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Old March 27th, 2006, 03:18 AM   #1
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Aerial shots

Hi there,

I've just started a series on heritage trees and i'm toying with the idea of some aerial shots.
Anybody used a mast or r/c helicopter before??
Or how about a camera mount with a cables and pulley system?

yean
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Old March 27th, 2006, 03:25 AM   #2
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Hot air balloons have given me the smoothest tracking shots imaginable. Wonderful.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 04:38 AM   #3
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Aerial shots

I have never been in a balloon but I imagine you couldn't get a better platform for aerial filminig. I do however fly nearly every day in small planes and occasionally in helicopters. Filming from planes you must ensure that you either have very very clean windows or preferably, have the door off. If you can't have the door removed get some perspex polish and thoroughly clean the window.
Use a high wing aeroplane without wing struts and sit on the back seat for better viewing.
Get the pilot to do a gentle turn/bank and film on the inside of the turn. Banking smoothes the plane a lot more than level flight. Oh, and forget about trying to zoom. From up there it's wide angle only. The same goes for helicopters and boats.
have fun. HH
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Old March 27th, 2006, 07:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
Hot air balloons have given me the smoothest tracking shots imaginable. Wonderful.
Right on. In free flight you are dependent on wind direction, although a good HAB pilot has quite a bit of control over the direction of drift through the choice of altitude. If you decide to investigate this be careful of the shysters selling rides on the Web. Contact one of the clubs in the BFA (http://bfa.net/clubs/clubs.php) and have them recommend someone in the area.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 07:19 AM   #5
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actually, i can only look at remote-controlled options. I'm shooting in singapore and it seems like the whole island has restricted airspace. i was looking at an r/c blimp or things of that sort.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yean Tan
actually, i can only look at remote-controlled options. I'm shooting in singapore and it seems like the whole island has restricted airspace. i was looking at an r/c blimp or things of that sort.
Years ago I did quite a lot of helicopter shoots in Singapore and they used to always insist that somebody from, I think it was the Ministry of Defense, had to always come up in the helicopter to make sure we didn't film the missile sites.

It is easier now shooting tape as they can check the tape, but when shooting film they watched every direction you pointed the camera. Several times we had still photographer's up with us and they would impound their film until they had it developed.

The funny thing was that we could never see the missile sites until the MOD official pointed them out to us.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 04:46 PM   #7
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Hi there,
The use of r/c devices contains images of potential dissaster. What if the flyer / controller sneezes or has a coughing fit? Rain, landing, other r/c users in the area? All of these could bode an end to your recording device / camera. I would suggest something a bit more robust. Potentially a fixed wing aircraft, helicopter or as mentioned a hot air balloon. For any fixed wing or helicopter work I would also suggest talking with the pilot to see how a home made bracket, support or brace could be adapted to fit onto the aircraft.

I shot white sharks from the air last year in South Africa and was able to mount a camera pointing vertically down from the underside of a small helicopter (the benefit obviously being no obstructions in the FOV whilst using fisheye lenses). With the doors off of the machine and a monitor fed through to my back seat I had some access to the camera as well as being able to visually direct the pilot. Crouching on the skids of the helicopter to adjust the camera whilst having faith in a relatively thin looking safety line and hovering over some of the most feared fish in the Ocean resulted in some great shots and a well deserved beer for the pilot once back on terra firma!

Cheers,
Mark Thorpe.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 05:44 PM   #8
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If you're getting shots of trees then it sounds like a tall crane-type device would be more flexible -- and safer -- than a low-flying helicopter or balloon.

RC aircraft takes skill to fly and, in order to get a smooth shot, would require a larger well-stabilized aircraft as well as a trained operator.

There are electric-powered helicopters but they don't have that much lift capability. You'd have to use a miniature camera with a wireless transmitter. It works OK but the qualilty probably isn't what you'd want for a project like yours.

Maybe something like this:
http://www.rctoys.com/draganflyer5.php

Or this:
http://www.rctoys.com/draganflyerxpro.php

I'd love to get one if I could afford it.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 06:01 PM   #9
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helicopter shots

If I can , I put up a small sony clam-shell monitor for the pilot to see what I`m filming. Using some gaffa to stick the monitor where the pilot places it.remember bnc cable from camera to monitor:-) Now we easilier comunicate and the pilot dares himselfe, and flyes those few, but visual, meters closer to what you are currently filming ;-)
Odd
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Old March 27th, 2006, 06:14 PM   #10
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Another option might be a tethered gas (helium or hydrogen) balloon or cluster balloon. Any object in the air is going to try to drift with the wind so it might be possible to feed line from one or more control points to direct movement. This would be pretty low risk as far as equipment is concerned. I'll guess the authorities in Singapore won't approve hydrogen. If multiple balloons are used note that they should be at the same relative altitude due to wind direction changes with altitude and inversion layers.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yean Tan
actually, i can only look at remote-controlled options. I'm shooting in singapore and it seems like the whole island has restricted airspace. i was looking at an r/c blimp or things of that sort.
Check out this link, http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=128

I started R/C aerial Photography with video last year and I got all my info from these great folks here. Lots of info and everyone can give you a different perspective. I fly R/C planes and Heli great a bit and a sneezing fit has never ended in a crash or the links.

If you have any specific questions let me have em

I'd be glad to help out
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Old March 28th, 2006, 02:04 AM   #12
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You guys seen this? Fancy seeing FX1 footage shot from a model helicopter? Go here:

http://www.visualair.co.za/Video/HD_...dTheScenes.wmv

The film's no masterpiece, but it does show what's possible now that we have HDV in such a small and manoeuvrable package. The wide-angle converter used is the Bolex Aspheron, a lens I've enthused about many times on this forum.

tom.
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Old March 28th, 2006, 03:34 AM   #13
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I saw a fairly large R/C helicopter on a documentary that was designed to carry a small film camera. It did a great job. The guy had it fly through a warehouse and handle other situations that would be difficult or impossible for a Steadicam or a full-scale helicopter to deal with.

Then there was a shot where it was flying under a bridge. Well, it was supposed to fly under the bridge but, unfortunately, ended up crashing into it. Maybe it could be used for a POV shot for a laser-guided bomb? :-)

As my boss used to say, even monkeys fall out of trees.
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Old March 28th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the input....i think i would settle for the r/c blimp. Will post some shots asap.
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Old March 29th, 2006, 07:16 AM   #15
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Good Morning Yean:

Both my son and I fly RC helicopters that are large enough to carry a camera and yes there is always the posability of a crash, but then again full size helicopters have been known to fall out of the sky. Actually the most difficult part we have found is to eliminate the vibration being transmitted to the camera carrier. The system or method we have used is to have my son fly the helicopter while I fly the camera pan and tilt. The best shots we have aquired were by using a video transmitter so we could monitor the shots as we took them.

The helicopters capable of doing this work are very large and very expensive the ones we use are powered by 23cc gasoline engines swinging very long wide blades up to a six feet in diameter.

I wouldn't give up on the idea but would suggest to see the cradentials of the pilot before you go and mount your camera to the carrier.

Search the web you will find numerous resources and guys that I'm sure would be willing to help.

Good Luck Brian
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