Aerial Photography and Visualisation for Built Heritage - PhD Portfolio by Kieran Baxter
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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Kite aerial photography travels around Scotland

Things have been a little quite here on the aerial photography front while I was on leave from my PhD on a work placement (which was fantastic but ground-based), so time to get hyped again with some recent kite photographs!

Linlithgow Palace with Linlithgow Loch behind, kite aerial photograph.
Driving through West Lothian in soft evening light I made a detour to Linlithgow Palace, one of my favourite locations for KAP. The palace is bit of a labyrinth to explore and I like how this view takes in both the interior and the landscape behind.

Stanley Mills cotton mill and the river Tay, kite aerial photograph.
Despite being very close to home this one was a first time visit for me. Stanley Mills is an 18th century cotton mill that was powered by the river Tay. This turned out to be a great site for KAP with the river providing an opening for the wind amongst tall trees and steep topography. The heavy clouds visible in the background contained hail, which was tipping down about half an hour later!

The ruins of St Andrews cathedral, kite aerial photograph.
Very much an old favourite, this view of the ruins of St Andrews is an alternative angle taken in the very last light of the day. Again the challenge here is to include both the foreground detail and the fantastic setting of the coastline and pier.

Ruthven Barracks with Kingussie behind, kite aerial photograph.
This was another return visit made in passing, this time while driving through Strathspey. Ruthven Barracks is built on a glacial moraine above a flood plain of the Spey river, which follows the course of the once-massive glacier that gave the valley its shape during the last ice age. The barracks itself was built in response to the 1715 Jacobite uprising and remains among the best preserved of its type. The landmark is always a welcome site on the journey up the A9 road, which you can see here raised above the marshland.

Friday, 20 February 2015

North to South: Photographs in transit from a holiday with latitude

There's been very little activity on my blog over the last few months for two reasons. Firstly I am taking six months out of my PhD on a work placement as a research assistant. Secondly, I haven't been out kite flying over the Christmas holidays because I was away travelling with my parents to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. There are far too many photos of the trip to post here (I also shot this short video) but here are a few that I took with the camera pressed against the airplane window on our way from the UK to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world.

I had to include this here as a heritage related image with a really distinct hillfort in the center of the frame. Spotted in passing somewhere in the south of England (in or nearby Sussex). If anyone can identify it please do! [Update - kindly identified by Rik Hammond as Old Winchester - more info linked here.]

Fantastic low light somewhere in the vicinity of Madrid, where we changed planes. The semi-desert environment of central Spain was an odd parody of our deserted destination.

A view on approach to the bustling Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina and our overnight stop-over. Near the height of summer the temperatures reached around 35ºC. This view shows the Puerto Madero waterfront.

A freeway passes over the sprawling city and into the center where it joins the Plaza de la República, site of the iconic obelisk visible in the distance to the top left of frame.

After traveling another 1,500 miles south we reached Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, pictured above. As well as it's impressive setting surrounded by mountains in the beautiful Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia is the busiest port for Antarctic expeditions. My brother Dan is a bosun on the Bark Europa, the tall ship which is just visible on the far right leaving for one of many trips to the Antarctic Peninsula that she will make during the season.

Here is my short video compilation of timelapse and live action footage from our Antarctic trip. The timelapses were shot with the aid of my trusty GentLED device. A fantastic trip amongst some mesmerising landscapes that will stick with me for a long time.