Thoughtfactory: pictures experiments journeys

brief working notes on various photographic projects

aerial photography

Yesterday was my first attempt at aerial photography. Chris Dearden  flew me along the  southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast from the Murray Mouth to Newland Heads then back to Goolwa in  his recreational Sonex aircraft --- a Xenos motor glider. It's a great little fixed wing  aircraft. 

I had to make the photos of the coast through the perspex  canopy at a 45 angle in order to avoid the aircraft's wing. I   used my old  Sony NEX-7 digital camera  with a 35mm Leica M lens. I didn't even bother to use the Rolleiflex TLR medium format film camera that I had with me. it sat behind the seat untouched  for the whole trip.  

A photo of the mouth of the River  Murray, which is where we headed first after leaving Goolwa airport. 

One  problem that I encountered was the reflections of the perspex canopy  that I had to  photograph through: the light from inside the canopy reflected off the glass and then went down the lens.  It is difficult to remove the reflections though post processing in Lightroom;    the canopy of the Sonex cannot be opened  during the flight;  it is not possible to place the camera so close to the glass that there is no way for the light to get in; and  it is impossible to block  most of the light coming from the other sources behind the perspex. 

Another problem  I encountered was the haze. The standalone Lightroom 6 that I recently bought from B+H does not have the  haze function to remove the haze! Only the subscription model has it, and for all the advantages this offers, I refuse to rent software  from Adobe on principle.  

So it looks as if my only option is  investing in  a polarising  filter.  This  filter is traditionally used to  filter out the stray reflections and  to reduce the haze.  This has the upside of being very portable and puts me  in control, but it has the downside of loosing a stop or two of light making for slower  shutter speeds.


However, I have been advised by Chris that  a polarizing filter has another downside. Using it inside the Senex  fixed wing aircraft creates artifacts caused by the perspex of the canopy.  So the reflections are a real problem.