Modified Drone captures rare view of Mount Everest


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❝ Ever since a British officer in 1903 captured what is believed to be the first image of Mount Everest, photographers have been striving to take iconic pictures of the world’s highest mountain. Everest’s enormity makes it nearly impossible to make a single photograph that highlights both its scale and position within the Himalayan landscape.

❝ This year, Renan Ozturk, a 39-year-old professional mountaineer and filmmaker on assignment for National Geographic, set out to make just such a photograph. His plan was to use a specially modified drone to create a 360-degree panorama that would portray Everest in its full grandeur but also reveal its commanding position in one of the planet’s most colossal landscapes.

RTFA. Enjoy the beauty of this image.

Summertime is here

Installation by one of my favorite critters. Variously called balloon spiders or parachute spiders [generation dependent?] – they are tiny – and they spin out a long filament of their web into the wind till the lift is greater than their miniscule weight. Take off and fly like a balloonist until they reach a useful obstacle which they homestead.

Checked back through the blog and they’re 3 days earlier than last year. Pretty much always a June discovery and a solid sign of summer for me.

Sunlight Iris

Most of the iris transplanted years ago from Helen’s grandma’s garden have reverted to white. This slender spear was different; so, we moved it to the living room – to an east window.

This morning it opened.

Om says the iPhone is killing the standalone camera

❝ The latest data released by Camera & Imaging Products Association only reinforces my thesis from a few years ago. Just look at this chart:

❝ I am not alone. Most of us take photos and share them digitally, and we expect them to be experienced on digital devices — typically smartphones — via Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. Sometimes, we might share them on dedicated digital displays (I love my Aura frame), but even those don’t need the spectacular quality provided by standalone cameras.

❝ Apple, Google, Huawei, and Samsung are competing aggressively on the strength of their camera — apart from the Internet, it is the most used feature on a smartphone. They are spending thousands of millions of dollars on software and hardware to improve the photography on their devices. Meanwhile, Nikon and Canon are racking up losses upon losses as camera sales stall. The camera industry is doing its best to paper over its looming doomsday scenario by releasing high-end interchangeable lens cameras that cost as much as a second-hand car. But you can see where this is going.

❝ If you think the situation for standalone cameras is bleak now, just wait until we get to the future! It is pretty obvious the smartphone cameras will improve at a much faster rate than standalone cameras, which are still locked into an older model of product development. Soon, it won’t be surprising to have everyday (not just high-end) phones with three to five lens modules that do everything from wide-angle photography to longer aperture telephotos from a single device. With software improvements coming in thick and fast, I expect this will be the new reality within 24 months.

This is excerpted from one of six articles in the latest of Om’s email newsletters on Tech and More. You can subscribe to it over here.

I’ve been heading down this road for several years. One of my oldest film cameras – 45+ years old – the favorite is becoming a collectible. A pocket-size Rollei 35B that’s been with me hiking and hill-walking from the Adirondacks to Ben Nevis. Haven’t used it in years. I have a lovely pocket-size digital Panasonic DMC-ZS8 that was in my pants pocket everywhere I walked since I retired – until my wife gave me my first iPhone. Now, it lives in my rolltop desk next to the two film cameras. Any photo of mine you see on my website or Instagram page was taken by an iPhone.