Aerial Photography and Visualisation for Built Heritage - PhD Portfolio by Kieran Baxter
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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Shetland Revisited

When I have time for writing at the moment usually goes towards my thesis, which might go some way to excuse why I haven't posted on here for over a year, that and the fact that it's a been a very busy year. I now feel as if I should document some of that busyness here for prosperity. Perhaps this is a better way to use my blog anyway - some kind of annual review!

Last summer I happily spent a fair amount of time in Shetland, where I did my MSc project, this time gathering some new aerial photographs of Historic Environment Scotland properties as well as taking some time out. As always the stunning scenery and archaeology was complimented by the friendly personalities and good coffee (as evidenced above). I also did some photography with my Allsopp Helikite (above, bottom right), a kind of kite / helium balloon hybrid, which makes a very reliable aerial platform and always attracts the curiosity of passers by.

I also got the chance to return to Jarlshof, the fantastic multi-phase prehistoric settlement that formed the basis of my MSc project. The short film that I produced, which tells the story of Jarlshof using 3D animation based on low aerial photography, is now on display in the on-site museum run by Historic Environment Scotland (above, top left). It was great to explore the labyrinthine settlement remains up close again. This time my only aerial view of the site was from the window of my inbound flight as we landed at Sumburgh (above, top right). Aerial photography so close to an active runway is by permission only! My short animated film "Jarlshof" is viewable online here.

As well as the focus of previous fieldwork it was great to be able to explore the wider Shetland archipelago. There is a lot to see here from some of the lesser known prehistoric sites to cliffs bustling with birdlife. There is always more to come back to!

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