Above: Little planet projection of a panorama stitched from 22 photos taken from the wrong place at the wrong time in Middlebury, VT. Town on the left, gown on the right. November 3, 2015.
Yesterday's flight was mostly successful, but it won't be the last time I try to recreate the aerial view of Middlebury that L. R. Burleigh drew in 1886. I made several mistakes, both conceptual and logistical. I thought it would be good to get the camera closer to the village center than Burleigh imagined his bird's eye to be. I wanted to capture better detail of the buildings there, but that sacrificed the impact of creating an image that closely resembles the original.
I also failed to get the camera high enough, because I selected the wrong kite. The Fled would have flown to 900 feet, but the Levitation Delta was sluggish when it got to about 600 feet, and I couldn't trust it to stay up there over people's houses with that much line out. Burleigh's view was probably from about 1000 feet, and you can tell that my camera needed to be higher. I made the flight in the morning, but the buildings at the heart of town were still backlit then, and the sky behind them was too bright. An hour later would have been better. So this was a reconnaissance flight. I now have a slightly better chance of nailing it next time.
Above: Burleigh's 1886 lithograph of Middlebury, Vermont (top), and my first attempt to reoccupy his mind's eye with my KAP camera. I should have been farther away, farther to the left, and higher. And later in the day would have been better. Burleigh obviously exaggerated the proximity and ruggedness of the Green Mountains.
Above: Detail of the views above. I really wanted to document what these buildings look like today, but the camera has to be much higher and farther away to recreate the view in Burleigh's lithograph.
Above: The nice thing about a 360° panorama is that the sun can be at the wrong angle for part of it, but it will probably be at the right angle for some other part. This is the Middlebury College campus to the southwest of the kite.
Above: GPS data recorded by the PowerShot S100 with 700 photos from the flight (workflow here). The red trace is on the way up and green is on the way down. The red trace seems to start in a tree, but that's because it starts in midair -- the camera did not start recording GPS data until a couple of minutes into the flight. In the distance are the traces from last week's flight in Bristol, nine miles away.
Above: Detail of the GPS traces. The blue segment is from 25 photos (one cycle of the Saturn V Rig) that were used to make the panoramas here. The camera did not move much during that 75 seconds.
The 360° panorama below can also be seen at photosynth.net.
Above: The full resolution half-spherical panorama stitched from 22 photos (three sky photos did not stitch). The same panorama is the source of all the views here.
- Model: PowerShot S100
- ISO: 80
- Shutter speed: 1/800 second (Tv)
- Focus: manual on infinity
- Focal length: 24mm (eq.)
- White balance: Sunny
- GPS: on
- Remote enabled: one push, quick
- The S100 has a shutter priority mode so CHDK is not needed for that
- Version: 2.4 (3-switch DIP)
- Sketch: version 2.08sfm (beta)
- Mode: Mode 0 (for 24 mm lens, 25 photos/cycle)
- Power: 6 eneloop AAA
- Customization: The nadir tilt angle was changed from 20 to 11 so the camera was pointed straight down.
- Kite: 9' Levitation Delta
- Wind: From S, 9 to 14 mph
- Duration: 38 minutes
- Photos taken: 741
- Software: Microsoft ICE
- Post processing: ICE's "auto complete" feature was used to create extra sky to fill in missing areas in the Photosynth panorama. Some stitching errors in the little planet panorama were hidden in Photoshop. Panoramas at Photosynth cannot be passed through Photoshop so what you see there is what Microsoft ICE produced.