A mile-long stretch of Tryon Street goes on display Wednesday in an unfinished attic of the Mint Museum Uptown, the only space long enough that could be found to host the exhibition, which is strangely giant and miniature at the same time.
On Nov. 1, in a project led by the Light Factory called “ Moment Mile,” 138 volunteer photographers fanned out along Tryon Street uptown, corralled by the I-277 loop. They all shot a picture of the avenue at the same instant, crossed the street and snapped the other side, then turned their pictures over to Sean Busher, a Charlotte commercial photographer.
Busher got them stitched together for two panoramic views of Charlotte’s main drag, believed to be the longest such photos in the world, unfurling at 100 feet long and about 4 inches high. It takes 10 seconds just to walk their length at a relaxed pace.
“It all turned out; it all went smoothly,” Busher says. “All the photographers did their job, all the exposures came out to my great relief, because there were so many things that could go wrong.”
Mounted across from each other with a double-yellow line running down the middle on the floor, the two pictures have a herky-jerky appearance with each camera making its own image with a unique depth of field and focus. Only the curb line remains constant in the composition, anchoring each photo.
Peter Godshall, the digital imaging specialist who placed all the frames in order, said each side of the street consisted of about 1 million pixels, outstripping Photoshop’s capacity for the first time in his experience. He wound up breaking the pictures into 10-foot panels.
Embedded in the pictures are people who were randomly on Tryon when the pictures were taken as well as others who came out to get in the photo. Among them: At Trade and Tryon, a wedding party posed in colorful garb, ballerinas struck poses at the Charlotte Ballet center in the north 700 block and a couple can be found smooching in the doorway of Emerson Joseph Men’s Grooming Salon at 221 S. Tryon St.