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04/08/2008 11:23:26 AM · #1
Hi, I have been asked to take some aerial photography of our local golf course. They supply the plane. I am not too sure what type of lens would be good for the job; I am planning on renting the lens or lenses. I will also have a second camera so I donít have to swap out lenses in the air. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Bren
04/08/2008 11:32:16 AM · #2
It is like any other shot....

1. MAKE SURE YOU CAN OPEN THE WINDOW!!!! This is more important than your lens.
2. Keep 1 wide angle around 28mm and the other should be a good zoom (70-200?)
3. USE YOUR HISTOGRAM WHEN TAKING THE PICTURE!!!!!!

That is it... Now stop worring!, Its going to be a blast!!! ;)

Message edited by author 2008-04-08 11:32:37.
04/08/2008 11:36:28 AM · #3
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Just don't have too much fun! ;)
04/08/2008 11:53:18 AM · #4
Originally posted by Derf:

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Just don't have too much fun! ;)

HA! Brilliant!

Although... Where's King Kong? ;)
04/08/2008 11:57:39 AM · #5
70-200 would probably be a good choice for this. You may want something just a little longer for closeups, if needed.
04/08/2008 12:07:34 PM · #6
I used to do aerial photos in the navy. I used mostly an 85mm lens and would shoot around f/4. You are going to be real careful how and where you meter from. If you can't have an open area to shoot from make sure to put the lens right up against the glass. This will cut down on reflections. The other thing that will ruin your day is exhaust from the engine. Stay away from that at all cost. Just trust me on this. If you are to be leaning out of the aircraft, please make sure that you use the strap on the camera as well as making sure that you are strapped in as well. I know it all sounds like common sense but you would be suprised at how many people have lost equipment. Have fun man, I'm jealous.
04/08/2008 12:15:07 PM · #7
I use a 70-300 Tamaron and it is no great lens. In the air, light is usually not an issue. Here is a shot similar to what you are probably trying for.
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Note the blur on the upper left from the scraches in the plexi window?
Make sure the window is open
Use the aircraft to get into position instead of zoom!

Remember lighting! Is the morning or evening going to light the structure the way you want in the right direction? It sucks if you are taking a picture and the sun is hitting the back of the subject!
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Make sure the window is open!

Message edited by author 2008-04-08 12:16:39.
04/08/2008 12:21:03 PM · #8
Originally posted by _eug:


HA! Brilliant!

Although... Where's King Kong? ;)


Sorry, The NYC Skyline can be seen here in the distance...If you look really close....;)

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Message edited by author 2008-04-08 12:22:03.
04/08/2008 12:22:14 PM · #9
Don't drop the camera.
04/08/2008 12:25:59 PM · #10
Originally posted by cryan:

I used to do aerial photos in the navy. I used mostly an 85mm lens and would shoot around f/4. You are going to be real careful how and where you meter from. If you can't have an open area to shoot from make sure to put the lens right up against the glass. This will cut down on reflections. The other thing that will ruin your day is exhaust from the engine. Stay away from that at all cost. Just trust me on this. If you are to be leaning out of the aircraft, please make sure that you use the strap on the camera as well as making sure that you are strapped in as well. I know it all sounds like common sense but you would be suprised at how many people have lost equipment. Have fun man, I'm jealous.


My Dad was on the Bon Hom Richard. He was the Photorecon F-8 Crusader plane capatin. The amature pictures he has were outstanding. I would LOVE to see some of your old shoe boxes!!!! Can you tease us in another thread? I can not even imagine! :)
04/08/2008 12:28:27 PM · #11
Originally posted by cryan:

If you are to be leaning out of the aircraft, please make sure that you use the strap on the camera as well as making sure that you are strapped in as well. I know it all sounds like common sense but you would be suprised at how many people have lost equipment. Have fun man, I'm jealous.


No kidding... that first blast of air (if you lean out too far) will surprise you. I recently did a few aerial photos... and it was my first time to fly... ever. We circle the location several times (with my side leaning toward the ground). I came VERY close to puking and stayed sick for a couple hours after we landed. But I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It's really cool flying over your hometown and seeing everything from that angle.
04/08/2008 01:23:50 PM · #12
Thanks everyone for the great info and photos. From what I understand I will be able to open the window, and he is going to angle the plane so I wont have to lean out too far hopefully, he also suggested to take some motion sickness stuff before we go.

That would be very bad to loose your camera out the window.

Anyother suggestions

Bren
04/08/2008 01:26:43 PM · #13
Definately Dramamine!
04/08/2008 01:46:32 PM · #14
my best advice would be used average metering, or evaluative, whatever the correct term is. and to maximize DOF bump your ISO up to like 200 or higher so you can afford to get f number that will ensure sharpness throughout most of the photo.
heres some aerial shots i took from Iraq,
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you will have a blast, and yeah keep that camera strap around your neck
04/08/2008 04:56:09 PM · #15
Another thing of import is shutter speed. More important in some choppers than fixed wing. Vibration from the engine can propagate thru the airframe and blur your shot. Don't go much below 1/400 if possible. If it's bright and sunny you have no worries.
04/08/2008 05:08:38 PM · #16
Don't let the camera touch the plane (vibration) and try not to lean on the window frame with your hand, again, vibrations will blur the pics and it's not good for the camera.

Tether EVERYTHING. You, the camera, lens if you plan on changing it, EVERYTHING. Shoot in drive mode- reduces the chance of having a blurry shot (or increases the chances of getting a good shot one should say).

24-70/17-55 lens should be fine.

Things to NOT photography - your puke, the plane's parts (wheels, props, struts) and don't shoot with the plane's shadow on the ground in your frame if the sun is behind you. If shooting into the sun watch for lens flare.

Try not to shoot at noon or too early/late. You want some shadows but not large dense ones.

Do they care if anyone is on the golfcourse?
04/08/2008 05:24:10 PM · #17
They've all covered this pretty well. I can only reiterate the part about strapping in. I'm a pilot, and I assume they'll be taking you up in some sort of small Cessna aircraft (150, 172). If so, the entire window should open upward and not be a problem. The one thing to watch with some Cessnas is a tendency for the door to open during flight. It's not terribly common, but it does happen with some of their latching mechanisms. The air stream won't allow the door to open more than 20-30 degrees. So it's not dangerous, but it would be surprising. But that's pretty unlikely still. Just have a good time, and post some of the results here.

Oh, and don't lean out too far. At low altitudes bugs can be an issue. They don't feel good going 90 mph, and would suck to clean off a lens.
04/09/2008 01:25:59 AM · #18
Can you not get a chopper instead?
I always use them for my shots - Much easier to control and they take the door off for me so you have nothing in the way - So much easier than a plane.
Here are a few examples - You can also shoot straight down which is a great angle.
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Message edited by author 2008-04-09 02:10:01.
04/09/2008 01:52:17 AM · #19
A low and slow aircraft is best. I would imagine that they already have the plane lined up, so that most likely isn't an open option at this point. My fav is the Aeronica Champ, with the door off.
If you can avoid shooting thru the plexiglass that would be good. A polarizer is an option on one or the other lens, esp if you have to shoot thru the plexiglass.
Higher shutter speed is good, and DOF will be ok even if you need big aperture to get it. Don't forget to check the ordinary things that you may forget in your excitement, like ISO, card capacity, W/B, diopter setting in the viewfinder, batteries and spares ect.
If possible, use a narrow type camera strap if you are going to be in the wind with the camera, because the broad ones tend to flap in the wind, and make it hard to hold the camera steady. I have found it better to wrap the strap around my wrist and hand than to have it around my neck, for that reason. The wind can also make your eyes water, making it hard to frame and focus at times.
Try to remember to level the horizon somewhat, so that you don't have to crop out too much later in processing to get the horizon level.
Sit in the plane on the ground, and talk to the pilot about what your best area of view is, so that he can position the plane for you to get the best angles on your subject.
And of course, what everyone else said, esp about strapping in.
eta Try to have time to sit in the plane, and see what the widest angle you can shoot will be. If you can be fairly low, and still get the area that you want to cover, then that would be good to do, as it will put less atmosphere between you and the ground. You will not have very much time to get your shots on each pass over the target, so try to be ready to make the most of it.
Have fun, fly safe, and take lots of shots, even on the way to and from the destination subject.
Watch out for flying golf balls.

Message edited by author 2008-04-09 01:57:04.
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