Aerial view of a layout with finished scenery
I generated this composite shot by first mounting a digital camera on the end of a 1-foot extension perpendicularly mounted to the end of a 7-foot pole (in other words, it was shaped like a 7-foot upside-down "L").
Then I walked around the layout taking photographs at about 2-foot intervals. After downloading the shots into the computer, I used Adobe Photoshop to create a composite. There are over 75 individual photographs in this composite. The original composite was done in 2000 and updated in 2007 when the layout had about 60% scenery. But this version was completely re-shot in November 2012.
The color is slightly off in many shots, and the alignment isn't perfect, but it'll give you a good idea of what the BV looks like. To see the locations of various components and cities, refer to the trackplan.
I tried to include many of the buildings and landmarks that have been mentioned or featured in my magazine articles, just for reference.
This is the latest version of this aerial shot. An "ancient" version (circa November, 2000) appears in the March, 2002 issue of Model Railroader magazine, and an interactive version appears on their website and is entitled "How to photograph a bird's-eye view of your layout."
Here's what's cool about constantly updating this shot: you can see different "layers" of the layout. Compare the area at the bottom of the picture above to the same area's composite, taken several weeks prior:
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