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Author Topic: Aerial photos without a drone  (Read 2763 times)

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« on: December 25, 2019, 02:25 »
0
I just bought the DJI Maverick Mini, so I have that part covered. What I'm thinking about now is I would enjoy getting some aerial photos of people in the city, over crowds. My understanding is flying drone over people is generally frowned upon, and depending on the location it could be illegal. So if I can't use the drone, I'm wondering about what my other options are. I just ordered a 3 meter selfie stick for my GoPro. I was thinking I could just extend it at a 45 degree angle over city crowds. Obviously no where near as high as a drone would be, but better than nothing.

Any other creative ways to get aerial photos without a drone?


« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2019, 05:37 »
+1

« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2019, 08:06 »
+3
Tall houses, bridges, ferris wheels, natural elevations + hefty zoom. People usually assume the photos from such places would be those of immediate vicinity but you can get them from a few kilometres away.

« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2019, 08:50 »
+1
Politely asking janitors to let you use top of the buildings, finding someone who will let you use their terrace,  I think I recently seen somewhere someone using a balloon, climbing on a tree if you feel young enough, putting a rope around tall tree branch... Just a couple of ideas.

Last year I was filming something in forest thou and needed a top down shot, well I climbed a tree and used fully extended tripod as in improvised crane, I found out I was not that young and fit anymore but I was amazed by the shot, it looked so "expensive" and people asked if I owned a drone or a crane. 

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2019, 10:11 »
0
Yes kite photography which was popular before drones

https://fstoppers.com/aerial/beginners-guide-kite-aerial-photography-272868

or camera masts

https://www.cameragrip.com/aerial-mast-photography-filming-sport-analysis/

Leaf had a nice kite photo of farm machinery, before drones. I'm not sure I'd want to fly a 5D on a string, maybe a balloon, but that's been done.

Finding elevated locations works, as some other noted. It's surprising how little one needs to make an elevated shot.

Camera mast, that's what it's called? Heck I didn't know that, I made my own. Stuck a camera threaded stud on top and I've had some interesting results. I'll say I haven't worked it enough, but I see potential.

Something like this:
Extended Length: 40 Feet
Closed Length: 65"
Weight: 13 lbs 8 oz
Base Diameter: 2 7/8"
Number of Sections: 9

Running in the hundreds of dollars and no tripod on the bottom, like the masts. Works really nice with a lighter camera like a gopro.

35 foot, refurbished, about $350 including shipping on eBay. Mine was much less, found in a dumpster.

Here's what mine looks like with a DSLR on it, as a remote, at the races:



Here's the result. An impossible angle? Maybe not a world beater, but the point is, no drone. No license, no crashes, no batteries...



Drones are everywhere, how many 40 foot monopods have you seen?  8)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2019, 08:26 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2019, 12:58 »
0
Thanks everyone.

« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2019, 14:38 »
+1
Sorry, no pics but way back in the day when I was doing real estate I made a rig from a 32' telescopic ladder cut right down one side so all that was left was basically a single telescopic pole. I coupled this with a modified trailer hitch bicycle rack and drove around town with it on the back of my jeep. It was hard wired with a scavenged servo video head and shutter release but the problem was no live view. I basically had to guess at framing, but with a wide angle lens it did the trick. Very stable too. Nowadays I'm sure it would be relatively easy to cobble something together with all the WiFi bells and whistles.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2019, 09:10 »
+1
Sorry, no pics but way back in the day when I was doing real estate I made a rig from a 32' telescopic ladder cut right down one side so all that was left was basically a single telescopic pole. I coupled this with a modified trailer hitch bicycle rack and drove around town with it on the back of my jeep. It was hard wired with a scavenged servo video head and shutter release but the problem was no live view. I basically had to guess at framing, but with a wide angle lens it did the trick. Very stable too. Nowadays I'm sure it would be relatively easy to cobble something together with all the WiFi bells and whistles.

Yeah I think someone can come up with ideas, without spending a big amount. I have one of these also. Same kind of thing, I go to local auctions over the Winter. This was in a stack of "garden tools" Probably paid $15 for the whole cluster.



Mr. LongArm Pro-Lok 8.4-ft to 23.2-ft Telescoping Threaded Extension Pole, $39 at Lowe's. 23 feet is starting to get up there for a decent angle, shooting down.

I will make a note that the 40' pole starts to get wavy in the wind, and holding it steady can be an issue. Leaning on a telephone pole, tree or fence makes a big difference. I have a wireless remote, but also have just connected a long remote release, with wires to make it 40 feet long, and finally, set for time, in the case of the GoPro, picture every 1 second, move, wait, move, stitch later from the good shots, thrown the rest away.

As long as you have a 1/4 x 20 stud on the end of whatever, you can put a camera on it.

Or you could go with a helium filled weather balloon, but I think the cost would be too much unless you had a sale and market for some specific event. $100 for the helium tank rental, with 125 cubic feet of helium.

$40 a tank at party stores for 8.9 cu ft tanks. 1 cubic foot of helium can lift 0.067 pounds = .59 pounds lift, not including the weight of the balloons, in a party tank.

4 tanks to lift a small camera and lens, like a T2i. $160

A GoPro and whatever attaches it, is going to be around 120 Grams. Just over a quarter pound. Party Tank you could fly your GoPro twice. Don't forget that string weighs something, add that into you calculations from the weight of the ball of nylon kite string before you try to launch. I have put up a kite so high that it couldn't fly higher, because of the weight of the string. That's when string was string, not the modern lightweight nylon. Also consider the strength of the string, how much can it hold, itself, the camera and a gust of wind.

Name and address and phone would be positively something to have on the camera.

Actually string and balloons, just a bunch of them, not an expensive weather balloon, could be great fun.

The new kites are really controllable, probably the least expensive way to get up with a lightweight camera, if you have open spaces.

And for a real adventure, GoPro on a model rocket?

https://www.instructables.com/id/GoPro-Model-Rocket/


« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2019, 10:17 »
+2
What is your budget? :)


Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2019, 04:37 »
+2
What is your budget? :)

Not so outrageous, there have been people working for reality companies, as a specialty business. I think those days have passed.

 ITEM #67044

FORD/FRONTLINE
ENG VAN - RAISED ROOF, 48' MAST, GENERATOR

2011 FORD E350 - BUILT OUT BY FRONTLINE - RAISED ROOF - GAS ENGINE WITH APPROX 112,000 MILES - MEPS 6.3KW UNDERHOOD GENERATOR - 48' MAST - QUICKSET QPT-90 PAN/TILT W/ MCR ANTENNA (NO MICORWAVE) - RUNS WELL



Television ENG van with mast.  :)

Before drones I thought this kind of van would be a nice camper, with the mast for those special photos, on the road.

https://mediaconcepts.tv/products/67044?_pos=1&_sid=3539a5625&_ss=r

« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2019, 11:04 »
0
Any other creative ways to get aerial photos without a drone?

I have rented airplanes and helicopters, and gone to the top of towers.

airplane / helicopter rental costs about $250 per flight. with a helicopter, you should use a stabilization system, and the rotors are in some of the shots.

« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2020, 05:56 »
0
I've linked up two long selfie sticks but only with a small camera on the end.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2020, 18:03 »
0
I've linked up two long selfie sticks but only with a small camera on the end.

It works. I think I want to do the rocket thing and maybe a GoPro and a baseball with a parachute that opens when it reaches the top of the arc. Balloons on a string, cheap - go to a party store. Camera set to interval shooting. Kite... I wonder what the lift is on one of those big kites with flight controls?

Then for the more exciting, a potato canon or an aerial lift from fireworks? Water rockets? Slingshot, I mean giant kind, surgical tubing. No I won't be sending up a DSLR but honest, the possibilities are far beyond anything I can think of.

trebuchet  8)

« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2020, 17:00 »
+4


 

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