Architectural Photography by Richard Ellis ABIPP | Internal Aerial Photography using a Mast

Internal Aerial Photography using a Mast

March 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

There are occasions when photographing an interior from a floor-based tripod doesn't show the space to full effect. Nowadays, most people assume that aerial photography has to be done with a drone, but this is not always practical.

The commission illustrated here is of the warehouse of the Castings factory near Burntwood, Staffordshire. My client was Seddon Construction.

The ground level view of the building's structure and spaces was largely obscured by boxes of lorry engine components, stacked far higher than the reach of any tripod. I used a mast to reach above this, and was able to take photos of the interior without obstruction. Moreover, by varying the pitch of the camera remotely, I was able to look up to the roof structure and down to the goods in stacks, and to use these for visual effect. 

A further bonus of this method is that any camera with wi-fi can be simply connected to a smartphone, allowing higher image quality than can be obtained with most drones. Here, I was able to use my full-frame Canon 6d, coupled with a Sigma 12-24 at minimum focal length, i.e allowing an extremely wide angle.  This permitted the use of raw files and multiple exposures (necessary to balance the general light levels with rooflights and artificial lighting).

There are occasions when I use a compact camera (Canon G7X) on the mast. The principal benefit of this is that the zoom angle can be controlled remotely, although this only has the full frame equivalent of 24 - 100mm, and exposure control is more limited.


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