Maldives from the Plane
I don't like lying on the beach and I occasionally arrived on Maldives. Many friends told me that it was completely nothing to do more than one week there. Taking in consideration all this I landed in the airport of Malé.
A takeoff strip is along the seashore there and it seemed to me a good sign. Indeed, real things became different from those I was told about earlier. During 10 days I could bathe in the sun only for half an hour and I fell asleep for several minutes only because I was exhausted due to I had had many things to do before.
Once, when the unordinary and beautiful clouds were sailing in the sky, I decided to shoot from the air the turquoise atolls and booked a seaplane flight from the hotel. It had to arrive from the capital Male, because there is no air base on the isle of 100 meters width we situated on.
And I was sitting on the sand near the sea, was waiting for the seaplane and thought if the seaplane could take me with my two backpacks full of equipment. Finally, a very small object like a point appeared in the air and it became closer and closer and then a small plane fast arrived on the water and slowly came to the shore.
In a few minutes a huge 20-meters bird, which is able to accommodate about two dozens of people on its board, was sailing on the waves near me. It seemed to me that, perhaps, any tourist group leaved the hotel. However, a steward in a white-snow suite left the plane and asked me:
- Are you Mr. Oleg?
I looked around - there was nobody on the beach - and said yes.
- Welcome to the board, Sir!
I sat in the armchair near the vessel's commander, opened the window and we took off.
We flew around North and South Male atolls in two hours and it's about 10% of the Maldives' area. I had 4 cameras with me and I shot mostly ordinary photos, but in the end I decided to shoot a spherical panorama.
I didn't understand well how it could be realized at a ground speed of 150 km per hour. I needed it hovered and turned around its axis. And I hadn't got any other idea instead it had to go into a steep vertical power dive like a front bomber. But I was frightened that in that case my backpack would be out of the seaplane and decided not to risk :)
Well, I tried several different ways of shooting but even then I didn't know what the result was. In the evening I began to upload the files to Moscow and to the next day noon 2 gig bites of different-breed parts of Maldivian spheres have successfully become on the AirPano server. During the breakfast I heard that the people were complaining the Internet were functioning slowly but I didn't show that I knew something and was putting jam on the croissants without saying a word. In the afternoon my friend Andrey Zubets, who is our guru in making panoramas, called. His first words were: "It's impossible to combine this!" I began to beg he would try once again; using the evident flattery about his talents in PTGui mixing them with the complaints that there was no more money to realize the second flight and to shoot once again.
- Ok, I'll try to do something, - said Andrey without any enthusiasm in his voice and hung off.
However, one day later Andrey sent a ready panorama and you can view it here.
17 December 2010