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Laforet photography

2004-06-10 16:25:12.702458+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

[ related topics: Photography Aviation New York ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Another image made: 2004-06-10 17:35:16.249569+00 by: td

Laforet is the guy who did this famous image of antenna maintenance on the Empire State Building. Check out his whole web site.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-10 19:52:11.294477+00 by: Dan Lyke

Some powerful images there. Thanks for making sure I got to his site.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-11 19:20:58.468987+00 by: ebradway

I've been working on some of my own:

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-11 19:26:40.479647+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeeha! I was wondering when that was going to show up!

So what are you doing for the camera power supply?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-11 20:09:47.031515+00 by: ebradway

I just left the batteries in the camera. The gondola weighed in at just under 4 lbs with the camera mounted. I fried my Canon A70 trying to get it powered off the drive connector. I also ran into trouble with the tether. I used 18 gauge speaker wire for the tether and ran the 12V power to the gondola computer over it - using wireless for the data connection. The 18 gauge wire had enough resistance to limit the tether length to about 60 feet. Other variables, such as the wind speed, kept me down to about 50 feet of altitude.

I'm planning a second attempt in the fall (my summer is booked solid) using a 12V battery on-board for power and fishing line for the tether. I'm also going to try a military surplus weather balloon with hydrogen to get 10lbs+ of lift.

What worked surprisingly well was the VIA Eden mini-itx computer with the compact-flash IDE drive. It bounced off the pavement many times and only locked up with the power cord got jostled. The Canon A10 locked up a couple times and needed a power-cycle to come back. I ended up using WinME, the Canon remote control software in time-delay mode, and VNC. The A70 gives previews but the A10 doesn't. It was easier to have the camera take shots and save them to the laptop via wireless and focus on keeping the baloon aloft than fuss with taking the shot just right.

I've heard that once I get above 100ft of altitude I start getting away from the nasty thermals that making the baloon act like a yo-yo. We'll see. I also need to resolve the georeferencing problem. The pictures are useless to me without knowing the precise location of each pixel.