First aerial QTVR


I have long admired Scott Haefner’s series of aerial QTVR bubble panoramas. Scott built on a techinique first described by Philippe Hurbain. Over the Winter Break I started playing with a Nikon 8400 and its companion FC-E9 fisheye lens. This weekend marked the completion of a bracket to carry it below my kites. I made an Sunday trip down to the salt ponds this weekend and after waiting through a windless but otherwise pleasant afternoon caught just enough wind near sunset to fly the fisheye rig over Cargill’s Newark Salt Processing Plant. Way cool.

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A larger version of this panorama is available in the images > QTVR panorama section

The Cargill Newark Plant serves as a landmark in this part of the Bay Area. After the fall harvest it’s twin white piles of salt — some 100 feet high and 500 feet long — can be seen from great distances. I believe the current plant is located at a site that originally served the Arden salt Works as Plant No. 2. The consolidations that brought all Bay Area salt production under Leslie Salt’s control also ended up causing this plant to be the only salt processing plant hereabouts. Salt harvested at the Port of Redwood facility is now trucked here for washing and packaging.

The panorama below was taken at a lower altitude over a small outdoor museum with relics from the way the salt crystallizing ponds were worked in a previous era. Here you will find machines built to remove the salt from the floor of the crystallizing ponds, narrow gauge railroad trains that conveyed the salt to the plant, and a reproduction windmill that follows the inventive Archimedes’ screw devices that once moved water from pond to pond.

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