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Old Mar 16, 2004, 1:24 PM   #1
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Default Digital Aerial Photography

This is my first post here. It's an excellent site and I have spent some time reviewing and searching. However I have not been able to find any good information or techniques on digital aerial photography. Are there any of you that share this interest and could direct me to what I am looking for? thanks...........
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 1:39 PM   #2
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No ideas here, but if you find anything let us know. I am going into the Air Force in June, and I will be an inflight refueler - the boom operater on a tanker plane. I bet I can get some awesome shots looking out the tail of a KC-135 from 30,000 feet.
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 3:13 PM   #3
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Jumped out of a plane once with a point and shoot, fired off a few, but there was a bit of handshake, cant think why! :lol:
Only try with parachute.....
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 4:33 PM   #4
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I just picked up this month's copy of Rangefinder Magazine - it has an awesome aerial shot on the cover! There's an article about it on page 12 - here's the link to the online version.
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 5:12 PM   #5
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One of the members here has posted some shots from a paraglider he uses often for that. From low altitudes his main concern would be shutter speed to negate the vibrations from the engine and prop. No problem on a bright day. Your hand acts as a partial damper.

From the higher altitudes you usually have to shoot from to stay legal in a real airplane haze becomes a problem with shots taken of things that aren’t within maybe 70 degrees of vertical. A strong haze or preferably daylight filter helps for more horizontal shots, especially if you use telephoto. A polarizer cuts your light by a factor of 3, but you should still be able to get enough shutter speed and it would make horizontal shots nicer.

I have read that image stabilization built into lenses and some cameras doesn’t work to counteract high pitched vibrations like you get from model airplanes and helicopters. It would probably be a big help handholding in an airplane though – especially if you are flying and shooting with one hand.

Commercial aerial photographers used specialized film cameras with large format film. I wouldn’t be surprised that they still use those for jobs that require a lot of detail of a large area. I would also guess they have switched to something like the Canon EOS 1Ds for specific targets from lower altitudes.

From a low winged airplane you need a good lens shade. Not quite as important from a high wing as you shoot from in the shade – and have a better view also. A good lens shade always helps in daylight shooting from anywhere, but it would really become necessary with a low wing.

LTBerry I imagine you already have a polarizer. Won’t do much for the airplanes but you can get some nicer backgrounds with a little less haze. Otherwise shooting planes in flight up close is no different from standing on the ramp at an airshow and shooting airplanes on display. If you shoot horizontally you usually have to increase the EV or use spot metering because of the bright background, but most of your shots will be more down than horizontal.

One nice thing about having the boomer snap your picture is that you don’t have to smile.
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