Tag Archives: Balloon Aerial Photography

Aerial Photography: Fly Along at Coal Oil Point

One day I was flipping through digital photo files that came from my hot air balloon photography rig when I realized that it almost looked like a video from the rig’s perspective.  That got me thinking about making a slideshow of pictures.  I found an open source tool on Source Forge called FotoFilmStrip and made a file with a set of photos with the same exposure (my dataset has 3 different exposures).  The program was fairly intuitive and easy to use, and like all open source projects, the price is right.  I was hoping that viewing the photos in succession like this would help me make some sort of new observation that wasn’t obvious before, but to be honest the only real benefit I can see is that it’s fun to watch.

Perhaps I’ll make slideshows for the other photo sets.

Aerial Photography: Coal Oil Point Reserve

Recently presented with the opportunity to submit a photograph to an ecological photo contest on campus, I’ve been working on cleaning up some of my recent balloon and kite aerial photography flights.  This photo was taken with my hot air balloon rig, which is now retired due to safety concerns, a few years ago at Sands Beach at Coal Oil Point Reserve near Santa Barbara.  The site is one of the University of California’s Natural Reserves.  I’ve stitched a bunch of photos together using Hugin, then cropped the scene down to a rectangle so it would be more pleasing to the audience.  The jagged edges of the stitched scene would probably be confusing to many unfamiliar with the process.  The black squares in the image are targets that I made to help georeference the scene, something that has proven to be more difficult than most GIS analysts would suspect.

Ground Control Point Targets | publiclaboratory.org

Sewing Targets

For people who take low-altitude aerial images, you may have discovered that if you want to georeference your photos, you know you need some kind of control points, but the commercially available targets are not only cheap plastic, but they are just too big!  The good news is, it’s pretty easy to make your own.  Last year, I wrote up some directions for the Public Laboratory for Open Technology & Science.  Check it out.  Science + Sewing = Awesome!

Mapping Curriculum: Ground Control Point Targets | publiclaboratory.org.