In the late nineteenth century, hand drawn “bird’s-eye maps” were a revelation to earthly New Englanders. When exotic hot air balloons were the only way to gain such a perspective, enterprising artists just imagined what a bird might see. The customers for these maps lived and worked in the buildings depicted, so these are probably placed with some accuracy, relying on existing maps for data. It is the details of the rest of the landscape that were recorded nowhere else. In the 1889 drawing below, cleared fields, orchards, and shrubby growth nearly to the top of Hogback Mountain confirm the wisdom that in 1850 the entire slope, like others all over Vermont, was probably cleared of trees. Today, the young ages of the trees tell the same story, but an old bird’s-eye view is still a revelation.
You can view a high resolution version here: http://fastie.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Bristol1889.jpg
I had been thinking about this old image, but I did not examine it before I flew a camera under a nine foot delta kite from the Mt. Abe High School in October, and the resulting panorama is from a different vantage. But now I know where the kite has to be to repeat the old view, and I think it will be possible to do it. I will need the reel with 1500 feet of line, and a more reliable wind than I had last time (disaster was averted by a lucky zephyr that stopped the fall into a poplar).
The best exploring of the panorama below is here.
A lot of trees have been processed in Bristol. Huge stacks of forest products are stored on the floodplain in both the 1889 and 2012 views.
The Canon S95 captured 562 images during the 57 minute kite flight. Fourteen of the photos were stitched together in Microsoft ICE and two more were added in Photoshop. These 16 photos were taken within a three minute period along with 44 other photos.
9′ Levitation Delta kite
RC radio control of tilt, pan, and shoot
Canon Powershot S95
1/800 second (Tv)
-2/3 exposure compensation
manual focus on infinity
14 photos stitched in Microsoft ICE, 2 more added in Photoshop