# Simple combinatorics about an 8 MegaPixel shot

• x2thay
In summary, the conversation discusses the number of possible shots or photographs that can be taken within a certain resolution. The number of possibilities for different sizes of pictures is explored, and it is discovered that the total number of possibilities is incredibly large and includes all possible images, faces, and even written works. However, the majority of these images will be senseless noise.
x2thay
Hello there,

So consider an 8 megapixel picture (res: 3264x2448).
Now, it seems rather simple but I just can't figure out how to calculate the entire number of possible shots/photographs one can take within that resolution, assuming each pixel can have 16777216 different values/colors.

x2thay said:
So consider an 8 megapixel picture (res: 3264x2448).
Now, it seems rather simple but I just can't figure out how to calculate the entire number of possible shots/photographs one can take within that resolution, assuming each pixel can have 16777216 different values/colors.

How many possibilities for a 1 pixel picture?
How many possibilities for a 2 pixel picture?
How many possibilities for a 3 pixel picture?
Can you generalize to n pixels?

You have 7990272 pixels, each of which can have 16777216 values.

If you string the pixels out in a line, then it is like an odometer with 7990272 wheels and each wheel has 16777216 numbers on it.

So the base of this odometer is base 16777216 and the number you want has "16777216" (the largest "digit" in this base) in each position, and there are 7990272 positions with this "digit" in the number.

So the number you want is the base raised to the power of the number of pixels:

16777216^7990272

Wolfram says in base 10 it would be about 1.23X10^57727477

This is kind of a neat problem because the images include all possible images, all possible zooms in and out to any arbitrary degree, all possible angles, all possible distortions, of all possible subjects, backgrounds, compositions, scales, etc. Pretty mind boggling.

bahamagreen said:
This is kind of a neat problem because the images include all possible images, all possible zooms in and out to any arbitrary degree, all possible angles, all possible distortions, of all possible subjects, backgrounds, compositions, scales, etc. Pretty mind boggling.

It also contains all the faces of all the people who ever lived and who ever will live!

Yes, plus all the faces of every creature including every alien race in all the inhabited places in the history of the universe.

And if you scroll through it in the right order, it shows everything ever written, or yet to be written, in every font, includes every formula, derivation, graph, proof, and sequence.

If you scrolled through it in the right order at a fast enough presentation of images, it would also show every movie and TV show ever made, including out takes, and different variations on plots. etc.

A question that is suggesting itself to me...

Doesn't this seem to be similar to the concept of phase space?

Or as expressed in the eight postulate of "It's Easy" by the Beatles: "Nothing you can see that isn't shown"

Last edited:
The vast majority of these images will all be senseless noise, though.

fortissimo said:
The vast majority of these images will all be senseless noise, though.

Or will they? Dun dun duuuuuuuun...

fortissimo said:
The vast majority of these images will all be senseless noise, though.

OK, I did the test and I generated a random image. I got the following:

So it seems you're right. We do get senseless noise.

## 1. What is combinatorics?

Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics that deals with counting and arranging objects or elements in different ways. It is often used to solve problems involving combinations, permutations, and probability.

## 2. How does combinatorics apply to an 8 MegaPixel shot?

In photography, an 8 MegaPixel shot refers to an image that has 8 million pixels. Combinatorics can be applied to determine the number of possible ways these pixels can be arranged within the image, resulting in different combinations or variations of the same shot.

## 3. Why is combinatorics important in photography?

Combinatorics allows photographers to understand the different possibilities and variations of their shots, which can help them to make more informed decisions when composing their images. It also plays a role in understanding the resolution and quality of an image.

## 4. Can combinatorics be used to improve image quality?

Yes, combinatorics can be used to improve image quality by understanding the different combinations and arrangements of pixels in an image. This knowledge can help photographers to make adjustments to their shots or use post-processing techniques to enhance the overall quality of the image.

## 5. How can combinatorics be applied to other aspects of photography?

Combinatorics can also be applied to other aspects of photography, such as determining the number of possible compositions or angles for a specific subject, calculating the probability of capturing a certain moment, or understanding the different lighting and color combinations in an image.

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