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(July 1 – September 30, 2021)

Chiara Masiero Sgrinzatto

Silent Fly

J Pat Marse

Rio Grande Gorge

Near Taos, New Mexico, USA

September 09, 2021 9:00am local time

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© 2021 J Pat Marse, All Rights Reserved.


The Rio Grande Gorge is a canyon created by shifting tectonic plates, volcanic activity, and erosion by the Rio Grande River.  It is approximately 50 miles long starting in northern New Mexico at the Colorado border and continuing southeast past Taos where the depth is near 800 feet near the iconic arch bridge on US Highway 84. This panorama was taken approximately 8 miles south of the bridge where the gorge depth is near 600 feet.  

A set of 26 images was used to produce this spherical panorama.  They were taken by the new DJI Mini II drone which landed at my house via FedEx in July.  After seeing a panorama taken by this drone on World Wide Panorama (the "Rise" event, entry submitted by Bryant Arnett), and some further reading on the Web, my interest was piqued to where I decided to try one, and there have been absolutely zero disappointments. 

The Mini II has the capability of taking and assembling a complete spherical while in flight.  Created in the "tiny planet" format, the spherical as viewed immediately on my smartphone on location at the flight site was impressive but after being downloaded to PC, I realized it was not near the resolution I was accustomed to.  Fortunately, the Mini II is capable of also taking the set of 26 photos as 23.3 megabyte raw images, which create a high-res spherical with PTGUI.

In the panorama mode, the gimbal mounted Mini II camera covers the complete lower hemisphere including nadir but leaves a somewhat significant void around the zenith as the camera can elevate to only 20° above the horizon.  Not to worry : Photoshop Elements "content aware fill" to the rescue.


DJI Mini II drone, Pano2VR, PTGUI Pro 12.7, Photoshop Elements 2021 

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