Thursday, 29 September 2011

Azraq Camera

Much of the work behind each flight begins several days before with the preparation of the flight plan. A list of all the sites we intend to visit is compiled and entered on Google Earth. The route for the flight is then uploaded into two Garmin GPS96C receivers that we will use to navigate on the flight.

An APAAME Nikon D70


The APAAME team use Nikon cameras when photographing sites from the air. Usually the team have two Nikon D70s with 28-105mm Nikkor lenses and at least one Nikon D3 with a 24-70mm Nikkor lens on each flight. The preferred technique for aerial photography is to shoot in shutter priority mode with shutter speeds in the range of 1/500s to 1/1000s of a second.

The photographs themselves are obviously of reduced value without their associated metadata (such as latitude and longitude), so a great deal of work is done post flight to ensure that the images are correctly tagged and cataloged. The D3s have GPS capability (using Geopic II), which is attached via the hot-shoe and cable.

To geoencode the photographs taken by the D70s, we first record the time displayed by the GPS receivers by photographing them with each camera at the start of the flight. This allows us to correct the time data associated with each image to make it consistent and accurate. The GPS position of each photograph is then automatically added by matching the time of image capture to the position on the track log from the GPS receiver, using HoudahGeo software. Finally, the images are loaded into Adobe Lightroom 3 for any necessary corrective actions before being uploaded to Flickr.

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