Bilbao from Mount Arraiz

A 21.32 by 2.77 metre giga-panoramic, made in 2018 by Juan Ignacio Llana Ugalde to reflect both the city and its surroundings, as well as the Bilbao Estuary as far as its mouth at the Abra.

Bilbao from Mount Arraiz has been installed on the esplanade in front of the Itsasmuseum. It is a 21.32 by 2.77 metre giga-panoramic view made in 2018 by Juan Ignacio Llana Ugalde, which reflects both the city and its surroundings, as well as the Bilbao Estuary as far as its mouth at the Abra.

Donated by Iberdrola to the museum’s collection and developed using NASA technology, it combines 273 photographs with a resolution of 10,829 megapixels, printed on the same fabric that cutting-edge hot air balloons are made of and mounted on a backlit box that allows it to be seen in full detail even in conditions with little light.

Juan Ignacio Llana Ugalde, the author of the installation, explains his creative process:

“The origins of this giga-panoramic go back to 2018 when I collaborated with my 360º photographs in an augmented reality application for the City Council of Madrid.

We thought we could do something similar for Bilbao and for this to happen it was necessary to base the entire project on a very high resolution image that would allow us to get visually close to the most interesting places in the city.

On the 2nd of October I went to Mount Arraiz thinking it would be an ideal location, as in fact it proved to be. I knew that if I wanted an image with great visual appeal, I had to choose the light well, and I thought the colours of the sunset alongside the lighting of the city itself would make the emblematic buildings and the layout of the streets stand out. But once I got up there, it far exceeded my expectations and I was amazed to see how the subtle colours of the sky drew the estuary with their reflection. I don’t remember ever seeing my city looking so beautiful before and I did my best to capture the moment. I hope I achieved it and can share what I experienced that day with everyone who visits us.

The giga-panoramic became part of the tourist viewing-point of the Iberdrola Tower and once the project was completed, it has remained in storage until the maritime museum, Itsasmuseum, showed its intention to re-start the project and to make it available to the public once again. I appreciate this enormously, since the ultimate goal of all photography is to be seen and, who better than by the people of Bilbao who will know how to appreciate it like no one else and can boast that they have a picture-postcard in keeping with their well-deserved fame”.

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