Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Aerial Photos From a Helium Balloon

Posted by larrylohrman on September 12, 2006

Today Bruce Vinal of Concord, MA showed me some of his recent aerial  real estate photos that he took from a helium balloon. My favorite one is the one above that was taken from about 75 feet. Bruce says:

“I’ve got about $2,000 into my equipment right now but that number is sure to rise. I bought bits and pieces all over the web and fabricated the rest.The actual balloon is from Southern Balloon works I use a Nikon CoolPix-7900. It’s a good, lightweight (very important) 7 mega-pixel camera. The Nikon is mounted on a homemade aluminum frame that, using r/c servos, can pan tilt and trip the shutter. I bought a video down-link from Black Widow AV that allows me to see, on the ground ,what the camera sees in the air”

It seems to me this technology (a helium balloon) is a great alternative for doing real estate photography since it is relatively inexpensive compared to a mast or heli-cam or flying around in an airplane and it seems like it would be versatile and easy to operate.

My comment to Bruce was that I’d be inclined to use a camera that you could put a wide-angle adapter on so you could get a wide view without having to go up so high. I don’t believe a CoolPix-7900 has lens threads so you can add a wide-angle converter… I could be wrong but I think 38mm is the widest angle you can go with the 7900.

UPDATE:

I was wrong the CoolPix 7900 does have a wide angle adapter It can go down to 16 or 20mm.

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5 Responses to “Aerial Photos From a Helium Balloon”

  1. Derrick said

    I’d like to see a picture of this contraption in use. It sounds amazing!

  2. Derrick, Bruce didn’t send any photos that show the electronics on the helium balloon but the R/C servos are the same as is used in R/C model airplanes… small servos actuated by radio signals from the controller on the ground.

    You can get a sense of the video downlink from http://www.blackwidowav.com that sells the downlink electronics.

  3. […] Recent Comments larrylohrman on Aerial Photos From a Helium BalloonDerrick on Aerial Photos From a Helium BalloonDrew King on Real Estate Photography Pricing and ServicesUris McKay on Readme RE Photographerslarrylohrman on About Larry […]

  4. Roman said

    I have had that dream all my life, I’m a house designer and is always a problem to get tree surveys and all that to have a good sense of the place. I’m willing to get to your point, I would like for you to guide me in the process of getting the equipment, I’ve been saving for this project.
    respects

    Roman

  5. […] Aerial Photos From a Helium Balloon ? Photography For Real EstateToday Bruce Vinal of Concord, MA showed me some of his recent aerial real estate photos that he took from a helium balloon. My favorite one is the one above … […]

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