Aerial photos!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Presha, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Presha macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hi everyone!

    I have a friend who has a private plane and wants me to go on an aerial photoshoot with him. My questions is, has anyone here done this before and have any tips for me? Also, what lens should I shoot with? I currently have a 16-35II L IS and a 70-200mm L IS. I was planing to rent a 400mm or 600mm prime (L) series of course.

    Thx in advance for your help!
     
  2. iSax1234 macrumors regular

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  3. Presha thread starter macrumors regular

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    Hi iSAX123!

    Not sure about how high we're going to be flying. Is the any specific alttitude we should fly at? I assume no mor than 10-15 thousand feet? This is a cesna type of airplane, don't think they can go very high....but what do I know, Im only a photographer:p
     
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I know absolutely nothing about aerial photography, but someone posted this National Geographic photo on Digg earlier today. According to the tip at the bottom, flying higher equals more haze. The tip suggests shooting from no higher than 1,000 feet. Of course, this is in rural China, where a) airspace restrictions might be different, and b) smog and haze might be different than in other parts of the world.

    Anyway, here is the link: http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/terraced-rice-field-china/
     
  5. Presha thread starter macrumors regular

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    Thanks for the article Spice Weasel! I'll read it on my lunch break.
     
  6. iSax1234 macrumors regular

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    #6
    I cannot offer any information for aerial shooting either, but it seems the higher you're flying the more you can see. So you'll need telephoto the higher you go, while if you're lower you may just need wide angle. Just my logical take at things. I may be completely wrong.
     
  7. flyboy4969 macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Aerial info

    HI, I'm a commercial pilot & a videographer that's done some digital still shots in the past, so I might have some info for you. I shot a chemical factory about 6 months ago & they used the photos for wall sized posters to do pinpointing in the event of security breaches or flooding, etc.
    I used a 300mm lens on a Nikon D3000 & got excellent results. It just depends on how close in you want to get to the subject matter. Obviously, you'll be seeing roofs & the top of buildings alot, so do you really need to get in super close?
    The FAA rules about flight are that you can be 500' above ground level over unpopulated areas & 1000' AGL over populated areas. This is all subject to any special use airspace you might be in as well. With that being said, the old rule can also apply that it's not illegal if you don't get caught. If you're in a rural area shooting & the client knows you're going to be there, nobodies going to report you for flying too low. When I shot the chemical plant, we informed the FAA, the local sheriff's office & had a handheld airband radio with the head of plant security so we could contact them when we were in the area. We stayed between about 3000' & 5000' since this was a large facility. Hope this helps you some!
     
  8. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #8
    GA airplanes are pretty small, it is highly unlikely you'll be able to effectively handle a 400 or 600mm lens from within the plane, particularly if you're sitting in the front next to the pilot. You might even have trouble handling the 70-200 and looking straight out sideways without opening the window. Not to mention the constant motion and vibration- you might have difficulty getting a sharp shot at such long (400-600mm) focal lengths. Even on the ground, that's well into tripod territory, don't expect to do any better handholding it from a jostling/vibrating plane.

    If you can, open the window to shoot. I heard it is a bad idea to use lens hoods because the wind will blow them off. Either take them off or securely fasten them to your lens with tape.

    What lens to use will really depend on what you are after. I have seen good shots taken with both wide angles and longer lenses.

    Ruahrc
     
  9. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

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    #9
    It is all going to come down to what exactly you're planning to shoot. You'll most likely be around 1,000 feet and unless you specifically want a super tight shot on something specific I'd just take the 16-35 and 70-200.

    If you're going to be flying with the door off please made sure everything is secured/safety cabled. A camera or lens hitting someone or something from 1,000 feet will do a whole lot of damage.

    .
     
  10. Presha thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Thanks everyone! All of your tips are helpful :)
     
  11. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

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    #11
    +1 on the whole Statement. & ++1 on the part I highlighted in bold. I have shot from a variety of aircraft, both GA & Military/ Fixed & Rotor. Don't rent a Super-Tele. They are cumbersome and not necessary, when shooting A2A or A2G. The longest lens I would take is a 300 or a 100-400. However, as was suggested, you should be fine, with your 16-35 & 7-2 IS.

    If your shooting with Doors off, make sure everything is secure, and your using safety tie-downs on all your gear & yourself. No matter the altitude, you will get buffeting & drafts. Gear will move around. And its best that you do not fall out of the plane. :eek::eek::eek:
     
  12. Presha thread starter macrumors regular

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    best that you do not fall out of the plane..LOL! Eaton photos, that one thing I will defenitly not forget:D
     
  13. tompon1923 macrumors 6502

    tompon1923

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    #13
    I fly quite often, I usually bring my tokina 12 24 and 80-200 when I have the chance. especially in the cockpit, it can be a bitch to change them though. The 12-24 is fun at nose dives, low passes, when you're above a lake or just above/below the clouds. Believe me cloud-photography is an art itself. 80-200 is general purpose, mountain views etc. If you can borrow a fisheye from a friend or so, you can get amazing photos, especially above the clouds. They're usually good for one or two pictures when you're up there. Personally I don't find it worth the money to buy one for two or three pictures at the time.

    You want to be flying with a few clouds because they give great perspective :p. I find clear blue sky photography to be a cliche. (but that's personal ;))
     

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