A different perspective

I've had this idea for a while that I want a photographic "map" of my yard. Something like you can get with Google Earth or other satellite map websites, but with more detail. Zoomed way in on my yard. This is obviously something that I need to do myself somehow. Since renting a helicopter is too expensive, hot air balloons are too unpredictable, the high-resolution spy satellites are too classified, and a big bunch of helium party balloons is too risky (for my camera), I decided to try mounting my camera on a long pole.

Here are the results of my first attempts at this "camera on a pole".


I'm not entirely happy with the image quality, and the angle isn't quite right, but these images definitely show some promise. It's a different view of most of my garden that I can't get any other way, even by climbing up onto the roof.

(I'm keeping these photos pretty much in order as I walked from the driveway down to the veggie garden, then back up the other side before moving to the deck)

It's a little difficult to control the pole, even though the camera is quite small. I'll need to practice keeping it steady if I want to get useful images for my map.

It's also difficult moving around the garden holding an 18' pole vertically. Need to focus on the pole or the feet, but both at the same time is not easy. Especially since my yard is not flat.

It's also not easy knowing exactly where the camera is pointing. I'm hoping that will improve once I have more experience. (Please note that these photos are not all taken with the camera pointing in the direction I'm moving. In some cases you can see the same plant in two photos and can figure out the orientation, but in other cases that's not possible.)

I love the way this miscanthus looks from above! All of the grasses really look good from this height, but this one impresses the most I think.

Here's my bald cypress tree from above:

Hard to tell the difference between the forsythia (shrub) and the much taller tree, isn't it? It's like a landscape design that just uses circles for the trees and other plants.

That's the last photo I took from the ground. I have a lot of ornamental grasses, don't I? I do love them, especially at this time of year.

Next I decided to carry the pole up onto the deck to get some real height:

That sure makes this bamboo look short!

No wonder the birds love my yard -- it looks fantastic from up here!

I'm pretty excited about the possibilities using this pole. A few refinements to the equipment and a lot more practice, and I may have some photos that I can start stitching together (as I did with the yard panoramas earlier). I'll post more details about how I did this once I get things working better.

I think my photographic yard map is a real possiblity!

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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (September 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM)  

WOW. I love those images. I'm tempted to try that myself :-).

Alan  – (September 27, 2010 at 10:02 PM)  

I'll show you how I did it soon. I'll do more with the pole camera once I finish digging out this bamboo...

Christine_s@icon.co.za  – (March 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM)  

Awesome - the images and your garden! I LOVE that miscanthus - I have to have one of those :)

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