tbenedict

I am a photographer living and working on the Big Island of Hawai`i. I primarily do aerial photography using a camera suspended from a kite line. I also do ground photography using digital and film cameras.


The Mauna Lani
The Mauna Lani
curtw (9 months ago)
food magic is pure art n inspiration...brother of hunger. ---Curt Westergard

curtw (9 months ago)
Appreciated your compliments on my airphotosLIVE.com photosynths. Are you still using a kite or a helium assisted kite? Hydrogen in this simple environment would be better for lift and cost. How do you turn these great images into dollars? Stay in touch.

douglas (Over 1 year ago)
I think I just found my new favourite panorama :-) I would love to live there :-)

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Waikoloa Abrader Quarry
Waikoloa Abrader Quarry
sir_ivar (Over 1 year ago)
Outstanding!

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Kona Coastline
Kona Coastline
sir_ivar (Over 1 year ago)
Awesome job Tom! Keep up the great work. Always impressed with your images.

douglas (Over 1 year ago)
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Manini Owali at Kua Bay
Manini Owali at Kua Bay
Nathan.Craig (Over 1 year ago)
Tom- Outstanding, thanks for sharing your work. Great KAP and great synth. Thanks, Nathan

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Hey, thanks for the info on geoalignment! I hadn't tried that before. I also didn't know about the overhead view. Gotta give that a try, too! It's now geotagged and geoaligned, but I'll have to play around to see what that actually gives the viewer. Thanks again for the tip! Tom

TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Another great synth Tom. Be sure to check this out in the new overhead view (just shipped today). You may also want to try geoaligning this synth (and some of your older ones). I used quite a few of them when testing this functionality. Let us know what you think about the new features!

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Megacam
Megacam
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
That's one regret I have: I never met Jack Horkheimer. That's awesome that you did, and that he signed your book that way! If you're interested in seeing an image off of Megaprime, here's one at full resolution: http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/en/news/CFHT30/ It's the CFHT Legacy Survey Deep Field 1. There are apparently half a million galaxies present in that one field. For more on the science goals of the CFHT Legacy Survey, this is the project's web site: http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/Science/CFHLS/ Keep looking up! Tom

swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
P.S. My astronomy field guide book is personally signed by Horkheimer, the Star Hustler! And yes, the inscription reads, "Keep looking up!"

swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
I love astronomy, and I love digital imaging. This is very cool. Tnx. And yes, I'm a BIG GEEK! (haha:) OK, I'm off to find images produced w/ this baby...

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Visible and IR Synth of a Kiawe Tree
Visible and IR Synth of a Kiawe Tree
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
My 20D has almost the same IR response, but the meter won't register the IR light, so you have to meter manually. Still, it's usable. I'm still itching for an IR converted camera. It would be nice to have the higher shutter speeds you could get with an honest to goodness IR converted camera. Among other things it would let me do IR photography from the air! Ah well, in any case I'd like to play with it a little more. 48% synthy, not because of the IR, but because my technique wasn't all that hot. I'll give it another go and try to post another one soon. Tom

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
It's a normal camera, actually, a Canon Powershot A650 IS. It's not even converted to the near-IR. But it works! Practically all visible light digital detectors are sensitive to the near-IR. (Actually, most are MORE sensitive in the near-IR than in the visible.) But for normal photography that IR response isn't really wanted. It makes for washed-out looking photos with weird color shifts. So most digital cameras have an IR blocking filter in front of the detector. In some cameras it's quite efficient, basically making the camera unusable for IR photography. In others it's weaker. I had an older Nikon Coolpix 950 that had a really weak IR blocker, and was great for IR photography. The filter in the A650IS is stronger, but it's still possible. I use a Hoya R72 filter. It's a long-pass filter that lets most of the light through that's longer than 720nm. Wide open at ISO 800, it makes for 1/10sec exposure in broad daylight. Camera still meters, though.

Nathanael.Lawrence (Over 1 year ago)
I love that you actually tried out shooting infrared. It's still an almost completely unexplored branch of synthing. I guess the camera still stores the data in an RGB format or is whatever sensor you're using different to your usual camera's sensor?

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Anaehoomalu Bay South
Anaehoomalu Bay South
TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Another great one Tom. Nice utilization of shade by the way :-)

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Kiholo Bay Inlet - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Kiholo Bay Inlet - Kite Aerial (KAP)
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Yep! I think I took closer to 1000 pictures, but a bunch of them pointed straight down at water, a couple were blurry, etc. By the time those were all removed, the total had come down to 820.

kgb-xo (Over 1 year ago)
Wow! Does the 820 photos mean that's how many are in this Synth?

douglas (Over 1 year ago)
This is a really beautiful synth - nice work. Mark.

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks! >gulp!!< That's a serious honor. I appreciate it a lot.

TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
congrats on getting the hero spot on the homepage!

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Large Lava Field - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Large Lava Field - Kite Aerial (KAP)
TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks for adding the geotag Tom. Stay tuned, all shall be revealed in time...

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Just so you're not waiting for a reply from me, I'm just another user, but I too am hugely interested in dense reconstruction etc. and wish very badly that I knew when we might see things release. I'm thinking that something special for Photosynth's birthday would be pretty cool. I don't know if that would be November 9th (2006 Technical Preview) or August 20th (2008 Public End User Launch), but either one would be fine with me. :) Anyway, I'll let Tony, Darius, 'Marvin', speak for themselves. P.S. If you feel like saving the video, I linked a tool for it when I originally posted the link to the webcast here: http://photosynth.net/discussion.aspx?cat=6b63cb81-8b57-4d5d-a978-41d5509bf59a&dis=9ba2c7c8-d7fe-42a8-a61d-bf1205a0d139 Cheers and congratulations for landing the 'Hero' spot!

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Hey, thanks for sharing this! I did INDEED find 40:28-47:10 of particular interest. (I had a couple of heads pop in my office door to find out what I was whooping about.) I also found the part right after that to be of interest, as well. I'd pry for details on timelines, but I figure that's pushing my luck. In any case I'm seriously looking forward to what the next two years brings! And if you have anything in particular you'd like me to try from the air that would be of benefit for testing any of this, please let me know. I'd be more than happy to go fly a kite, so to speak.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
tbenedict, I hope I'm not giving anything away, but you should watch http://video-jsoe.ucsd.edu/asx/AguerayArcas.asx if you've got a spare hour. I think you'll find 40:28 - 47:10 particularly enlightening. :)

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Done deal. Geotag is added. Can't wait to see what the new feature is!

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Waimea (Kamuela) - Kite Aerial
Waimea (Kamuela) - Kite Aerial
sir_ivar (Over 1 year ago)
Very sweet KAS (Kite Aerial photoSynth)! Your work is always incredible. -Mark

dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
Howdy. Sorry I never rang when I was in Hawaii. I was pretty busy with reunion gatherings all week. But even with the crazy vog, I still came back wishing I spent more time back home. P.S. I didn't take a good camera with me... but I made a small synth on top of Buster Brown. http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=a0fc3bd8-7bdc-44af-94ad-e49ae1fd0865

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Green Sand Beach - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Green Sand Beach - Kite Aerial (KAP)
ChartShark (Over 1 year ago)
wow!

Maui4Me (Over 1 year ago)
Amazing! This beach is beautiful, thanks for sharing!

Marvin (Over 1 year ago)
Ver nice!

dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
You're really making some fantastic synths! (I'll be home May 24 - June 1 for my reunion... Would love to catch up.)

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Yup! This is my second synth to get highlights. Sorry it took me so long to add some. This one had to crank overnight before it would show up. First order of business after waking up was to edit the synth and add some highlights. Now off to make coffee!

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Truck - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Truck - Kite Aerial (KAP)
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Yeah, I need to start going back through my synths to add highlights. 'Cause you mentioned it, I'll start with this one.

queuester (Over 1 year ago)
Great synth. Highlights would be great on this for navigation.

madeeds (Over 1 year ago)
Wow! If you could supplement this with some photos from the ground, I bet the truck would have had some really amazing detail. I love the location.

siblog (Over 1 year ago)
Very nice indeed, I used to do areal photography from kits some 25 years ago. When I look at this synth and what is possible now, my efforts back then look rather tatty. Well done!

Marvin (Over 1 year ago)
Wow. This is amazing. I love this set.

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North Kohala Lighthouse - Kite Aerial (KAP)
North Kohala Lighthouse - Kite Aerial (KAP)
dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
Go KAP Week! ;)

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
It was... well, a couple of feet at most. If the wind hadn't been so steady I never would've risked it. More to come! Worldwide KAP Week 2009 isn't even half over yet.

K (Over 1 year ago)
i think this is the best kap synth yet! how close did the camera to the lighthouse? i'm thinking close judging by that shadow! keep up the good work.

madeeds (Over 1 year ago)
This caeme out really well. I like the details of the top deck.

Marvin (Over 1 year ago)
Very nice job! The pointcloud is really something.

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Kohala Archaeological Site - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Kohala Archaeological Site - Kite Aerial (KAP)
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
I'm just glad they all synthed cleanly. I'm going to be doing a lot more KAP over the next week and a half, so hopefully some new synths will be coming down the pipe.

sir_ivar (Over 1 year ago)
Very sweet. I'm impressed with the number of photos. Wow. Great work!

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Waikiki Beach Near Diamondhead - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Waikiki Beach Near Diamondhead - Kite Aerial (KAP)
CliffBreedlove (Over 1 year ago)
very nice

TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Tom, yet another great synth. Keep them coming! If you are ever in Seattle let us know so you can meet the team and perhaps do some synthing with us!

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Kua Bay - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Kua Bay - Kite Aerial (KAP)
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
It was a couple of years ago. I know what you mean, though. Used to be you either parked just off the highway on the side of that pu`u, or you brought a 4WD (and still wound up hiking some.) It's WAY way busier now. These were done on a pretty crummy day in terms of weather, so it wasn't that busy. But during winter break when the weather was better, it was PACKED. Felt like Hapuna. :(

dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
Wow, when was that paved road put in? I remember Kua bay being a lot harder to get to... (why teenagers trek their way in on weekends)

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
I wish the donuts were a little more flexible. The motion available in each one is pretty minimal. Ah well, more testing!

TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Another great one!

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Mala`ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea MS
Mala`ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea MS
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
I'm still planning to do a town-wide synth. I just finished work on an automated controller for a kite aerial rig, and I'm dying to try it out as soon as the weather clears. Should provide 360 x 118 degree hemispheres wherever the rig gets parked. It'd work best with kona winds, but at this point I'll take what I can get.

dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
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Waipio Valley - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Waipio Valley - Kite Aerial (KAP)
snorky2k (Over 1 year ago)
With this economy, I may never get to visit Hawaii. It is such a beautiful state. Thanks for sharing. The idea of using a kite is brilliant.

Scott (Over 1 year ago)
No advice, just props. :-)

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Naaah, it's all good. I'm new to Photosynth, so the more advice the merrier. I do plan to go back, and include a full session from the overlook. Ideally I'd walk in and make stops along the way to get as many angles as possible. But it's gonna make for a long day!

robert_sprout (Over 1 year ago)
Don't you hate it when you do something amazing, and everyone on photosynth responds with their own brand of advice? AS IF! This rocks. You're my idol.

Fred_Oxford (Over 1 year ago)
great photos - and incredible how they synthed

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Pololu Valley - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Pololu Valley - Kite Aerial (KAP)
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Sweet! Hey, thanks for the info and the example, K. I can get 1.2 second interval on the shots, which shouldn't be bad, but I'll have to keep the speed of my car down. The car-top mount is all ready to go, but I'll have to wait for now. There's a big weather system over us right now, and it's raining. Time to play with Photosynth in the studio!

K (Over 1 year ago)
Here's an example of a simple driving synth. Keep in mind these photos were taken through the windshield at low quality: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8803dd0d-5a66-470e-a2cc-1cf656edf0db

K (Over 1 year ago)
tbenedict, sticking a camera on your car and driving around would definitely synth as long as the frequency is high enough. you'll get what we call a tunneling synth where pressing the up arrow will take you forward in the synth. i have a sample data set from the chiricahua desert in arizona, i'll upload it shortly. the only downside to that approach is that you won't be able to look side to side. ideally if you're going to try it you'd want to capture a 360 panorama (make sure you have LOTS of overlap) every so often to tie things together.

Schn828 (Over 1 year ago)
Thank you so much for all the advice on where to go/eat. The main reason I wanted to come to the big island was to see some lava flows. So I am about to leave and drive to do that. It should take up most of the day, and I leave tomorrow, so I do not think that I will be able to make it to the breakfast spot on the opposite side. Breakfast is my favorite meal too so I am a little bummed out. Wherever we end up today, I will post a synth of our adventures.

tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Oooh! Good point! Do stop by Hawaiian Style. Seriously ono grinds. But be prepared! I have yet to be able to finish any meal there except for the reuben. dariusmonsef is not #%!@ng about it being big enough to last you to dinner. I still haven't climbed that hill... I don't know about you, Schn828, but I'm adding that one to my list. As for synthing all of Waimea... I think it would be fun to stick a camera on top of my car with an intervalometer script running on it and just drive all over the place. But I have no idea how that would synth. Has anyone tried anything like that yet? Seems like it'd be easy enough to integrate something like that with a series of handheld orbits around some of the landmarks in town. For that matter, do you think a driving synth like that would work for something like Mana Road? I'm planning to do some more kite aerial photography up there, and could give it a try while I'm driving.

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Anaehoomalu Bay - Kite Aerial (KAP)
Anaehoomalu Bay - Kite Aerial (KAP)
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Hahahaha! Ouch... I look like such a slacker in that shot. ;) But you do win the prize. Next time I'll wear a Local Motion shirt and stand up a little straighter. Hey, Worldwide KAP Week 2009 is coming up in about a month and a half. I've got a whole slew of places on my list, so I should be able to post a bunch of new aerial synths around mid-May. (I'll stand up straighter in those, too...)

dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
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