Recommendations and opinions needed

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Lpsouth1978, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Lpsouth1978

    Lpsouth1978 TPF Noob!

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    I am hoping to get some help from all of you pros. My brother called me yesterday to ask for my help with photographing a UAV. He works with UAV's for mapping purposes and needs to get some good shots of one that they sell.

    The UAV is about 7 feet across, so the lighting will be primarily natural sunlight. My questions are, should we use some sort of backdrop (like a white background). Also which lens and settings? I am thinking that the 50mm f/1.4 Prime lens would be best. He was asking about taking the photos with the largest aperture and then focus stacking the images for a fully focused image with the best detail. Would it be better to use a macro lens for a life size image? I have a 105mm, though I was thinking that a 60mm would be better for this project.

    Your thoughts on the best way to go about this project are greatly appreciated.


     
  2. calamityjane

    calamityjane TPF Noob!

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    what's a UAV?
     
  3. calamityjane

    calamityjane TPF Noob!

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    OK, so having googled, I think you mean a drone. I have no idea why you think such a large item (7 feet across!) would need a macro lens and focus-stacking? Also, why do you think you require a white backdrop and a 50mm f1.4? Are you intending on shooting it indoors with little to no lighting? We need more info on what you are intending to show and convey before we can answer this with any sort of certainty.
     
  4. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    My recommendation would be shoot outdoors and no white backdrop, you want some background elements so that the viewer can see how big this thing is - if it's that big then show it, that's a selling point for most. So I'd recommend an outdoor shoot maybe in a park or someplace you'd go to fly something like this, try to find at least a couple of interesting background elements that convey the size of the UAV - so you'll want to shoot this more like a landscape, no macro, no focus stacking, no blown out background. Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  5. bribrius

    bribrius Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    my camera has a miniature setting on it if yours does too you should be able to use that to shrink it down and maybe focus stack it.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  6. Lpsouth1978

    Lpsouth1978 TPF Noob!

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    I mean UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). I did not suggest the macro lens, my brother did. This is why I am coming here to ask opinions. I mentioned the 50mm f/1.4 because it is a lens that I have in my possession. The other options are the 105mm Macro, 18-55mm kit lens, and 55-200mm kit lens. Beyond these, I would either have to purchase a new lens or rent one.

    Thank you for your thoughts. I will definitely take your pointers and apply them to the photos. We will probably be shooting it at the airfield, so lighting should not be an issue. I will have to find some objects for a size reference. All great pointers.
     
  7. calamityjane

    calamityjane TPF Noob!

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    I'd hire a pro then.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Position it, compose, focus, and shoot. Might be useful to have a ladder or a higher-than-ground-level vantage point for a shot or two.

    Focus stack it? Sure, if you want to I guess, but most images today will be seen on-line, very small, and I've found that small-segment, close-ups of interesting details are often much more useful than extremely high resolution, large file sized images.
     
  9. Lpsouth1978

    Lpsouth1978 TPF Noob!

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    WOW, thank you for the help. :(

    Darrel, Thank you for the thoughts! I really appreciate your help! You seem to always be willing to help others improve their skills. I am excited to be a part of this project and I think it will be a good learning experience.
     
  10. calamityjane

    calamityjane TPF Noob!

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    You would only need a macro lens and to focus stack if the subject were minute, like a teeny weeny ant, or a real drone (wasp). Not a 7 feet across mahoosive thing! You're shooting in daylight in a country that actually has daylight so use daylight and whatever f-stop you like - you have enough light to have the whole drone in focus, front to back! And do show it in action, or nobody will get excited and want to buy it (helps for scale too). Is that better? If you don;t understand any of that, my previous advice still stands, use a pro (you do want to sell the thing, after all)
     
  11. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A 7 foot UAV is fairly unique so you want to make the shoot near or beside a well known object or vehicle as mentioned earlier.
     
  12. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It sounds like you want to have this image presented in life-size form. That may be why your brother thought about the macro lens, but in this case that is not necessary. What you could do is use your 105 macro lens and stitch a number of shots together, but if you haven't done it then I would not try now (or at least until you had a set of regular shots).

    You need to find out how they plan to use this image. I would think that if this is for a show display or outdoors display and people are going to be looking slightly up at it then the shot should be done looking slightly up at the UAV. I would hang it from the ceiling and do a set of shots. The ceiling then switched out for a blue sky with some clouds to give some dimension. I would not go wider than the 50mm to avoid exaggerating parts of the UAV that are closest to the camera. Probably a slight tilt to the right and down of the UAV so it looks like it is turing and coming towards you would draw some attention. And then like Derrel mentioned a ladder to get some shots from above. Do both he above and below with the UAV coming towards you and going away.

    If you shoot at f/8 from 15 feet away on a crop factor body with the 50mm lens you can get the 7 foot wide UAV in the frame, especially if you tilt it a bit (you can later change the tilt when switching out the backgrounds). At f/8 and the 15 feet you should also have enough DOF, depending on how long the UAV is.

    I would also do the normal straight on shots from each side, above and below and some detail shots.
     

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