jspitfire From Canada, joined Feb 2005, 308 posts, RR: 2 Posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2215 times:
I was recently contacted by a local company that would like some aerial shots of their site. I have never done aerial photography before, so I'm looking for some pointers. I would most likely be shooting from a Cessna 185. What lenses work best? I've got a Canon 24-85 and a 100-400, I would assume the 24-85 would be easier to handle in the aicraft. I only have the one body though, so switching lenses could be an issue too if the door is gone.
Second part is what to charge? Obviously I have to cover the aircraft rental, but what is a standard per hour rate for a photographer? How much do I charge for the photos?
Any other tips anyone has would be much appreciated!
mho From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 209 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2186 times:
First and foremost - make sure you have a safety pilot, if you yourself are flying. I flew as a safety pilot for a photographer some time back. You definitely want shutter speeds of 1/500 sec or faster or you will get blurry picts (IS might mitigate this somewhat, but better safe than sorry). Shoot through an open window. Plexiglass causes haze, sometimes nasty haze for what you want to do.
Your best bet is the 100-400mm lens. You'd be surprised how much area the lower-mag lenses cover from 2000 feet up.
He charged roughly 2 times his cost of renting the plane per hour. He also charged about twice what the print shop charged him per photo, so of course size was a factor.
You can estimate what this mission will cost you, throw in a mark-up and negotiate a fixed cost with your client; that is also done.
jspitfire From Canada, joined Feb 2005, 308 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2140 times:
I will have someone else flying, I will only be shooting. I am hoping to have the whole door removed, but that's not a sure thing yet. Either way I know that shooting through windows absolutely will not work.
Just one other note, we will most likely be at 1000 feet while photographing.
Thanks for the ideas about costs, that gives me a good idea of how to approach this.
soon7x7 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 2819 posts, RR: 14 Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2070 times:
I charge $350.00 plus expenses if within 50 miles of airport. you don't have to remove the door...bring a phillips screwdriver and duct tape. While pilot preflighting (assuming your not the pilot) and open the window, unscrew the retaining screw in the forward frame carefully, rotate the window retainer arm back into the frame and take a small strip of duct tape to hold it in place. Carefully replace the screw and the collar (looks like a strange washer) back into the window frame. With the door closed and window unlatched, open the window frame all the way (while standing outside the aircraft) and apply duct tape to the underside of the wing where the window frame contacts the wing skin. Also a strip of tape under the bottom of the window frame where it contacts the wing skin. Don't use a long lens as camera shake will be amplified from the slipstream...Your ISO at 100 and a 500th or 650 is fine with lens at 50 -85mm, RAW. 750-1000ft agl. fine for normal targets...obviously higher for larger real estate. I usually perform two 360's around the target from different altitudes. I also found it real handy to do some test shots for exposure on the ground, set the camera on manual if your using an automatic camera and tape my focus to infinity and also tape the zoom ring. I fly and shoot simultaneously so it is easier to change my altitude rather than have two hands on the camera. Point of taping your controls is the camera will bang into interior parts of the plane potentially and settings may change. Also remove your lens shade...(lost one out the window off my hasselblad).
When you reach the target, slow up and add one notch of flaps...carefully open the window and let go...it won't slam against the wing, it will sort of float out of your way...the wing tape is there in case the pilot needs to clear the area fast then the window may hit the wing...just concentrate on keeping your target nicely framed and shoot. Note...the reason why I say to put the camera on manual and tape your lens to its settings on the ground is while on auto, you can get focus searches or roaming due to reflection from objects on the ground. It also makes your work load easier as all you have to worry about is framing the shot. When you return don't forget to replace the window retainer...good luck...have fun
Typically the clients select three keepers. Yes, just on disk. Prints are extra. I have gotten more for shoots but from out of state commercial realtors. The local population on Long Island finds these fees a bit expensive but the shoots are usually completed in about 7/10ths of an hour . I also fly/shoot myself unless I'm required to fly very low or in class B airspace or close to other airspace as concentrating on traffic and my target at low altitudes can be asking for trouble. I bring a safety pilot and of course charge extra...g