Photographing Spiral Jetty

Craft & Design Photography & Video
Photographing Spiral Jetty


On a tight budget, documenting art that lives in a lake can be quite a challenge – especially when it’s composed of “6,000 tons of rock and soil” –

After considering nearly every possible way to document “Spiral Jetty” from above — Rent a weather satellite? An airplane? A helicopter? Use a kite? — the institute, which often works in countries where conservation projects are carried out on shoestring budgets, came up with a remarkably simple solution: a $50 disposable latex weather balloon, easily bought online.
Along with a little helium, some fishing line, a slightly hacked Canon PowerShot G9 point-and-shoot digital camera, an improvised plywood and metal cradle for the camera and some plastic zip ties (to keep the cradle attached and the neck of the balloon cinched), a floating land-art documentation machine was improvised, MacGyver-like.

Full Story over at NYTimes. [Thanks, Erica!]


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4 thoughts on “Photographing Spiral Jetty

  1. Dale Dougherty says:

    I’m glad you linked to this story. I read it today and reminded me of our kite aerial photography project. I was glad to see a couple of clever people in the art world take such a creative approach. Also, the Spiral Jetty is a pretty amazing piece of art.

  2. Jesse says:

    I wonder if the camera was “slightly hacked” by using CHDK firmware.

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