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Old Nov 17, 2004, 07:01 AM
Scale Builder, RCAPA #29
Rob Schaffer's Avatar
Lansdale, PA
Joined Jan 2002
1,370 Posts
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Recent Photo Job Results

I have only "advertised" to friends and family with a flier and asked them to spread the word around to anyone they knew that might be interested in some Aerial Photos of their house. I had a few responses which turned out good for them to buy a nice 8x10, but this was my first commercial job and I think the results turned out pretty well.

Located in Red Hill, PA near Green Lane Park, this is Hanover Square. The original property was a farmland, with the farmhouse located near the entrance with the transformed barn behind. Right now there is a Haircut & Day Spa, Copy center, and some construction companies occupying the buildings. He had a photo from the early 80's of the farm and property from a full scale plane, and after the construction is complete he will have me come back and try to replicate the same angles that I have taken here to have a timeline comparison.

These files were cropped to 8x10 at 300 dpi for printing, but then resized 25% to post here on the forums.

Setup: Slow Stick with 400 G gearing, 12x6 Prop, 8x1050 KAN NiMh.
Carbon rod wing reinforcement and fiber tape mods.

Camera: PocketcamX (AP Doug's Mods) with 256 SD Card
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 07:28 AM
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dreslism's Avatar
Rochester Hills, Michigan, United States
Joined Oct 2003
1,882 Posts
Congratulations Rob!

I have a question as I also use a PocketCamX, and feel I am severly limited when people want prints.

How do you get an 8 x 10 at 300DPI from a 2Megapixel camera?

I might be wrong on this, but the original was 1600 x 1200, so at 300 DPI you get
a 5.333 x 4 inch picture. If you rotate at all and crop, you're down to less than that at 300 DPI. I have heard that you can print anywhere from 240-360 DPI with about the same results, so you might be able to squeeze a little bigger print out of it.

Thanks,

Scott
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 07:42 AM
Scale Builder, RCAPA #29
Rob Schaffer's Avatar
Lansdale, PA
Joined Jan 2002
1,370 Posts
I shoot all my photos on the PocketcamX at the higher resolution setting, and you can change that by hitting the menu button when in Photo mode. In Photoshop, I select my crop window settings to 8x10 300dpi, and let it do the work. Results are fairly sharp, and decent for this little camera. A printshop near my house can print my photos up to 24x36 using there software which interpolates the pixel generation, and actually does so really well.

I am pleased with the results of the higher resolution setting, and without any editing in photoshop, I am still comfortable printing 4x6, 5x7, and some 8x10's. If you hold it about an arms length away, you don't notice the pixelation. Using photoshop just provides a sharper picture for those people who are looking up close for all the details. Take one of your good photos, don't edit it, and print various sizes so you know how they will look. Take the same photo, edit it, and print the larger size to compare. That's what I did to make sure I knew what my printer was capable of and how the camera resolution was.

Hope this helps....
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 07:45 AM
Team HeliProz
RCFEVER's Avatar
Saint Clair, MI
Joined Jan 2004
1,275 Posts
Welcome back Rob, glad all is well with the family!

Nice shots. Curious, did you manually rotate the camera for that straight down/overhead shot or do you rotate your camera mount via radio?

How much are you asking for your first commercial job?

Matt
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 07:51 AM
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pkrska's Avatar
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Joined Jan 2004
588 Posts
Very nice framing. How were you able to get the framing that nice? Did you have any downlink of what the camera was seeing? How many pictures did you take while up there?

I also noticed the one shot was straight down. Did you land, re-adjust the camera position and then go back up to get that vertical shot?
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 08:07 AM
Scale Builder, RCAPA #29
Rob Schaffer's Avatar
Lansdale, PA
Joined Jan 2002
1,370 Posts
Camera Setup

I have been trying to develop a rotating mount that would serve the purpose, but for these photos two flights were around the property with the angle of the camera near 40 deg. down from horizontal, and then another flight was made with a different mount, making the camera face straight down for the plan view.

As far as framing, I have been able to get a decent feel for what I am looking at. I fly to position, power off, and snap away on the downline. I typically fly a box around the property, which maximizes the opportunity for photos. Once back at the car, I download to my laptop, quick preview to make sure things are looking good, then fly again if I didn't get what I wanted or was asked to acheive. For this particular job, I did three flights, and ended up with 110 photos taken. Of that, 79 were of good focus of some portion of the property/subject. From those, I would say I had 15-20 excellent ones, which I narrowed down to the three posted above.

Typically, I would burn all 79 to a CD for the client, photoshop up to 10 for digital enhancement or cropping, and provide them with (2) 8.5x11 photo sheets (print sizes selected by them) for $100. This guy wasn't interested in the CD, just (3) 8x10's. One from the road side, one from behind the property, and a plan view. So, $60 is what I asked for this time to cover prints, drive time, flight time. He is going to let me know about framing, as I can do that for about $65 additional. (Nice wood frame, matting, and mounted)

I'm not really into it for a "business" yet, so making a few dollars having fun flying in and out of different situations and places is great for having a blast flying! Maybe next year I'll try to pursue things a bit more, now that I have a decent group of photos for a sample booklet.
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 08:24 AM
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pkrska's Avatar
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Joined Jan 2004
588 Posts
What do you mean by: "snap away on the downline."
Are you facing down, or diving into the shot?
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 08:42 AM
Scale Builder, RCAPA #29
Rob Schaffer's Avatar
Lansdale, PA
Joined Jan 2002
1,370 Posts
Snap away on the glide. I power up to position, face the plane the proper direction for a few seconds to let the camera exposure adust, power down and begin the glide. The shot has to be made along the property, no matter which way the wind is blowing, so sometimes it happens to be that I am flying into the wind, with a cross wind, or with the wind.
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 09:59 AM
SlowStick Test Pilot
patrickegan's Avatar
Yumastan RCAPA.NET
Joined Feb 2003
5,822 Posts
Nice work with a little photo shopping you could have some dazzlers.
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