I have just done a recent job for a commercial real estate company whereby they wanted some aerial photographs of a large area of undeveloped land that is being sold as residential sections.  So I packed my trusty DJI Phantom 2 with its modified 5.4mm GoPro lens (see this post).  As it was a large area of land the agent wished to show I decided to stitch the photos as an aerial panorama.  The most obvious thing was that I wasn’t happy with the first attempt as it was less than perfect conditions with high overcast cloud and the sun coming and going.  So I rung the sales agent who was relatively happy with the first attempt and said I would go back on a blue sky morning and do them again for no charge. Here are are 2 of the pictures from the same location on consecutive days (click the images for full size pictures);

1st attempt

Aerial panorama

2nd attempt

Aerial panarama take 2

What I learnt?

  • Because I was only using the GoPro with its small sized image sensor (mainly optimised for video) you have to really make sure you’re shooting in the most flattering of light conditions, usually first thing in the morning or late in the evening.  All the second attempt photos were shot literally 10-50mins after sunrise.
  • You have to be strong/stubborn with your client sometimes and just say no if you don’t think the conditions are ideal because at the end of the day it will always reflect on you (in this industry you are only as good as your last job!).
  • The GoPro did an alright job but stills aren’t its forte, you really need ability to lock exposure for good pano’s.
  • The best shots (I took stills in 6 different locations) really need some sort of reference on the ground such as a road or tree’s to give you a reference of scale or size, if you are shooting large areas such as this was.

In the end both me and the client were happy but there is always room for improvement (trying to justify buying a DJI Inspire at the moment!!).