Posted by: travelrat | September 12, 2007

The View from the Top

aerial.jpg

One of the things that struck me about the Durrington dig is how they were taking pictures of the site by aerial photography … from a Land Rover! Yes, this is true ‘aerial’ photography, though … for the benefit of my friends on the other side of the Pond ‘aerial’ is also English for ‘antenna’, and they take their pictures from a remote controlled camera atop an aerial extended from the Land Rover.

This, the operator explained, is far superior to photography from an aeroplane, as well as much cheaper. Often, the pilot of a fixed-wing aircraft has to apply for permission to overfly what he’s photographing at the altitude he requires, while a helicopter, especially if hovering, makes enough vibration to call for only the fastest shutter speeds.

The first question that springs to mind is ‘Why didn’t they think of it before?’ They did! At the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop (yes, folks! There is really a place of that name!), there’s a contraption dating from well before the invention of the aeroplane. It consists of little more than a long pole with a chair at the end; they’d simply order a soldier to sit in the chair and see what the enemy was up to.

And, I don’t think I’d care to have been that soldier!


Responses

  1. Can you imagine being that soldier? It certainly wouldn’t have been a job with a high percentage of volunteers!


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