Autumn on campus

I guess I missed the peak color of this grove of trees. It must have been spectacular a week ago.
I still don't have an aerial panorama of the Middlebury College campus in peak fall color, but the one from yesterday is closer than the others. I tried two kites (Fled and delta) and two rigs (Saturn V Rigs with S100 and EOS M) before settling for the Fled and S100 because it was all the wind would support. The Powershot S100 took 1035 photos in the hour it was aloft, and several sets of 25 photos from individual pan/tilt cycles of the Saturn V Rig stitched together well.

The student experience, which now includes KAP.
It's always good to have live music when kites are flying. What would be the soundtrack to your hobby? (Pro tip: find somebody who can actually play the instrument.)

Forest Hall (lower left) and the main campus quad beyond. 

A bunch of residence halls, Adirondack House, and the science building at the west edge of campus.

The little planet image below is the same stitch as the embedded spherical panorama below it. The original is a big image so it could be printed six feet across and you wouldn't see any pixels.

Microsoft ICE included all 25 photos in this stitch, although there is a lot of overlap, and most of the sky included in the original photos has been cropped out. This is a stereographic projection of a panorama which included the entire viewsphere except for the zenith. The original of this crop is a 136 megapixel image.

The interactive panorama below is a full resolution version of the 360° view from the kite rig. It has fake sky added so it is a full spherical panorama. Click the icon at lower right to view it full screen.

Oh, those long gone college days. Captured by a camera hanging from a kite line (as it was landing).

Flight notes: 


  • Model: PowerShot S100
  • ISO: 125
  • Shutter speed: 1/640 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: FLED
  • Wind: From NE, 7 to 10 mph
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Photos taken: 1035 

Panorama stitching:

  • Software: Microsoft ICE
  • Stitching: all 25 photos from one cycle stitched together.
  • Post processing: Some stitching errors in the panoramas were hidden in Photoshop. Some white buildings were darkened to fix overexposure.

More Articles...