Fields for sports

One of the nadir photos. The vertical row of yellow trees are green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica). The short arc of rusty red trees near the center are white ash (F. americana). The reddish orange trees to the left are sugar maple (Acer saccharum). 
October 15 was a few days before the peak of the fall color in Middlebury, so when the sun and wind could not be ignored, I dragged myself out of the house with kite gear. I was not looking for a challenging KAP session, so I chose the athletic fields at Middlebury College. It was a weekend of the college's fall break, so there was not much happening on campus, and a half dozen or more soccer and football fields makes an easy launching place.

I thought the playing fields, the track, and the wedge shaped parking lot would make some nice photos, but I didn't really have much of an objective. There was not enough wind to fly the EOS M (I need a bigger kite) so the PowerShot S100 on a Saturn V Rig was lofted by the Fled. The funnest part of this post was identifying the most colorful trees using a kml file of Tim Parson's campus tree map

A photo at the lowest tilt angle.The Mahaney Center for the Arts (top), a slice of parking lot, and a showy red track.


The playing fields are at the southeast edge of campus. This is  a stereographic projection of a spherical panorama stitched from 16 photos taken by a PowerShot S100 on a Saturn V Rig lofted by a Fled kite. Most of the upper rank of photos were not included in the stitch (they are mostly sky).

About eight photos are stitched together in this panorama looking north toward the village of Middlebury. 

Detail of the panorama above showing the village of Middlebury. This image covers about 25% of the area of a single photo. This would have been a more acceptable image had it been taken by the better lens and bigger sensor of the EOS M (I need a bigger kite).


Flight notes: 


  • Model: PowerShot S100
  • ISO: 125
  • Shutter speed: 1/800 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 S, 7 to 11 mph
  • Duration: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Photos taken: 1307

Panorama stitching:

  • Software: Microsoft ICE
  • Stitching: The 16 photos in the stitch do not include the upper rank of mostly sky photos.
  • Post processing: Some stitching errors in the little planet panorama were hidden in Photoshop.

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