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-   -   Great copter shot (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17363)

MassArt Images 01-22-2015 12:34 AM

Great copter shot
 
[photoid=515367]

What an impressive structure and probably the only way to get that photo is with a quadcopter.

The wide-angle distortion is a little bothersome with the horizon tilting to the right and the well cars on the trestle's apex tilting to the left. As the quality of the built-in cameras get better these photo platforms will be a railfans must-have item. I noticed no exif data. Is Doyle using a DJ Phantom?

bigbassloyd 01-22-2015 12:59 AM

From what I remember from seeing his copter during the Santa Train, I think it is a Phantom Vision or something along those lines.

Loyd L.

Dennis A. Livesey 01-22-2015 03:12 AM

These quad copter cameras usually have an extremely wide lens. The distortion works for me actually. But Doyle surely has the option of straightening it out in something like Photoshop.

JimThias 01-22-2015 03:25 AM

The wide angle distortion of the Hero and Vision cameras annoys me, especially when you have someone like Grumpy killin' it with a DSLR in the air.

http://blog.grumpysworld.com/?paged=2

I have a Hero4 and have been shooting video on narrow only. Unfortunately, for still shots it's limited to medium and wide.

MassArt Images 01-22-2015 04:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 183316)
The wide angle distortion of the Hero and Vision cameras annoys me, especially when you have someone like Grumpy killin' it with a DSLR in the air.

http://blog.grumpysworld.com/?paged=2

I have a Hero4 and have been shooting video on narrow only. Unfortunately, for still shots it's limited to medium and wide.

It seems to me a decent point and shoot camera with a built-in or Wi-Fi interface to the copter's software would be the answer. I wonder if the marketing departments of Canon, etc. are aware of the need?

KevinM 01-22-2015 04:38 AM

To do it right, you need a D4, a 24-70mm f/2.8, and a Bell 206 JetRanger with the cabin door removed. :D

Dennis A. Livesey 01-22-2015 04:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 183320)
To do it right, you need a D4, a 24-70mm f/2.8, and a Bell 206 JetRanger with the cabin door removed. :D

Been there. Only I used a Arri 435 and an Angenieux 24-290mm T/2.8. :-)

MassArt Images 01-22-2015 05:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 183320)
To do it right, you need a D4, a 24-70mm f/2.8, and a Bell 206 JetRanger with the cabin door removed. :D

I've been looking on Craigslist...:grin:

JRMDC 01-22-2015 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MassArt Images (Post 183305)
Is Doyle using a DJ Phantom?

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbassloyd (Post 183307)
From what I remember from seeing his copter during the Santa Train, I think it is a Phantom Vision or something along those lines.

The shot has EXIF data, it was a PHANTOM VISION FC200

bigbassloyd 01-22-2015 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 183328)
The shot has EXIF data, it was a PHANTOM VISION FC200

recalling it from memory is better.

Loyd L.

JRMDC 01-22-2015 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 183316)
The wide angle distortion of the Hero and Vision cameras annoys me, especially when you have someone like Grumpy killin' it with a DSLR in the air.

http://blog.grumpysworld.com/?paged=2

I just went through 4-5 of Grumpy's most recent posts, starting with the one you linked. "killin' it" ??? Not in my view, looks like he is a very boring aerial wedgie shooter. From what I see of the posts I looked at, he does nothing to take advantage of having a copter. He may be technically precise, his DSLR may offer a different distortion profile, but to what end? I'd much rather see shots of the type seen in this thread, despite the distortion (which is adjustable in post anyway, I would think).

BobE 01-22-2015 03:41 PM

I'm with Kevin and Dennis. The wide angle distortion from the ?? Go Pro ?? or whatever is truly annoying. PS Kevin, good results also come from a Cessna 172 with the window open and a pilot who knows how to keep the wing and landing gear out of the frame. Cheaper than a helo by orders of magnitude, too.

KevinM 01-22-2015 04:32 PM

Hi Bob,

I fly a lot of aerial photography sorties these days with the Civil Air Patrol....not much search and rescue stuff happening since General Aviation kind of died a few years back. Aerial reconnaissance is pretty much what we do now.

Photographing stationary subjects in a fixed-wing airplane is not all that difficult, but attempting to put a photographer in a position to capture a specific scene that involves a moving object like a train, as well as other elements, is a whole LOT tougher. Unlike a helo, which can hover in the exact spot and wait for the scene to develop (wind conditions permitting), the fixed wing aircraft is continually moving (if we want to stay healthy ;)). Probably the slowest I can safely get and still maneuver in a 182 or 206 is about 75 Kt. That's just over 86 mph for the ground-pounders. Assuming I know what the photographer is trying to capture, I've got to assess the train's speed and position, as well as my own, and take into account what the winds aloft are doing, as I try to TIME getting the aircraft to that exact spot, with exactly the right bank angle, at exactly the right moment. It takes as much luck as it does skill.

Of course, if there is terrain around, things get even more interesting for the fixed-wing guys. I also have limitations on how low I can legally go. The helo can go as low as he dares, as long as he does not pose an undue hazard to persons or property on the ground. I say "dares" because helos still need to be concerned about the possibility of an engine failure and being able to get it on the ground safely if that happens.

If I am out to shoot an RP Photo of the Week, I'll take the helo any day over the fixed wing. Yes, it is several times more expensive. But it will be the difference between simply coming home with an aerial shot of a train, and coming home with a shot that will be worth the investment.

MassArt Images 01-22-2015 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 183336)
Hi Bob,

If I am out to shoot an RP Photo of the Week, I'll take the helo any day over the fixed wing. Yes, it is several times more expensive. But it will be the difference between simply coming home with an aerial shot of a train, and coming home with a shot that will be worth the investment.

So Kevin how big are the checks that RP.net send you...:twisted::lol:

bigbassloyd 01-22-2015 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 183336)

If I am out to shoot an RP Photo of the Week, I'll take the helo any day over the fixed wing. Yes, it is several times more expensive. But it will be the difference between simply coming home with an aerial shot of a train, and coming home with a shot that will be worth the investment.

I hope you meant to say capture an image that you'll sell many prints of.

Loyd L.

Ween 01-22-2015 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 183331)
I just went through 4-5 of Grumpy's most recent posts, starting with the one you linked. "killin' it" ??? Not in my view, looks like he is a very boring aerial wedgie shooter. From what I see of the posts I looked at, he does nothing to take advantage of having a copter. He may be technically precise, his DSLR may offer a different distortion profile, but to what end? I'd much rather see shots of the type seen in this thread, despite the distortion (which is adjustable in post anyway, I would think).

Are you aware of where Grumpy 'fans? You will not see shots like the type seen in this thread...

JimThias 01-22-2015 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 183331)
I just went through 4-5 of Grumpy's most recent posts, starting with the one you linked. "killin' it" ??? Not in my view, looks like he is a very boring aerial wedgie shooter. From what I see of the posts I looked at, he does nothing to take advantage of having a copter. He may be technically precise, his DSLR may offer a different distortion profile, but to what end? I'd much rather see shots of the type seen in this thread, despite the distortion (which is adjustable in post anyway, I would think).

4 or 5 posts? He's been posting train pics on that blog for many years (and on a regular basis...he's quite the diehard blogger!), and I'm guessing posting aerial pics for the last 6 months to a year. You're gonna need to look at a much larger sampling than that. I'd post some examples here but I'm not sure how he feels about his images being posted elsewhere on the web (especially on RP, which I doubt he's very fond of).

So far, he's got THE highest quality aerial train pics I've seen.

I have no idea who Grumpy is nor have I ever even seen a photo of him. However, I think he is one of the most technically accurate and intelligent photographers I've ever followed. And for someone like me who is super OCD about photography, it was natural for me to become a fan of his work.

BobE 01-22-2015 09:56 PM

Kevin,

Can't disagree with anything you said. If somebody is footing the bill for the helo, more power to you.

Bob, ground-bound for the foreseeable future.

JRMDC 01-22-2015 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 183316)
The wide angle distortion of the Hero and Vision cameras annoys me, especially when you have someone like Grumpy killin' it with a DSLR in the air.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ween (Post 183343)
Are you aware of where Grumpy 'fans? You will not see shots like the type seen in this thread...

I think I expressed myself poorly.

Jim, you may be simply saying that Grumpy is a technically careful and precise user of aerial photography equipment. Fine. That doesn't constitute "killin' it" in my book, just like, in my view, your ability to precisely level your photographs doesn't constitute "killin' it". It is something you do extremely well, and is worth emulating, tis all. So maybe I overreacted to your rhetoric, taking it to mean something it may not have meant.

Chris, I presume grumpy is located somewhere in the rural parts of the flat plains of this country. Which means, I suspect, that aerial photography inherently cannot add much in the way of compositional value to photography from those parts. In no way is that a shortcoming of his.

Thinking more broadly, when I think about what 'copter-based aerial photography can contribute to our hobby, I am not thinking about what I will call "sky wedgies." I am thinking about what I find to be unique perspectives. I think the Massey shot has a really cool sweep of its curve through the frame, one in which not only the horizontal curvature but the vertical "ramp" come into play. It is sweet!

This one by Massey tells the story of "bridge", with a very strong element of "valley", in a way which is unique to aerials. (But ugh, the winter lack of foliage! So ugly! Fortunately, IIRC, Chris Stearns has a somewhat similar shot from the summer.)

[photoid=508199]
Both of those shots are shots that, in my view, represent views unique to 'copter shots. They fit my vaunted category of "I wish I took that shot" images. They expand my perception of what is possible in photography (just like when I first started to see ultra-wide lens shots). Lots of other Massey 'copter shots do not, the Grumpy 'copter shots I have seen do not. No big deal.

Dennis A. Livesey 01-22-2015 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 183331)
I just went through 4-5 of Grumpy's most recent posts, starting with the one you linked. "killin' it" ??? Not in my view, looks like he is a very boring aerial wedgie shooter. From what I see of the posts I looked at, he does nothing to take advantage of having a copter. He may be technically precise, his DSLR may offer a different distortion profile, but to what end? I'd much rather see shots of the type seen in this thread, despite the distortion (which is adjustable in post anyway, I would think).

I have read Grumpy off and on for years. Back in the last days of film and the first days of digital, I avidly read his blog for what i could learn from his, shall we say, unique POV. I would certainly agree he takes refining his work to a very high technical level. Thus I can see Jim's attraction to that.

But I am with J on the "to what end"? He does nothing but endless pumpkin wedgies. On the ground or in the air, no difference. I stopped reading because I could not see growing purpose to his efforts.

My livelihood once depended on making sure expensive actor performances were properly focused. Therefore grant me that I know a little about what is photographically sharp and what is not. So I am sure you can understand that when Grumpy presented five images magnified and he discerns invisible-to-me focus differences (save one), I had to get off the train.

JimThias 01-22-2015 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 183348)
I think I expressed myself poorly.

Jim, you may be simply saying that Grumpy is a technically careful and precise user of aerial photography equipment. Fine. That doesn't constitute "killin' it" in my book, just like, in my view, your ability to precisely level your photographs doesn't constitute "killin' it". It is something you do extremely well, and is worth emulating, tis all. So maybe I overreacted to your rhetoric, taking it to mean something it may not have meant.

Anyone who has mastered a particular genre of photography is "killin' it" in my book. Sorry you don't agree. :razz:

Insert a non-distorted Rahm, IN., bridge in this scene and maybe you'll appreciate his work more. http://blog.grumpysworld.com/wp-cont...orapids_1s.jpg

JRMDC 01-22-2015 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 183350)
Anyone who has mastered a particular genre of photography is "killin' it" in my book. Sorry you don't agree. :razz:

Insert a non-distorted Rahm, IN., bridge in this scene and maybe you'll appreciate his work more. http://blog.grumpysworld.com/wp-cont...orapids_1s.jpg

I have no interest in the mastering of sky wedgies. I have no interest in the mastery of changing rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom. Presumably one of the 7 billion people in the world is killin' it in the bathroom. Awesome! :)

I have no idea what it means to insert a bridge into a scene in this context. As you have recently inserted a train into a scene elsewhere :) perhaps you can insert a bridge here so I can tell what in the heck you mean by what you wrote. All I see is a sky wedgie that doesn't do much for me and, in particular in this context, gives me absolutely no reason to spend more time looking at the photographer's work, despite your recommendation that there is something there I should be glad to see and learn about.

Mind you, it is a lot more interesting than the shots I saw in my review of 4-5 posts. It is nicely done. I would imaging someone living in the flat plains would see that and say - hey, I can get a little bit more visual interest in some of my shots.

JimThias 01-22-2015 11:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 183352)

I have no idea what it means to insert a bridge into a scene in this context.

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/...4/facepalm.jpg

JRMDC 01-23-2015 12:25 AM

I think I figured out what you meant, Jim. I hadn't looked previously at the location of the Massey shot, so I didn't recognize your reference to Rahm, IN.

And the answer is, no, wouldn't appreciate his work more.

JimThias 01-23-2015 01:00 AM

We'll just have to agree to disagree then, J. :-)


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