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Watt Noise
03-20-2005, 08:47 AM
Thought I'd chime in and introduce myself... Also wanted to share a unique way of looking at ghost towns... I'm a part-time photographer with a specialized kind of platform to take my photos from - an electric model aircraft - UAV...

My website gives alot of details on what I do - click on the RC and AP Hobby link to get past the "sales pitch" stuff if you are interested... http://WattNoise.com (http://wattnoise.com/) There are quite a few "higher perspective" pics in the galleries as well... I'd like to add a Ghost Town Gallery as well soon - thought I'd see if y'all thought it would be a worthy thing to do...

I did an archeological site of some Indian ruins in Northern AZ last summer and have been researching other historical sites to photograph... After finding this website, I was "challenged" by some of the site descriptions stating "nothing remains"... From experience, I knew that many times what cannot be readily seen on the ground can be seen from a few hundred feet up!...

So - my first ghost town is Pantano Station just east of Tucson, AZ... An old locomotive water station at the high point between Benson and Tucson... This is in the Cienega Creek Preserve off of Marshall Gulch Rd.... Some accounts say that the rail station was built on the site of an old Butterfield stagecoach station... But, some locals have told me that the stagecoach station was actually a couple miles further west in the canyon... I haven't been there as yet, but I have been told that some remains can be seen there as well... The preserve and ghost town are accessed by permit obtained through the Pima County Parks and Recreation Dept. and does border on inaccessible private land...

The intact water tower is still there... Foundations, the old spur track, main rail bed, and wagon path are visible from the air... A few old items are still around... The pipe from the water tower leading to the building foundations is visible... Some of the remains of walls, roof tiles, and steps... A chicken coop... A well/trough was spotted from the aerial pics... Found a very old boot... Left everything in place of course... Don't need some ghost coming after me looking for his shoes!...

Hope you enjoy... I've got others on my list of "nothing remains" if you think it's worth doing... Suggestions of places to go would be very welcome as well... Want to stay around S. AZ thru the spring and then will be in the Pinetop area off and on through the summer also...

Kevin
Watt Noise Aerial Photography (http://wattnoise.com/)

Did You Hear That?

Watt Noise
03-20-2005, 08:50 AM
This is a cropped photo showing more detail of the foundations and the faint wagon track that is in front of it...

Watt Noise
03-20-2005, 08:53 AM
Trains don't stop here anymore - at least he waived as he went by...

Watt Noise
03-20-2005, 08:57 AM
This is about 4 miles west of Pantano Station at the edge of the Cienega Creek Preserve... The train track that goes by the station is the one in the creek bed itself and is the East bound track... The upper trestle with the train on it is West bound to Tucson... The Cienega road bridge was built in 1920-1921... Hard to see in this compressed photo but is an arch bridge...

That's it - that's all for now...

Kevin

old judge
03-20-2005, 10:48 AM
Your photos and concept are fascinating. I certainly encourage you to keep on keepin' on. I've experienced the situation of being able to see much more from the sky than is imagined on the ground. The wagon tracks in one of your pics is a classic example. Many old tracks in Oklahoma are highly visible in good aerial photography, but non-existent from ground level. I have often located things on the ground by using terraserver, or other local sources of aerial shots, before going into a location. Again, great site, photos and concept. OJ

Mikejts
03-20-2005, 11:20 AM
What a great idea.

Couple questions:

Do you see what your camera is focused on or are you just randomly shooting photos?

How well do these fly at 10,000 feet? Actually a better question would be, Are there any altitude restictions?

Watt Noise
03-20-2005, 11:34 AM
Your photos and concept are fascinating. I certainly encourage you to keep on keepin' on. I've experienced the situation of being able to see much more from the sky than is imagined on the ground. The wagon tracks in one of your pics is a classic example. Many old tracks in Oklahoma are highly visible in good aerial photography, but non-existent from ground level. I have often located things on the ground by using terraserver, or other local sources of aerial shots, before going into a location. Again, great site, photos and concept. OJ
I appreciate the words of encouragement... Sometimes I can get so wrapped up in the process of a new project that it's hard for me to be objective with the results!... ;)

This is really a fun thing to do... I spent 3 separate days at this one just exploring around and took about 200 photos of the area... I don't think I've spent more than a couple hours at any place I've photographed in the past 6 months... My wife is going to probably have to send out search teams when I get to ghost towns that have more to them!...

Kevin

Watt Noise
03-20-2005, 12:00 PM
What a great idea.

Couple questions:

Do you see what your camera is focused on or are you just randomly shooting photos?

How well do these fly at 10,000 feet? Actually a better question would be, Are there any altitude restictions?
I do have the capability to downlink the image to "frame" shots on a monitor or laptop, but the 2 aircraft I used for these shots did not have that set up... I've been doing it for awhile now and can pretty well tell which direction and what the camera is looking at... I get about a 30-50% yield on useable pics... Digital's cheap... Another reason for not using the downlink set-up was the area I was in... That stuff is expensive!... If I had a mishap with a cactus, I could be replacing some stuff that I don't really want to afford to replace... My Canon would be bad enough... :D

There are altitude restrictions to how far above the ground I can fly from the FAA - 400'... But, there are techniques to get shots that look like you're alot higher such as in the last pic I posted above... That one was easy - I launched from the top of a hill that was about 500' above the bridge levels approximately a mile away... Tricky... ;)

I personally have flown from a ground level of 9,000' and didn't have any problems... I have a compadre in Colorado that has flown the same type of airplane from a starting point of 14,000'... It's the "how far above the ground" that we have to be cautious of... If I can't get the shot that a client wants from my models, I have them spring for a full-size airplane for me to use... It's usually alot less expensive than most think...

Kevin

Flatiron
03-20-2005, 05:40 PM
Great stuff!.....I wish I had the time and resources to do what you're doing. I think this will go over well, and I'll be watching to see what comes of it.............

Watt Noise
03-21-2005, 10:45 AM
Great stuff!.....I wish I had the time and resources to do what you're doing. I think this will go over well, and I'll be watching to see what comes of it.............
Hopefully, I won't disappoint... Luckily, I get a few calls to take pics to help offset the costs... I might be stretching into too many "hobbies" though - airplanes, cameras, and now ghost towns...... NAH!... :)

Kevin

Bob
03-21-2005, 12:02 PM
I am most intrigued by your work. Such sites interest me the most. From an archeological perspective, this would be so neat for investigating some lessor known intaglios. I know low level aerial photography is not always available and most expensive to commission. Marking spots on the ground to register your photography seems like your next step but 400' is a bit low proper perspective. Could you get a waiver from the FAA in remote areas? I am of curious as to initial costs, as I know several sites I'd love to get the skyview of.

daveWCO
03-21-2005, 07:31 PM
Ghost Town Kevin:

Nice shots, as always. Lookin' forward to more!

Great site, btw!

Dave

Watt Noise
03-21-2005, 09:09 PM
DAVE! You ol' polecat!... Fancy meeting you here... :D Cool website here, isn't it?...

Watt Noise
03-21-2005, 09:31 PM
I am most intrigued by your work. Such sites interest me the most. From an archeological perspective, this would be so neat for investigating some lessor known intaglios. I know low level aerial photography is not always available and most expensive to commission. Marking spots on the ground to register your photography seems like your next step but 400' is a bit low proper perspective. Could you get a waiver from the FAA in remote areas? I am of curious as to initial costs, as I know several sites I'd love to get the skyview of.There are UAV operators that routinely get COA's (Certificates of Operations) from the FAA to do all sorts of things including flying at ten's of thousands of feet... But, then they're actually a lot - LOT more expensive than just going to the local airport and hiring a pilot with a Cessna to take you around... Around Tucson, I can get a plane and pilot for $100 to $150 an hour... You can cover quite an area in an hour...

Admittedly, the photos I do are limited in scope... The platform is not really suited for "survey" type work... I don't shoot straight down for one thing... I use an oblique angle to see the sides of things with my set-up... I normally only use a 5 to 10 degree look down angle - max 30 degrees...

One thing you might investigate is the private satellite imagery companies like "old judge" was saying... Terraserver being one... I've seen alot of great ones - easiest is to do a web search of "satellite photos"... Most have subscription and print services and the resolution is surprising... If you were in your driveway waving at the satellite at the time the photo was taken, you'd quite easily see yourself... Worth a try - and very inexpensive... I use them sometimes to find take-off and landing sites around my intended subjects in the city...

Kevin

Bob
03-22-2005, 09:17 AM
I know aerial photography well but getting it for specific sites and sufficient resolution for what site surveys is a wee bit cost prohibitive (Or Iím just too cheap). It is getting better as much comes in electronic form now and the non-classified government (Not commercial) stuff is freely exchangeable. I work with several Photo Interpreters and they can tell ya, I have standing orders if they do work in Nevada to keep me up to speed, Unfortunately, I'm not that excited about most Superfund sites and the costumer isn't that keen on archaeological and non polluting historical sites (Did get some interesting stuff on heavy metal pollution along the mill sites below Virginia City near Dayton, Nevada.)

I can see the advantages to side view photography from your perspective as it is just for exploring and such. I routinely visit Terraserver and Topozone when checking out new locales. Sure sounds like a lot off fun and if you can offset some of your costs, so much the better.

caver
03-25-2005, 08:42 AM
Another nice feature is you can get access to land that is posted.
I fly a weightshift trike (ultralight) and always enjoy the unique aerial perspective.
http://caver.smugmug.com/photos/15395748-S.jpg

dvsww2
03-26-2005, 05:08 PM
Guys, this looks like an interesting tool...I'm one of those guys that says" If the Good Lord Gave me Wings, I'd Fly" However air photos would be interesting of a site that is quite spread out and has tall brush. Metropolis NV Comes to mind as it was once a fairly developed city and a lot of roads, foundations and even sidewalks exist, but with the waist high brush, it is difficult to imagine how the town was laid out. Even the developed c**** system would be interesting to see from above. One of my buddies talked to a guy who worked in the area on a federal survey crew says the c****s are really interesting. When the land development company lost they water rights case, the town died.

AZ_Chris
12-28-2010, 01:19 AM
Is it easy to get to the Cienega station that's west of the Pantano station? Its just 1/4 mile east down the train tracks from where they cross the Frontage Road, correct? Google Earth shows a big bridge out there where the tracks cross.
Also, does anyone believe in the story of the second "La Cienega" station in the "Dig Here!" book? The place where supposedly the "Bender Gang" operated? Personally I think its just a story made up by the author and there's only one Cienega or La Cienega station out there.
The Bender's "La Cienega" station was supposed to lie east of either the Pantano or common Cienega stations (the book didn't specify exactly which one) in a "box canyon". Supposed to be treasure buried out there but I doubt it.

top39
11-11-2011, 08:20 PM
Interesting.. PANTANO AZ - was begun by my great grandfather.... He was a Doctor from Palermo Sicily.
Wish I knew more about it all..... But , he had run away from his family - with a younger woman - and went to AZ.... Stinker started the town --
If anyone knows more -- please contact me.. I would like to see his grave ????
I'm up in Colorado..... Thanks....!!

Gerald T. Ahnert
09-16-2015, 07:39 AM
Butterfield's stage station site near Pantano Is now partly under the railroad bed at its bend near Davidson Wash.

boby
12-15-2018, 04:50 AM
What a great idea.

Couple questions:

Do you see what your camera is focused on or are you just randomly shooting photos?

How well do these fly at 10,000 feet? Actually a better question would be, Are there any altitude restictions?

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