Aerial Photography and Visualisation for Built Heritage - PhD Portfolio by Kieran Baxter
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Sunday, 28 July 2013

St Andrews Cathedral, Pier and Castle from the Air

St Andrews is a favorite location for aerial photography with fantastic built heritage, geology and coastal landscape rolled together to create some striking visuals.

St Andrews pier, cathedral and castle photographed from a light aircraft
Flying over East Sands beach in a light aircraft offered this high level overview of the historic town and coastline.

The remains of St Andrews Cathedral, kite aerial photograph
This vertigo-inducing kite photograph shows what appears to be a stand-alone monument. In fact these are the remnants of a larger lost structure at St Andrews Cathedral.

St Andrews pier, Kite Aerial Photograph
The long walk to the end of St Andrews pier follows the line of natural geological features, visible at low tide.

St Andrews Castle, photographed from a light aircraft
St Andrews Castle is perched a little further along this rocky coastline. This winter shot, taken from a light aircraft, shows a web of footprints left by visitors exploring the site.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

High & Low Exhibition Open at Falkland Centre for Stewardship

An exhibition of my aerial photographs - including images from a kite platfrom, light aircraft, and computer generated orthographic views by Susie Green - opened at Falkland Estate on Tuesday with launch event and presentation. I was please to see a good number of attendees for what was an enjoyable evening with lots of good questions and discussion.

Pairs of aerial photographs are displayed in the converted stables.
The exhibition itself is set up in the Stables where it will remain until mid August. The old horse booths create a great space where images can be grouped into pairings like these:

High & low altitude vertical photographs of White Caterthun showing subtle enclosure remains.
This example shows two near-vertical views of White Caterthun hill fort in Angus - one from high altitude and the other taken from a camera suspended from a kite. The lower view (on the right) shows the remains of a circular enclosure, seemingly underlying the main rampart, which is made more visible in the melting snow.

The range of images includes ortho-rectified views by Susie Green.
As well as a series of oblique views from high and low altitude the exhibition includes orthographic renders of Susie Green's very high resolution computer models of White and Brown Caterthun generated from structure from motion photogrammetry (see Susie's website here).

The exhibition marks the end of an image gathering stage of a pilot project exploring the characteristics of different aerial photography platforms, methods and approaches. the next stage is to take this imagery and bring it forward into more cinematic and interpretive outcomes, which further tell the story of these fantastic monuments. This animated test of Maiden Castle in the Lomond Hills gives a sense of the potential for this kind of imagery.

The Falkirk Wheel and Arria Sculpture, Cumbernauld

On a recent trip to Glasgow I stopped off at a couple more modern sites to get some kite photos. The Falkirk Wheel - with it's the circular basin, bold architecture and impressive engineering - makes a great subject for the aerial view.

The Falkirk Wheel with the Ochill hills in the distance.
The worlds only rotating canal boat lift was opened in 2002 and connects the Firth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. When it is not in use for canal traffic short boat trips take visitors up and down the lift.

An elevated aqueduct carries boats to the top of the lift.
This shot gives an unusual angle on the familiar Arria sculpture which overlooks the busy M80 near Cumbernauld. More about the story behind the sculpture is on the website (here) of it's creator Andy Scott.

The Arria sculpture by Andy Scott stands near Cumbernauld.