Twilight (either before sunrise or after sunset) and night aerial photography and videography are some of the most technically challenging assignments we engage. The following were imaged during the summer of 2016. Night aerial photography and videography via sUA’s (‘drones’) are illegal without special dispensation from the DOT/FAA, and we go to extraordinary efforts to remain compliant-so, we use manned airplanes and helicopters to perform our night and most twilight assignments (especially those requiring relatively high altitudes above ground like the following images).
Night aerial photography and videography are monstrously demanding on both camera sensors and optics; imagery is captured at counterintuitive exposure compensations and aggressively manipulated into deliverable artifacts.
This commissioned image was shot on the evening of 7/30/16 and relies on stabilization for its shockingly sharp character in spite of an unusually slow shutter speed. It’s obvious from the sunlight on the foothills that the sun hasn’t actually set yet, but downtown is completely shadowed. This is not a composite image; we use flight planning software to determine the sun’s azimuth and elevation as well as which elements will be in shadow-and which won’t-to time assignments like this.
This image is a very high aspect (we’ll fly the lower aspects later this month, on 10/20/16) on the new Broadway Bridge, at night during the BYU@BSU NCAA Division I game (and shot at 300mm, f2.8). It features the LED lighting on the new concrete bridge deck. Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras cannot cope with the Contrast (ranges from light to dark) encountered in this scene, mandating heavy-handed digital manipulations that will destroy an image if applied indiscriminately.
This ‘wide’ image shows the traffic in and around Albertson Stadium just after the start of a game; notice the pregame fireworks smoke drifting northeast, over the shoot subject-the new Broadway Bridge. From high altitude and at night it’s easy to take a census of autos because of their headlights! Since the game did start late and we were interested in the lighting on the new bridge deck, this image is a bit more ‘Low Key’ (a digital term for ‘dark’) than most but can still be printed effectively in either a 4-color or Giclée* process.
*Giclée is a $.50 word for ‘inkjet,’ and has a very unfortunate relationship with certain (and indecorous) French vernacular.
CEO, Idaho Airships, Inc. Certified Master Aerial Photographer. Adobe Certified Expert: Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Flash, Web Specialist, Video Specialist. Certified Level III Thermographer. Trained LiDAR Operator.
CEO, Idaho Airships. Inc. Certified Master Aerial Photographer. Adobe Certified Expert: Photoshop, Flash Professional, Premiere Pro. Adobe Certified Expert Video Specialist and Web Specialist. Certified Level III Thermographer. Trained LiDAR Operator.