Vertical panorama: "Pushing the Nokia Lumia 1020 to the limits"

I've been posting about photographer  Daniel Cheong recently. On Twitter, he pointed me towards one of his newest samples, based on what he got from the Nokia Lumia 1020.

He shared the result on Facebook as well: a vertical panorama, based on "digital blending". He claims he's "pushing the Lumia 1020 to the limits". The final size is an astonishing 7034 x 12.546 pixels. On Flickr, he shared a resized version - but still 2243 x 4000 pixels.

From that I downloaded the 897 x 1600 version and resized that to 644 x 1148 pixels to fit this post.
I do realize it's a lot of numbers, but it's a lot of vertical panorama, too...

Daniel Cheong panorama

Just to show what kind of detail this shot has to offer, I downloaded the 2243 x 4000 version as well, and from that I got this 645 x 645 crop...

Daniel Cheong panorama crop 645 x 645

Quite amazing isn´t it? Remember the original file is even three times bigger... I don't know how much shots Daniel needed to stitch this together though. I'm sure it must have been quite a few...

Update: I asked Daniel, and it's way less than I suspected: "For the panorama, I stitched 3 shots. But each shot is a blending of 2 bracketed exposures. So overall, 6 shots used". Makes it all sounds pretty easy, doesn't it? :-)

Update 2: as suggested below by PureViewClub member bigs, it looks like it's smog or fog taking the sharpness from the upper part of the shot. It is fog, as I found in a shot Daniel shared on Facebook. I borrowed that shot too, to show you how magical that looks... (not sure with which camera this was captured).

Fog in Dubai

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