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Aerial photography

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September 18, 2005 9:42:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In this coming week, I shall be using my Konica Dimage A1 digital for
photographing crop/
soil marks over Oxfordshire/Berkshire. What setting would anyone experienced
in this,
recommend? For instance, should I go to full TIFF in colour or plain Black &
White?
With 'save' time of a few seconds, the shortest exposures would be preferred
because of
the need to obtain records of adjoining fields.
As well, is there any recommended height for optimum results?
A nervous newbie at aerial photography,
RoJ
All answers welcome and loan of parachute if possible!!!!

More about : aerial photography

Anonymous
September 18, 2005 9:42:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"RoJ" <roger.gelder@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:3GhXe.6814$ws4.5812@newsfe5-win.ntli.net...
> In this coming week, I shall be using my Konica Dimage A1 digital for
> photographing crop/
> soil marks over Oxfordshire/Berkshire. What setting would anyone
> experienced
> in this,
> recommend? For instance, should I go to full TIFF in colour or plain Black
> &
> White?
> With 'save' time of a few seconds, the shortest exposures would be
> preferred
> because of
> the need to obtain records of adjoining fields.
> As well, is there any recommended height for optimum results?
> A nervous newbie at aerial photography,
> RoJ
> All answers welcome and loan of parachute if possible!!!!

RoJ,
I've done a bit of aerial photography before and it can be very challenging.
According to your camera specs, he Konica Dimage A1 has 5mp so you should be
able to get the desired resolution. Depending on these "soil marks" try to
have the pilot level off between 2 to 3 thousand feet. Lower is always
better but airspeed becomes a factor under 1000'

As far as TIFF vs JPG for the save time on your camera, that's a hard one to
call. I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to acheive but the higher
resolution would be better. From a plane, you will be on quite an angle
unless the pilot and you are able to put the plane on its side for a few
shots. Depending in the aircraft and your stomach this can be a neat
experience!

Vibration! Especially in a smaller aircraft. Use the highest shutter speed
you can unless even if you have image stabilization on the lens. Try to
avoid resting the lens on part of the aircraft and above all, don't rest the
lens against the aircraft window. I found hand held worked best. A monopod
just transfers the vibration to the camera while in a plane or a helicopter.
As a test, try a few shots while sitting in your car. Shoot through the
windows in your car while it is idling and rev the motor a few times. A
professional I know has an expensive gyro-stabilizer but most of us can't
afford one.

Most likely you will be flying in good weather (or you won't be flying), so
I highly recommend a polarizer filter. Lots of glare especially when
shooting through the glass of an airplane. I know this filter will close the
aperture a few stops but on a bright sunny day this shouldn't be much of a
problem.

Finally haze can be a problem because the sun reflects off of the top of
moisture in the air. If you are above this moisture (that we usually cannot
see from the ground, especially in an urban area, it can be disappointing
but no one can predict the weather.

Otherwise shoot as many shots as you can and have fun.
Hope this helps.
September 19, 2005 12:18:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gaderian,
Many thanks, that is extremely helpful. The sideways shots
sound
interesting - might try an anti-heave-ho pill first!
I had seen a comment on window glass reflection and holding camera against
window to overcome this! Thank goodness you warned me off it.
Hopefully this epic might be 'on' this week, because on the lighter
soils
(flinty chalk soils showing "shadowing" with occupation) there are crops
coming
through already which will quickly obscure these faint differences.
Cheers,
Roger.


Gaderian" <nospam@anisp.com> wrote in message
news:UujXe.345$0u2.180397@news20.bellglobal.com...
: "RoJ" <roger.gelder@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
: news:3GhXe.6814$ws4.5812@newsfe5-win.ntli.net...
: > In this coming week, I shall be using my Konica Dimage A1 digital for
: > photographing crop/
: > soil marks
: RoJ,
Related resources
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 12:18:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"RoJ" <roger.gelder@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:YXjXe.7051$ws4.1451@newsfe5-win.ntli.net...
> Gaderian,
> Many thanks, that is extremely helpful. The sideways shots
> sound
> interesting - might try an anti-heave-ho pill first!
> I had seen a comment on window glass reflection and holding camera against
> window to overcome this! Thank goodness you warned me off it.
> Hopefully this epic might be 'on' this week, because on the lighter
> soils
> (flinty chalk soils showing "shadowing" with occupation) there are crops
> coming
> through already which will quickly obscure these faint differences.
> Cheers,
> Roger.

Well I'm glad my two cents may help.
Have a great time Roger.
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 2:26:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <3GhXe.6814$ws4.5812@newsfe5-win.ntli.net>,
"RoJ" <roger.gelder@ntlworld.com> wrote:

> In this coming week, I shall be using my Konica Dimage A1 digital for
> photographing crop/ soil marks over Oxfordshire/Berkshire. What setting would anyone experienced
> in this, recommend? For instance, should I go to full TIFF in colour or plain Black &
> White? With 'save' time of a few seconds, the shortest exposures would be
> preferred because of the need to obtain records of adjoining fields. As well, is there any recommended height for optimum results?
> A nervous newbie at aerial photography,

Of course, shoot with the highest resolution your camera can handle and
shoot in color. If you need B&W photos, its easy enough to convert color
to B&W in a photo editor. Use the smallest aperture your camera has, so
you get the maximum dept of field. Actually, if you can, shoot each
scene at the largest aperture, then try to shoot it again at the
smallest aperture.
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 7:28:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

When I worked as an aircraft mech we occasionally had charters like
this. Favoured low budget method was two guys on the ground to pop
smoke cannisters (from a yacht chandlers) at start/end points. Gives
wind info to the pilot, too, which he will want in his head if he's
conducting low level passes in a single engined a/c. Distress flares
are easily visible from altitude, too.
We always advised the local police beforehand, as the combination of
low flying aircraft coupled with distress signals can trigger calls to
them.
Regarding shooting in a banked turn: if a friend is flying for you
rather than a grizzled old pro then during the preflight briefing, ask
him to hold the turn at a constant g. You'll have enough to think about
without your camera (and your arms) getting lighter or, more likely,
heavier whilst you are shooting.
Cross examine the pilot on how the intercom system works! You won't
have a hand free to operate a push-to-talk switch.
If you're a 'one-eyed' shooter, try and keep both eyes open. It's very
easy to get airsick looking through a viewfinder, bacause you lose your
reference point, the horizon. If you keep both eyes open, your
peripheral vision will register the horizon. Works for me, anyway.

I haven't done this since I got out of helicopter operations. No more
low level flights here and there as part of the job; ergo no more ariel
photog experiments. So just reccollections. My hobby budget doesn't run
to aircraft charter unfortunately.
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 10:33:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gaderians comments are good. WRT holding the camera lens against plexiglas,
the vibration is a problem, let alone the possibility of scratching!

I've taken photos in a variety of aircraft, twins like a chieftain are
great, however once in a 'chipmunk', I found it impossible to keep my 20D
stable. The cockpit is tiny, the plane bounces around and using a polariser
did not stop the glare from the curved 'glas. My best shots were at fast
speeds,
with the lens resting against a cupped hand pressed against the window. I
couldn't do anything else. My hand was positioned to reduce glare. The IS
lenses with 20D's continuous mode was used for 3 or images each scene and
generally most were surprisingly good.

A steep banked turn for your most important shots gives a better
perspective. If it is legal in your airspace to fly at 500' and the
aircraft can hack it, you get great picture detail. It helps if you don't
have to charter a plane, because you want fine no haze days, very difficult
to predict. Cloud shadows can produce a nice arty effect, but are not to
good for technical shots. If you have to charter, you may find far better
results achieved by paying a pro service.

Dave


"RoJ" <roger.gelder@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:YXjXe.7051$ws4.1451@newsfe5-win.ntli.net...
> Gaderian,
> Many thanks, that is extremely helpful. The sideways shots
> sound
> interesting - might try an anti-heave-ho pill first!
> I had seen a comment on window glass reflection and holding camera against
> window to overcome this! Thank goodness you warned me off it.
> Hopefully this epic might be 'on' this week, because on the lighter
> soils
> (flinty chalk soils showing "shadowing" with occupation) there are crops
> coming
> through already which will quickly obscure these faint differences.
> Cheers,
> Roger.
>
>
> Gaderian" <nospam@anisp.com> wrote in message
> news:UujXe.345$0u2.180397@news20.bellglobal.com...
> : "RoJ" <roger.gelder@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
> : news:3GhXe.6814$ws4.5812@newsfe5-win.ntli.net...
> : > In this coming week, I shall be using my Konica Dimage A1 digital for
> : > photographing crop/
> : > soil marks
> : RoJ,
>
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 10:33:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

hyperoglyphe <hyperoglyphe@schlockmail.com> wrote:

: A steep banked turn for your most important shots gives a better
: perspective. If it is legal in your airspace to fly at 500' and the
: aircraft can hack it, you get great picture detail. It helps if you
: don't have to charter a plane, because you want fine no haze days, very
: difficult to predict. Cloud shadows can produce a nice arty effect,
: but are not to good for technical shots. If you have to charter, you
: may find far better results achieved by paying a pro service.

One thought. If you have a choice, a high wing plane will give you much
less trouble getting a clear photo. The one time I tried aerial
photography with a friend at the stick was with a low wing plane. Shots of
the horizon was easy, but shooting down at the ground was a pain. We had
to climb high to start the high bank curve to dip the wing low enough that
the ground was visible. But such a high bank turn allows the plane to slip
groundward and so could only continue for a very short time before
altitude fell below legal levels. A high wing plane with the wing over the
windows would have been much more comfortable as the plane could remain
level or nearly level.

Also one other problem I noticed, have some very easily recognizable
marker or two to help orient yourself. I tried to take photos of my own
neighborhood where I lived all my life, but from the air even the streets
had curves I had never noticed from the ground. It took an incredibly long
time to figure out what I was looking at. And if you are photographing
crops (as you mentioned) one field will look just like the ones several
miles away. So you will need some LARGE easily spotted markers to orient
yourself. For large I am thinking a couple of semi trucks with a large red
X on the trailers aligned at the start and end of your proposed route
would help you. And the pilot will have a much easier time coming onto the
line you wish for.

Randy

==========
Randy Berbaum
Champaign, IL
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 4:45:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Shawn Hirn wrote:

> ...
> Of course, shoot with the highest resolution your camera can handle and
> shoot in color. If you need B&W photos, its easy enough to convert color
> to B&W in a photo editor.

I agree with that. The camera always shoots in color. Post processing
in the camera can reduce it to B&W, but you can also do that
afterwards in your computer. You might as well shoot in color
and keep all the information that the original sensor saw. If you
convert to B&W later, you won't lose any more than if you had done
it in the camera.

> Use the smallest aperture your camera has, so
> you get the maximum dept of field.

I recommend the exact opposite. Use the largest aperture in
order to get the fastest shutter speed to reduce the effects of
motion and vibration in the aircraft. If your camera has an
"aperture priority" setting, use that and set it to maximum
aperture. This is in accord with Gaderian's excellent advice
for minimizing vibration.

You will probably do well to force your camera to focus at
infinity - turning off the autofocus and preventing the camera
from focusing by accident on window reflections or aircraft parts.

If you have or can get a polarizing filter, it is worth experimenting
with. The polarizer can dramatically reduce glare on the window.
But experiment with it on the ground to make sure it's doing what
you expect (e.g., shoot through a window that has sunlight shining
on it.) The polarizer will reduce the total light and hence
slow the shutter, but much of the light it eliminate may just be
glare anyway.

If your images do show glare, you may be able to rescue them in
post processing. I do that in the GIMP by using the color curves
control to pick the darkest point in the photo and tell the program
to make it black - reducing some of the total glare. There are
probably more sophisticated techniques too.

As between TIFF and JPEG, I don't think it really makes any difference.
They both have the exact same resolution, but JPEG will throw out
some very slight color nuances in order to get good compression.
It is possible to over compress JPEG however, throwing out color
differences that aren't slight - and damaging the image. So don't
use the lowest quality JPEG settings available in the camera unless
you've tested them and found them acceptable to you.

Alan
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 8:13:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>> Use the smallest aperture your camera has, so
>> you get the maximum dept of field.
>
> I recommend the exact opposite. Use the largest aperture in
> order to get the fastest shutter speed to reduce the effects of
> motion and vibration in the aircraft. If your camera has an
> "aperture priority" setting, use that and set it to maximum
> aperture. This is in accord with Gaderian's excellent advice
> for minimizing vibration.

Perhaps the truth is somewhat in between - most lenses are at their sharpest
one or two stops down from wide open (use f5.6 or f8 for example instead of
f2.8 or f4). That little bit of increased sharpness can be critical in
resolving the fine detail you'd like for aerial work as long as it does not
lower the shutter speed too far (usually not a problem if you're shooting
during the day). Also, be careful that you do NOT rest your camera or arms
on any part of the aircraft's frame when shooting - it shouldn't be
necessary with reasonable shutter speeds and could result in transmitting
high frequency vibrations from the aircraft to the camera which can cause
blurring even at high shutter speeds

>
> If your images do show glare, you may be able to rescue them in
> post processing. I do that in the GIMP by using the color curves
> control to pick the darkest point in the photo and tell the program
> to make it black - reducing some of the total glare. There are
> probably more sophisticated techniques too.

This is a very important point. You may be amazed at how much you can clean
up a hazy aerial image with the proper technique. By all means try to use a
polarizer and try to shoot down-sun to lessen the effects of glare, but
whatever you get spend some time on post processing and you'll find you can
often make a world of difference to the final result.
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 12:23:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 17:42:23 GMT, "RoJ" <roger.gelder@ntlworld.com>
wrote:

>In this coming week, I shall be using my Konica Dimage A1 digital for
>photographing crop/
>soil marks over Oxfordshire/Berkshire. What setting would anyone experienced
>in this,
>recommend? For instance, should I go to full TIFF in colour or plain Black &
>White?
>With 'save' time of a few seconds, the shortest exposures would be preferred
>because of
>the need to obtain records of adjoining fields.
>As well, is there any recommended height for optimum results?
> A nervous newbie at aerial photography,
> RoJ
>All answers welcome and loan of parachute if possible!!!!

A lot depends on the type of plane too, but see if the pilot will just
leave your window open so you don't have the glass to contend with. I
would also recommend highest shutter speed possible to help minimize
camera movement. I've shot a lot of real estate and used a 105mm lens
set with 1.8 aperture set wide open and no polarize filter. Not sure
how big your subject is so that may not be appropriate.

I think we used to get down to about 500 feet for the shots and just
circled the subject while I shot, the banking from making the turn
helped point me towards the ground. The wing was above the body of the
plane, not below.

Once I tried a small helicopter and never went back to a plane, the
shooting went much quicker as well as arrival and departure from the
airport. (didn't have to wait for runway space to takeoff and land)

Mike
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 1:48:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Randy Berbaum <rberbaum@bluestem.prairienet.org> writes:

>Also one other problem I noticed, have some very easily recognizable
>marker or two to help orient yourself. I tried to take photos of my own
>neighborhood where I lived all my life, but from the air even the streets
>had curves I had never noticed from the ground. It took an incredibly long
>time to figure out what I was looking at. And if you are photographing
>crops (as you mentioned) one field will look just like the ones several
>miles away. So you will need some LARGE easily spotted markers to orient
>yourself. For large I am thinking a couple of semi trucks with a large red
>X on the trailers aligned at the start and end of your proposed route
>would help you. And the pilot will have a much easier time coming onto the
>line you wish for.

Or use navigational instruments. Many aircraft these days have a GPS
receiver, or the older RNAV equipment. Pilots who rent planes rather
than owning one often have a portable GPS receiver for navigation.

If you sit down with the pilot in advance of your flight with a good
map, you should be able to determine the location of several key points
for your flight (the location of your house, entry and exit points for
a circling course, etc.). These will be latitude/longitude for GPS, or
bearing and distance from a VORTAC for RNAV. Then the pilot will enter
these waypoints in the nav equipment. During the flight, this will
allow the pilot to know precisely where you are with respect to the
ground targets at any given time.

GPS, in particular, is usually accurate to within a few metres
(particularly with the good view of the sky that an aircraft gets), so
it can easily distinguish between adjacent streets on the ground.

It's also useful if you have a *large* scale map of the area you're
going to photograph. These days, that's no more complex than going to
Google maps or some similar service and printing one out.

Dave
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 1:52:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Just as an alternative, some of my friends have got great shots from cameras
in model aircraft. The advantages are - its cheap, usually shot from low
altitude (although some I've seen have been a l o n g way up).
Disadvantges are that you don't know what you've got until its back on the
ground. Its also not beyong the realms of possibilities for the plane to
crash and write off your camera.

Cheers


"oo Mike oo" <no.email@this.com> wrote in message
news:k27ui1touj8vol8es1jcttlkn29an7bh9q@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 17:42:23 GMT, "RoJ" <roger.gelder@ntlworld.com>
> wrote:
>
>>In this coming week, I shall be using my Konica Dimage A1 digital for
>>photographing crop/
>>soil marks over Oxfordshire/Berkshire. What setting would anyone
>>experienced
>>in this,
>>recommend? For instance, should I go to full TIFF in colour or plain Black
>>&
>>White?
>>With 'save' time of a few seconds, the shortest exposures would be
>>preferred
>>because of
>>the need to obtain records of adjoining fields.
>>As well, is there any recommended height for optimum results?
>> A nervous newbie at aerial photography,
>> RoJ
>>All answers welcome and loan of parachute if possible!!!!
>
> A lot depends on the type of plane too, but see if the pilot will just
> leave your window open so you don't have the glass to contend with. I
> would also recommend highest shutter speed possible to help minimize
> camera movement. I've shot a lot of real estate and used a 105mm lens
> set with 1.8 aperture set wide open and no polarize filter. Not sure
> how big your subject is so that may not be appropriate.
>
> I think we used to get down to about 500 feet for the shots and just
> circled the subject while I shot, the banking from making the turn
> helped point me towards the ground. The wing was above the body of the
> plane, not below.
>
> Once I tried a small helicopter and never went back to a plane, the
> shooting went much quicker as well as arrival and departure from the
> airport. (didn't have to wait for runway space to takeoff and land)
>
> Mike
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 1:52:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Cedders" <cedders@removespamreference.cedders.co.uk> writes:
>Just as an alternative, some of my friends have got great shots from cameras
>in model aircraft. The advantages are - its cheap, usually shot from low
>altitude (although some I've seen have been a l o n g way up).
>Disadvantges are that you don't know what you've got until its back on the
>ground. Its also not beyong the realms of possibilities for the plane to
>crash and write off your camera.

What size model aircraft (and camera) are you suggesting?

There are large radio-controlled helicopters that can carry professional
film or video cameras for aerial shooting, but these are expensive to
rent and even more to build. While small hobbyist-type model aircraft
(fixed wing and helicopter) don't have much useful load or payload
space.

Dave
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 3:36:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 19 Sep 2005 21:52:34 +0000 (UTC), davem@cs.ubc.ca (Dave
Martindale) wrote:

>"Cedders" <cedders@removespamreference.cedders.co.uk> writes:
>>Just as an alternative, some of my friends have got great shots from cameras
>>in model aircraft. The advantages are - its cheap, usually shot from low
>>altitude (although some I've seen have been a l o n g way up).
>>Disadvantges are that you don't know what you've got until its back on the
>>ground. Its also not beyong the realms of possibilities for the plane to
>>crash and write off your camera.
>
>What size model aircraft (and camera) are you suggesting?
>
>There are large radio-controlled helicopters that can carry professional
>film or video cameras for aerial shooting, but these are expensive to
>rent and even more to build. While small hobbyist-type model aircraft
>(fixed wing and helicopter) don't have much useful load or payload
>space.
>
> Dave

For information on photography from radio control planes have
a look at this forum:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=128
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 3:58:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 19 Sep 2005 03:35:23 +0000 (UTC) in rec.photo.digital, Randy Berbaum <rberbaum@bluestem.prairienet.org> wrote,
>Also one other problem I noticed, have some very easily recognizable
>marker or two to help orient yourself. I tried to take photos of my own
>neighborhood where I lived all my life, but from the air even the streets
>had curves I had never noticed from the ground.

Perhaps "cheat" by previewing at Terraserver, Google Earth, etc.
!