Aerial Video and Photography

Aerial video and photography is another spectacular hobby for you and your kid. Kites are cheap and they area great platform for interdisciplinary projects.The quad-copters are great for this purpose too but you still can`t beat the price of a kite with a small camera or phone attached.

The first aerial photographs were taken in 1858 by Gaspard-Felix Nadar,a French photographer and balloonist, caricaturist, journalist,in 1887 by Douglas Archibald (England) and in 1888 by Arthur Batut (France). The first aerial motion picture was shot in April, 24, 1909 over Rome, in a 3:28 minutes silent film. 

Aerial photography is used in cartography land-use planning, archeology, movie production, environmental studies, surveillance, commercial advertising and artistic projects. The advent of satellite photography pushed back a little bit the use of aerial photography in cartography and land-use planning. Anyone can do very accurate aerial surveys using Google Earth or any other web based map service. Still, there are many ways this activity can be useful today.

Aerial video was a logical extent of aerial photography. The technological advances in digital equipment makes a multitude of small video cameras affordable for the general public. You can use an old cell phone or you can buy a specialized video camera from a hobby shop. Besides aerial video you can use this camera for many other science projects too. 

For my first project regarding I have attached a miniature camera to a kite as you can see in the following video.I apologize for the quality of the image and sound but those days,an 8mm video camera was the best tool I could get.

Later one I moved to drones.This footage was captured using a Blade 180 QX mini copter.

 Here are some suggestions for a interdisciplinary project using aerial video: 

1. Chose a location for your next shot and print it’s the map (Google or Yahoo).

2. Make a flight plan and mark the main objectives you want to video record. You can take a virtual flight with Google Earth over your chosen location.

3. Chose the carrier (plane, helicopter, balloon or kite) and consider different locations for the camera. Talk about the carrier center of gravity and how it will be altered by the attachment of the camera.

4. Chose the best angle to position the camera and think about all the factors that can influence in flight the picture quality (vibrations, wind, balancing) .Just as an example, in one of our flight with an RC plane we put the camera to face the propeller. As a consequence, the picture was altered and it was interesting to see the difference between these alteration during the flight accordingly with the cameras fps ( frame per second refresh rate).

5. Use a video editor to make the best movie clip. You can combine the aerial views with shots taken from the ground with the same camera or with a second one.

The wind was strong and the camera was not very well attached to the kite so the picture was a little shaky. 

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