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Static vertical camera at height...

Nike55 17 968 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2020 11:02PM
I have a project involving a car rebuild in a barn and I would like to take a series of vertical views.

These views would be a series of no more than, say, 24 basic vertical shots which would show the plan view of the complete car and the subsequent removal of bonnet, doors, seats, bodywork, chassis, engine, gearbox, wheels and axles,etc with the last frame being of the bare surface of the barn - the a series of reverse shots when rebuilding.

The shots would need to be taken at an appropriate height with, probably, a 35mm lens, to avoid too much distortion although some could be photoshopped out (I have yet to work out the trigonometry)

The rig could be permanent provided it did not get in the way of my workshop activities and could be two A frames on wheels, which could be rolled out of the way. The camera mounted at the apex..

The camera would need to be able to be lowered after each weekend session.

I would not wish to use a web cam on a balloon nor a drone as I am seeking superior quality.

Unfortunately I cannot think of any easy way ( way) of doing this - I could set up the lighting and approximate exposure on the camera then hoist it into the air and trigger the shutter remotely and while I assume I could view the live action through some form of electronic device (a web cam attached to the camera back to view the settings?) my other thought is two twenty foot (eg) high scaffolding towers with a 20 foot long walkway between them with me shooting vertically in situ - the Michelangelo approach.

Alternatively, a thirty foot counterweighted 'perch pole' and some form of (elaborate) connection to a laptop (and remote focusing: how?)

Canon 7D Mk11 or if I'm nervous my old Mk1.

Lighting: I think strobes and umbrellas rather than flash, these could be rigged either on the ground or somewhat higher (experiment needed)

Any ideas?

Many thanks in advance!
sherlob Plus
17 3.3k 133 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2020 2:10AM
Could you fix a tripod head inverted to the A frames? Your camera could then be simply secured to the tripod head using the quick release mount. I am not sure if the Canon 7D II has this feature, but I know I can use the Canon remote app with my 5D MkIV to adjust settings and expose an image. It might be worth checking your manual to see if yours has wifi to enable this.

Good luck,

Philh04 17 2.3k United Kingdom
17 Jun 2020 7:40AM
Did exactly the same thing a few years ago when photographing a very large fossil tree specimen (in fact we were televised on 'Museum of Life).

Setting up the camera is really easy, we used a scaffold tower (ours was on wheels so that it could move along the length of the specimen in order to stitch the images together) with a tripod firmly clamped horizontally so that the camera was centrally located above the subject.
The camera was connected to a laptop via a USB cable and we used Helicon Remote to control the camera, the image was viewable via Live View and also saved directly to the laptop.
The hardest thing will be lighting, we were fortunate in that the subject was fairly flat and the natural light in a large warehouse was soft enough to provide even lighting, with a car the lighting is going to be complex as you have many surfaces at many different angles etc. If I was to undertake such a job I might look at bouncing your strobes off large white flats.

Nike55 17 968 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2020 9:50AM
Hi Phil,

Very many thanks for your comments re the technical aspects of the camera op's and 'barn doors' in this case do not just refer to the buildings structure!

You have also sparked some new ideas regarding movable overhead structures so again, many thanks.

If the set up works as it should I'll post a few shots in a couple of months.


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