Forums > Photography Talk > How to shoot camera down aerial style?

Photographer

Michelle Bo

Posts: 10

Portland, Oregon, US

My clients want me to create an image like this:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8035/8065413898_b5c847d155_z.jpg

How would I go about this? Maybe shoot from a balcony above?

Thank you!

Oct 07 12 07:58 pm Link

Photographer

Solas

Posts: 9537

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

_______________________
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|

ladder..make sure someone holds it at the bottom

Oct 07 12 08:03 pm Link

Photographer

Karl Blessing

Posts: 30853

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

If you did so from a balcony or parking garage or etc from above I could see something like a tilt and/or shift lens being very handy with that big_smile  (depending on the angle of which you do it and how high).

Karl Johnston wrote:
_______________________
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|

ladder

... or this.

Oct 07 12 08:03 pm Link

Photographer

Michelle Bo

Posts: 10

Portland, Oregon, US

Ladder sounds like a good option.

I do have a swivel monitor I could use.

Thanks!

Oct 07 12 08:09 pm Link

Photographer

Solas

Posts: 9537

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

A trampoline may also be fun, you could get the above and below shots ..so in 20 years they'll look over their pictures and be like "oh remember this, here's us in the air, honey, and look..here's us laying on the street"

Get a shot of them jumping on one or two of those mini trampolines, holding hands. Bring along some big ass strobes and overpower the sun. Maybe a star filter too to make the sun look more dramatic, sparkly.

Or you could just shoot from the trampoline, while in the air!

I would recommend using a lens with image stabilization if that were the case.

Or

Helicopter with one of these lenses positioned out of it, but you'd need a better back than I have..maybe a wimberly mounted tripod could help as well. Get the pilot to blow the doors. Half the fun of shooting from a chopper is because you can really slow down and get that clear view of the ground

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120928/19/506661b01bd9d.jpg

Oct 07 12 08:11 pm Link

Photographer

Ken Marcus Studios

Posts: 8494

Los Angeles, California, US

At least the 4th or 5th floor parking lot or window

Models should be as close to the building as possible so you are not shooting at too much of an angle

use a long lens

don't fall

KM

Oct 07 12 08:11 pm Link

Photographer

Brian Diaz

Posts: 63192

Danbury, Connecticut, US

Oct 07 12 08:21 pm Link

Photographer

The F-Stop

Posts: 1510

New York, New York, US

Scafolding with a cat walk..

you can rent em from construction tool rental shops.

Oct 07 12 08:34 pm Link

Photographer

Michelle Bo

Posts: 10

Portland, Oregon, US

Shooting from below on a trampoline sounds great!

Thanks for all the great ideas everyone! Keep'em coming!

Oct 07 12 08:37 pm Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32234

Woodinville, Washington, US

The F-Stop wrote:
Scafolding with a cat walk..

you can rent em from construction tool rental shops.

If the OP has a bigger budget, a cherrypicker.

http://blakleyequipment.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/lift-rentals.jpg

Oct 07 12 09:20 pm Link

Photographer

Karl Blessing

Posts: 30853

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

Brian Diaz wrote:
RC helicopter.

http://www.diyphotography.net/photograp … helicopter

tongue probably not the easiest to compose, focus etc.

Oct 07 12 10:18 pm Link

Photographer

photoimager

Posts: 4906

Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom

One of these or a tall lighting stand might be the simplest if a structure, ladder or 'cherry picker' are not available.
http://www.lastolite.com/extending-handles.php

Oct 07 12 10:29 pm Link

Photographer

Raoul Isidro Images

Posts: 6292

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Michelle Bo wrote:
My clients want me to create an image like this:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8035/8065413898_b5c847d155_z.jpg

How would I go about this? Maybe shoot from a balcony above?

Thank you!

The minimum distance to achieve the example you have shown would be about 30 to 40 feet and using a 70-200mm zoom on a full frame camera. So the recommended height would be about 3 to 4 floors above the pavement.

Any smaller distance would  exhibit a pyramid distortion of converging perspectives.
Like this: / \

You will need assistants and walkie-talkies to be more efficient otherwise you will wake up the building occupants with your constant shouting and instructions.

.

Oct 08 12 02:41 am Link

Photographer

Kent Art Photography

Posts: 2930

Ashford, England, United Kingdom

How big is your budget?

Would it stretch to renting time on a surveillance satellite?

Oct 08 12 02:51 am Link

Photographer

R Michael Walker

Posts: 11986

Costa Mesa, California, US

A crane will do it. Even a small one....jib arm maybe with a wide angle on your camera.

Oct 08 12 03:00 am Link

Photographer

Karl Blessing

Posts: 30853

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

R Michael Walker wrote:
A crane will do it. Even a small one....jib arm maybe with a wide angle on your camera.

In other news, photographer fell to his death... big_smile

Oct 08 12 03:07 am Link

Photographer

Jaunedoe

Posts: 38

Yantai, Shandong, China

Oct 08 12 03:09 am Link

Photographer

Catherdr

Posts: 61

Valdosta, Georgia, US

Kent Art Photography wrote:
How big is your budget?

Would it stretch to renting time on a surveillance satellite?

+1

Oct 08 12 03:13 am Link

Photographer

Harold Rose

Posts: 2925

Calhoun, Georgia, US

Michelle Bo wrote:
My clients want me to create an image like this:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8035/8065413898_b5c847d155_z.jpg

How would I go about this? Maybe shoot from a balcony above?

Thank you!

Find a not busy overpass..   I use the second story balcony of my studio some times..  But then I have 14 ft high ceiling.. So inside studio shots work very well.   Many times I have to shoot  carped designs  totally  square and the rafters and or a ladder work there..

Oct 08 12 03:38 am Link

Photographer

Hikari Tech Photography

Posts: 791

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Kent Art Photography wrote:
How big is your budget?

Would it stretch to renting time on a surveillance satellite?

Really?!  hmm

Oct 08 12 03:39 am Link

Photographer

Kent Art Photography

Posts: 2930

Ashford, England, United Kingdom

I have to say that I'd be wary of this.

It strikes me that finding a suitable location for shooting from a building or bridge is going to take some doing.  Hiring something like a cherrypicker or other specialist equipment is going to cost, too, and you can bet the weather won't co-operate.

Add in the buggeration factor, because you're doing something you haven't done before, and the fee starts to look a bit http://assets.modelmayhem.com/images/smilies/scary.png.

My earlier reply was a bit flippant, but are your clients prepared to pay a lot of money for their pics?

If I was doing it for myself then I'd probably give it a go, though.

Oct 08 12 03:48 am Link

Photographer

Michelle Bo

Posts: 10

Portland, Oregon, US

Shooting over a overpass or sky bridge a few floors high sounds like the best idea and what I will be trying to do.

Good tip about getting assistants or walkies to avoid shouting.

Oct 08 12 09:08 pm Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36239

Upland, California, US

Shot from above with Nikon D600 at 3200 ISO... lens was 24-120 F4 Nanocoat... makes boobs bigger... buns and legs smaller... borat

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v330/GaryAbigt/Chantellerz59-1.jpg

Oct 08 12 09:18 pm Link

Photographer

Kevin Connery

Posts: 16931

El Segundo, California, US

Select Models wrote:
Shot from above with Nikon D600 at 3200 ISO... lens was 24-120 F4 Nanocoat... makes boobs bigger... buns and legs smaller... borat

Which is the opposite of the sample image, other than being shot from above the subject.

Full length of multiple people and a lot of surrounding area vs head-and-shoulder+ shot.
No obvious perspective distortion vs a fair amount of perspective distortion.

OP, I'd use a cherrypicker or a 4-5 story building with outside access; much less height than that is going to make it very difficult to get the feeling of 'straight down'.

Not a critique; merely pointing out how it doesn't relate to the image shown/question asked.

Oct 09 12 05:14 pm Link

Photographer

Alien LiFe

Posts: 847

San Francisco, California, US

OP ...

This duo do a lot of those stuff ... and they are good ... Check their work or PM them & ask them to share their wisdom & magic ...

http://www.modelmayhem.com/548039

Oct 09 12 05:31 pm Link

Photographer

Karl Blessing

Posts: 30853

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

Select Models wrote:
Shot from above with Nikon D600 at 3200 ISO... lens was 24-120 F4 Nanocoat... makes boobs bigger... buns and legs smaller... borat

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v330/GaryAbigt/Chantellerz59-1.jpg

Seems you completely missed what the OP was asking for, and just showing off.

Oct 09 12 05:44 pm Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4825

Houston, Texas, US

Karl Blessing wrote:
If you did so from a balcony or parking garage or etc from above I could see something like a tilt and/or shift lens being very handy with that big_smile  (depending on the angle of which you do it and how high).


... or this.

True..balcony or parking lot. You need open soft light.. if you want a similar light.  clean concrete is nice and saves on retouching.  You'll likely need permission if shooting on private property.    As for shift/tilt, you can probably get that done in PS BUT consider shooting this from a very high angle with a longer lens. That will help in any sort of distortion.

Oct 09 12 06:01 pm Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4825

Houston, Texas, US

Select llamas wrote:
Shot from above with Nikon D600 at 3200 ISO... lens was 24-120 F4 Nanocoat... makes boobs bigger... buns and legs smaller... borat

LOL was this post for a different forum?

Oct 09 12 06:02 pm Link

Photographer

gwsphotos

Posts: 243

Beaverton, Oregon, US

There are a lot of bridges downtown that might work.  Burnside, Hawthorn, Broadway might work and you can vary your height/perspective somewhat by moving up and down the staircase.

Oct 09 12 06:19 pm Link

Photographer

Karl Blessing

Posts: 30853

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:
True..balcony or parking lot. You need open soft light.. if you want a similar light.  clean concrete is nice and saves on retouching.  You'll likely need permission if shooting on private property.    As for shift/tilt, you can probably get that done in PS BUT consider shooting this from a very high angle with a longer lens. That will help in any sort of distortion.

You can't really do the actual "useful" stuff in photoshop. Shifting in order to shift the lens's composure as if you're sticking out further from the balcony, and tilt to cover more of an angle in focus (which is pointless in photoshop if you were unable to get the acceptable DoF), since it really helps if you wana open up to 2.8 but keep a specific plane in focus if you're not perfectly parrallel with the ground.

So yes *some* things can be corrected in photoshop such as perspective (ie: keystoning etc), and maybe even fake diorama effect if you were going for that, but in terms of being used as intented photoshop can't replace most of the situations where it saves you from having to be physically over the edge so to speak.

In hindsight, a ladder would be more practical.

Oct 09 12 06:20 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

Giacomo Cirrincioni

Posts: 21385

New York, New York, US

Karl Blessing wrote:
Seems you completely missed what the OP was asking for, and just showing off.

It's the only reason he ever posts.

Oct 09 12 06:21 pm Link

Photographer

T Brown

Posts: 2460

Traverse City, Michigan, US

at my shop we have a boom truck where the basket extends 60 feet out, but I'm too chicken shit to go up in.it, lol..

Oct 09 12 06:22 pm Link

Photographer

Karl Blessing

Posts: 30853

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

T Brown wrote:
at my shop we have a boom truck where the basket extends 60 feet out, but I'm too chicken shit to go up in.it, lol..

Imagine the vertigo off a parking garage... (but least you can fall back on the pavement... as opposed to the pavement that's 60 feet below).

Oct 09 12 06:26 pm Link

Photographer

T Brown

Posts: 2460

Traverse City, Michigan, US

Karl Blessing wrote:

Imagine the vertigo off a parking garage... (but least you can fall back on the pavement... as opposed to the pavement that's 60 feet below).

your right

I've seen guys up in that thing fully extended and it will literally swing 4 feet back.and forth not my idea of stability.

Oct 09 12 06:29 pm Link

Photographer

William Kious

Posts: 8841

Delphos, Ohio, US

So, this is going to be the next cliche?

I kid, I kid...

A ladder and relatively wide lens seems the easiest and most cost effective route.

If you need more height, climbing up on a roof and shooting over the edge of the peak could work, too (although, there may be considerably more risk involved.) In fact, that's kinda what this shot looks like to me.

Oct 09 12 06:35 pm Link

Photographer

David Simpson Images

Posts: 1328

Bangor, Maine, US

http://www.mediafire.com/conv/e17642058b76dcc6c90abb1501c734104g.jpg

I call this balloon girl. I shot the balloon model on a ladder with a helper holding her hand, then shot the set without the models. layer and mask out ladder in photoshop and there ya go.

Oct 09 12 06:56 pm Link

Photographer

bgcfoto

Posts: 5443

Largo, Florida, US

Karl Blessing wrote:

Seems you completely missed what the OP was asking for, and just showing off.

lol'd

Oct 09 12 06:59 pm Link

Photographer

The F-Stop

Posts: 1510

New York, New York, US

Rope n pully off a ceiling?

The overpass idea, maybe one in a park over a walking path?

From a limb of big tree?

Oct 09 12 07:18 pm Link

Photographer

Gary Melton

Posts: 6395

Dallas, Texas, US

I can tell you from experience - one of the things you really have to look out for with these types of shots is that they need to be shot with the camera lens pointing STRAIGHT down (ie: perpendicular to the ground, or absolutely as close to being perpendicular as possible).

If shot at almost any kind of an angle at all, the angle will be pretty apparent...and the shot just won't look right!

Oct 09 12 07:25 pm Link

Photographer

Karl Blessing

Posts: 30853

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

Though if you're gona shoot from high up, why not play with it a bit, ie:

http://pcdn.500px.net/15504785/3a0f8d2bc67bbb9e6389ef5d942df928878e62f9/4.jpg

Oct 09 12 07:28 pm Link