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Archive 2012 · shooting from the air

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · shooting from the air

Hi all,

I'm after some advice on the shooting technique associated with shooting from light aircraft.

I am studying a threatened species of Cormorant in the United Arab EMirates and need aerial photos of a colony of approx 55,000 birds in order to accurately count them. Helicopter and satellite imagery are a no go so I was wondering if using a light aircraft (not likely) is a good option or should I try to get a microlight or gyrocopter? Also what gear is best? I shoot canon gear and have a 70-200 zoom. Will it suffice? Anyone else shot from any of these types of aircraft?

Any info would be greatly appreciated



Apr 17, 2012 at 06:06 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · shooting from the air

Have you looked into those rigs which mount a camera on a remote control helicopter? Kind of a diy drone? Mind you, by the time you get hold of one it might just be cheaper to charter a helicopter/plane for a few hours. It shouldn't be that hard to do unless you are going to overfly sensitive areas.

I'd guess the size lens you need depends on altitude.

Apr 18, 2012 at 06:01 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · shooting from the air

I doe aerials a couple times a year for golf tournaments & music festivals, and hire a Cessna 172. I get area shots with a 24-105 (like all 18 holes from 2000 feet) and tighter shots with a 70-200 (like one hole). Shutter speed is really key, if you can get 1/800th second there is no need for any stabilization device (other than IS perhaps), which is easy in good light.

Apr 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · shooting from the air

I would look hard at a remote camera mounted to a remote control glider. There are tons of pages on the internet talking about ROV or RTV( Real time View) model airplanes. In effect a small drone.

the reason I'd think about a glider is they are a lot quieter than a helicopter, or even a remote control helicopter, which will make the birds fly, making the counting harder.

that's also a lot cheaper than a full scale airplane.

if this is scientific only, I'd mount a GoPro HD on the belly of a 6" or 8" RC glider, and fly that thing back and forth over the area, then download the footage and make stills to count from.

May 21, 2012 at 09:41 PM

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