a bunch of pictures of just one portion of it, and then reposition, and do it again.”

Here is the final image:

“The shots were then stacked and pieced together for editing. I took so many shots to average out the blurring caused by atmospheric turbulence, as well as to eliminate noise captured by the camera sensor,” McCarthy says at Reddit, where he explains how he made the image. The result of his work was a glowing 81-megapixel image that crackles with crispness.

At Reddit, McCarthy cautions “astrophotography purists” that he took some creative liberties while constructing the image in Photoshop “to make up for areas with bad or incomplete data.”

“I would define this image as more of a composite than a true photograph,” he writes.

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