WINSTON-SALEM, NC—A laborious eight-month-long task came to an end for Facebook user Arielle Stevens on Monday, as the college junior finally finished uploading the more than 12 million photos she took during her “unforgettable” six-day vacation to Paris and Madrid last spring.
The online album, entitled “Eurotrip 2012!!!” was reportedly assembled from more than 15 terabytes of data spanning 960 16-gigabyte memory cards, each thoroughly documenting the landmarks, food, drinks, streets, buildings, plants, animals, people, signage, hotels, museums, sports, modes of transport, weather, and “miscellaneous fun” that Stevens and close friend Danielle Lu encountered along the way.
“It took me a while to get my vacation pics organized, but I’ve finally gotten them all uploaded and added a caption for each one,” said Stevens, who in the course of shooting the 12 million photos went through a few dozen Nikon Coolpix digital cameras. “Everything is now available to see, from the 400,000 shots of the Madrid skyline taken at dusk from the roof of our hostel to the 120,000 of the row of cute Vespa scooters parked on the sidewalk next door—even the 1.2 million from the night we arrived and went out to dinner with a group of Americans we met.”
“Now comes the fun part of sharing them with all my friends so they can get a little taste of what it was like to actually be there,” she added.
The album reportedly features a preponderance of images of the same subjects taken from multiple angles and distances and in several different camera modes. From the Paris portion of the trip, the collection includes 78,000 pictures of a street performer captured from every possible direction as he does a human statue act, 34,000 of Lu at various zoom settings holding up a glass of Bordeaux, and 823,000 alternating grayscale and sepia-tone shots of an outdoor café, which, according to the first caption, was “adorrrrrable!”
“Going through all these photos brings back so many amazing memories,” said Lu, who appears asleep on a train in more than 750,000 photos. “It’s nice to think that now, when it’s cold outside and I’m sitting here in my tiny cubicle, I can look at the 478,000 pictures of the stairs outside the Prado and remember how much fun it was to be on vacation.”
“I’m already thinking about my next trip,” she continued, breaking into a broad smile at each of the 2.6 million shots of herself standing next to fountains.
Although most of the 12 million photos are clearly legible, the album contains hundreds of thousands that did not come out as intended, many of which—including those of cobblestone streets taken while walking, of pigeons in mid-flight, and of boats off in the distance as seen through fog—are either completely black, flashes of pure white light, or blurred beyond recognition. In addition, the immense gallery features countless images of subjects blinking or looking in the wrong direction.
Oddly, sources noted that there seemed to be only one picture of the Eiffel Tower.
Still, Stevens said, she cherishes every single picture from her trip, even the ones that “aren’t perfect.”
“I don’t consider myself to be a professional photographer; I just took the 12 million pictures I thought were most interesting,” said Stevens, stressing that she would rather have too many than too few. “And besides, the quirky ones are some of my personal favorites.”
As of press time, sources reported that the album had received a total of three likes.