April 10, 2006
Kite aerial panoramas
A few months back I wondered whether someone would attach a digital camera to a pigeon. No luck so far, but how about 360° panoramas taken from kites? Photographer Scott Haefner has rigged up a Nikon Coolpix with fisheye lens to a kite, from which he snags shots like this one of Stanford’s Hoover Tower. Images go through PTMac & PanoTools on their way to Photoshop and final output.
Finding this work led me to learn about kite pano pioneer George Lawrence, whose 17-kite “Captive Airship” helped document the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Scott plans to try to replicate the shot using modern equipment, while another team plans to recreate the shot using a replica of the original camera and a helicopter. A number of Lawrence’s photos are currently on display at SFMOMA.
By the way, through the magic of Wikipedia I learned that Lawrence was the great-grandfather of Adobe blogger Thomas Phinney. Small world!
PS–So, maybe the pigeon-cam thing has yet to pan out, but you can still glimpse the world from the perspective of a bear, armadillo, or other critter. [Via]