Friday, September 24, 2010

The Earth from above

Yann Arthus-Bertrand has a hit with this theme. I bought an over-sized postcard book with his work a couple years ago, some still hang on my fridge.


15 comments:

Steve Weeks said...

Jim Richardson just posted these images on his blog.

http://jimrichardson.typepad.com/richardson_photography/2010/09/patterns-of-our-workings.html

Aerial photography seems to be popular since it's inception in Paris, 1858 by Nadar.

The book "Window Seat" by Julieanne Kost is a nice reference on the how and what to look for when flying.

Another set of striking photos were made while flying over America in an ultra-light aircraft. I don't remember the photographer or book's name. The neurons in that sector of my brain do not seem to be firing today.

It is all good stuff though. Lovely way to see the earth.

eolake said...

Yes, I'd like to do it, in an ultralight. It's a way to get an unusual perspective on the usual things.

TC [Girl] said...

Funny...I was just thinking of you, a couple of nights ago, Mr. Weeks (sharing the past post of subject for others, of course. :-) I went out to try to do some moon images, and was wishing I had someone to "steer me right!" I took several shots but...mmm...not very interesting nor clear! :-/

Do you have a site that you share your photos on?

Alex said...

TC, did you see the BBC "world in pictures" page for the harvest moon the other day? They had a great shot of a hawk with the moon behind it. Did not look like a composite.


And we had 365 days Earth From Above a few years ago, then there seems to be a new one every year for a few years.

Steve Weeks said...

TC, without knowing your camera system it will be difficult to give any good advise. Generally I would guess the lack of good images were the result of unstable platform and release, focus and time.

First off get a stable platform, a very stable tripod and head are a must. Hand-holding is out. As for release. if your camera is a SLR, use the "Mirror lock-up" function and some kind of cable release or timer. Lacking the cable, a poor person's release is the use of the self timer function in combination with mirror lockup. On my Canons, if you set the CFn of Mirror Lockup with the 2 second self timer it raises the mirror and after two seconds (for steadying) trips the shutter.Other systems may vary.
Second, cameras/lenses now are auto focus and don't work in low light. Make sure you know where your camera focuses at infinity. This will be a manual procedure. Test it in daylight so you know where it lands. It varies with lenses.
Third, time. The moon moved at a surprising rate when I first started messing with astrological photography. If the exposure is longer that about 60 Sec. expect some movement and lack of sharpness.
The best indicator may be how the images were not clear. Erratic movement in the moon shape would indicate camera shake. Out of focus I do not need to explain. Light trails are a matter of time.

Hope that helped. I don't have a web presence, but you can email me at lvneonguy at cox dot net and I will be happy to forward images I have that may illustrate the point. Actually if you want to see any I have done I am more than willing to share.

Steve Weeks said...

Did some digging on the ultralight book and found a fair copy here in LV. The book was $.29 and the S&H was over $5.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/America-500-Feet-Bill-Fortney/dp/1559717858

Damn, maybe I should go down to the Goodwill store and browse their photo books on hand.

TC [Girl] said...

Alex said...
"TC, did you see the BBC "world in pictures" page for the harvest moon the other day? They had a great shot of a hawk with the moon behind it. Did not look like a composite."

Thanks, Alex. That was an AWESOME shot! Would be cool to try to find an owl, someday, and do same. Another picture "hunt"! Took me 6 years to see my first owl out in nature! :-/

Thanks for telling me about that BBC picture URL! COOL! I LOVE looking at pics! :-D That is one HECK of a shot, next to the eagle, as well! Well...and then, on the other end...that AWESOME close-up! WOW! Makes it look like a hop, skip, and a jump away, that one! :-)

TC [Girl] said...

@ Steven Weeks: Thanks for the tips. Will look into that one mystery setting (locking mirror up) that I had read about that night, as well.

I also have a sick laptop and am borrowing one, right now. Prefer to use Dropbox to gather several pics, so as not to send huge files, and will contact you, when I'm back up and running. Thanks for the help.

eolake said...

Seeing that the sun is actually shining directly on the moon, is it even possible to get detail in the moon at the same time as detail in the nighttime landscape?

TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"Seeing that the sun is actually shining directly on the moon, is it even possible to get detail in the moon at the same time as detail in the nighttime landscape?"

That is what I've been trying to figure out...how these dudes get these AMAZING shots w/ALL the details! I, basically, got some [glaringly] BRIGHT moon shots and wondered what I was doing wrong. Probably no filters on. None were mentioned where I happened upon a Flickr group. I'm still so "green" that I'm still trying to even figure out how to do some of the settings. I've been instructed to do some homework...again and still. :-/

eolake said...

Unless the landscape is lit by other things, I'm guessing they will be HDR photos, perhaps done manually, meaning one exposure for the moon face, and one for the landscape, and then combined in Photoshop or other software. (Not difficult with such a simple object as the moon.)

TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"...one exposure for the moon face, and one for the landscape..."

For those of us without an HDR app on an iPhone (lol!), wouldn't it be better to do 2 sets of brackets; one for each of what you said?

Steve Weeks said...

After reading the further comments I did some research and calcs. If my numbers are correct there is about 13-14 stops between a full moon and the surrounding foreground. So one exposure is pretty much out. HDR may stretch to that number, but in the length of time it will take to get the bracketed exposures the moon will have shifted position.
The only method I can conceive working is a composite with the moon at one exposure and the foreground another.
Not much different than making an image the includes the sun during daylight. If the foreground is correct, the sun detail will be blown.
When I think of successful moon and foreground detail images my mind goes to Ansel Adams' Moonrise over Hernandez. What he had working for him was residual sunlight illuminating the foreground. Either that or light painting the foreground seems to be the key.

eolake said...

Right, thank you. Good stuff.

Markus Spring said...

In this context I would highly recommend J Henry Fair's "Industrial Scars"

http://www.industrialscars.com

It certainly is a different kind of aerial photography, but brings in the necessary counterpart for all the beauty that Bertrand, Richardson et. al. do showcase.