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Thread started 10 Feb 2011 (Thursday) 00:07
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Looking for something that probably doesnt exist.. but should

 
Golden ­ Hunter
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Feb 10, 2011 17:06 as a reply to  @ post 11817826 |  #31

Just occurred to me... if you want the pillars, seat tops, window openings, etc to line up, the truck must be level side to side as well . Just thought I would throw another point into the equation.


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kfyount
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Feb 10, 2011 17:11 |  #32

Michel.K wrote in post #11817826 (external link)
Excuse my ignorance and if i sound to obvious(?) or if i now did miss something important, but I just don't see the fuss on making things complicated here..?

That part I do understand - Doc is driving 5 hours to do the shoot and he has one chance. He wants to shoot the truck with the sun coming up behind it, so he doesn't want to waste time checking a shot in the screen - while he does that, he might miss a perfect alignment of the sun behind the truck, but he also wants to shoot the best angle to get the perspective of the truck he is going for.

So maybe we're making too much fuss about it, but there is a reason behind some amount of forethought fuss.


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kfyount
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Feb 10, 2011 17:18 |  #33

Golden Hunter wrote in post #11817913 (external link)
Just occurred to me... if you want the pillars, seat tops, window openings, etc to line up, the truck must be level side to side as well . Just thought I would throw another point into the equation.

Good point! Just what was needed - another variable to try to adjust for!!!!!:confused:

Hey Doc, this gives me another idea - build up or dig down on the sides where the truck will sit. Then you can tilt the truck to be in perfect alignment with your shooting angle from below ;)

(I am not making fun - I'm just getting punchy - it bedtime for me)


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Doc ­ Fluty
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Feb 10, 2011 17:37 |  #34

Michel.K wrote in post #11817826 (external link)
Can't you just preview the picture you've taken to confirm what height you're on, that way there is no real hassle in it?

To me it sounds like you want some special gear added to impress the truckers to make a simple thing very complicated..
When was it a problem to aim to the correct height with a camera if you're not having severe eye problems? Especially on a digital camera that has a screen on which you can preview the image and zoom in to check for whatever detail you're wanting. Like checking through the windows and see if it is what it is you're wanting.

Checking if the horizon is easy too with or without a bouble level. Just look at the test picture and zoom in and then scroll down the pic so it lines up with the upper or lower part of the screen (check if the allignment with horizon vs screen boarder is as flat).

Excuse my ignorance and if i sound to obvious(?) or if i now did miss something important, but I just don't see the fuss on making things complicated here..?

I will be towing the truck to the location with just my brother.. no one else will be there..Thats another reason i want/need to set this up before the sun comes up because i dont have a whole crew to move the truck, move the lights.. or do many adjustments once the sun is actually over the horizon....so its not about impressing anyone.

all i am trying to do is try my best at getting a perfectly level shot of the truck... I know nothing is perfect.. and im not being ridiculous about this..i just want ot give myself the best chance of getting this right the first time. why is it beyond comprehension that i would like to get my lens at the same height as an object i want to shoot? Im not buying some $500 piece of equipment.. just a $20 laser level.. geez

I dont know why leveling the camera keeps getting brought up.. i have a bubble thingy that mounts on the hot shoe.. so thats issue is not a problem. or i could even straighten the shot in CS5 if the horizon is crooked.

I just want something to let me know if my lens is even with the bumper, hood, bedrail or whatever.... I dont know why all the discussion of why i would want one when the opening question was is there anything out there to get me what i was asking for.

kfyount wrote in post #11817944 (external link)
That part I do understand - Doc is driving 5 hours to do the shoot and he has one chance. He wants to shoot the truck with the sun coming up behind it, so he doesn't want to waste time checking a shot in the screen - while he does that, he might miss a perfect alignment of the sun behind the truck, but he also wants to shoot the best angle to get the perspective of the truck he is going for.

So maybe we're making too much fuss about it, but there is a reason behind some amount of forethought fuss.

Thank you

and yes.. the truck will be on a small hill.. so the ground that i will be on is lower than the truck, so i might need a small ladder to get even with the shot. Also.. i only have manual focus lenses... so i will have my 5d2 on a tripod as well as me being on a ladder...my tripod goes a good 8 feet or so high.. so i should be good there

this is another shot of my truck.. im trying to do something similar.. but change it up a little with a side view of a friends truck that is much nicer and lower to the ground

IMAGE: http://i53.tinypic.com/2mpzqy1.jpg

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Wilt
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Feb 10, 2011 18:02 |  #35

How do you know precisely where on the horizon the sun will rise that day, so that the truck is positioned between the sun and the camera?


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Doc ­ Fluty
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Feb 10, 2011 18:20 |  #36

there is an app for that :)

You can have it for your desktop.. or iphone

http://photoephemeris.​com/ (external link)


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cacawcacaw
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Feb 10, 2011 18:22 |  #37

wunhang wrote in post #11816669 (external link)
I'm still not quite sure why a laser would be needed. ...

And I'm rethinking why Dave would even need a level. Dave's trying to establish line of sight (the point where the windows line up), not level. A camera with a telephoto lens on a tripod, and using magnified Live View, is probably the best tool available to establish line of site.

Wilt wrote in post #11816692 (external link)
If setting up in the darkness before sunrise, insufficient light to see the truck is overcome by laser beam striking the truck.

Why not just solve that problem with a flashlight shining through the windows?

But if the question is, "Given the two points at respective corners of the right and left passenger windows, and then extending that line into space, how can I see where that line intersects with a plane some distance away?" then a laser could come in handy (but a level is still not needed).

Dave could take a laser and temporarily fasten it to the truck (perhaps to a rear view mirror) in a position where it shines through two window openings at exactly the same relative point.

Then go to the approximate camera location and throw some dust in the air (it's dark out, right?) and see where the laser's line is in the air. (You could just hold up a piece of paper, but it would be more dramatic to use dust, or even better yet, a portable fog machine.)

Set up the tripod and ladder and find the exact point by centering the laser's red dot on your lens cap. (Don't look at the laser or shine it on your camera's sensor!)

Or, a simpler method, do the same thing with some mason's string and later tell everyone that you used a very expensive laser system to get the idea for your setup.


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cacawcacaw
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Feb 10, 2011 18:33 |  #38

Wilt wrote in post #11818305 (external link)
How do you know precisely where on the horizon the sun will rise that day, so that the truck is positioned between the sun and the camera?

If lined up with the masonry string and at the angle prescribed by the iphone app, the truck will be perpendicular to the camera with the sun directly behind it.

Then Dave could have his friend slowly creep the truck forwards or backwards until the sun shines exactly through the front rims. This would be even more fun if Dave makes his friend hide below the door and operate the accelerator and brake pedal with his hands.


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Doc ­ Fluty
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Feb 10, 2011 18:34 |  #39

again... i dont know why all this unnecessary commentary.

the original question was.. is there something out there to help my get my lens level with a subject 20-60 feet away?

Ive only seen one or two post so far with an actual product to help me... everything else just seems like some investigation as to the need or motive of me wanting the item.

I dont know why i would throw dust in the air and do huh? .portable fog machine? line of site?.. i didnt even understand 99% of that last post...whose dave?.. again.. live view an d the little red dot doesn't tell me if im level with the object

I laser level mounted on a flat surface on top of my ball head seems like the easiest best way so far.

I just wanted an item to help me have my lens the same elevation as a subject in the distance...

smh


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Feb 10, 2011 18:45 |  #40

The level ensures that the laser fires off at the truck when the camera's elevation is precisely level with a certain point on the truck (e.g. the badge)

But Doc Fluty, assuming that
A) you know where on the horizon the sun will rise from, and
B) you know where the position of the camera will be, you can
C) know where to place the truck along that line...but you also have the challenge of
D) orienting the truck (yaw the truck relative to the lens axis) to the right angle relative to the lens, too. It's not as easy as asking a person to turn themselves a bit to the right, or reaching to the set to turn a product on the set to the right angle.

(Even if you don't care about trying to capture sunlight thru the spokes of the wheels.) Things are not so simple as you make them out to be.


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Doc ­ Fluty
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Feb 10, 2011 18:50 |  #41

i know where the sun comes up on the horizon with this http://photoephemeris.​com/ (external link), the position of the camera will be dependent on the position of the truck relative to the sunrise and surroundings...

Im not as concerned with lights through the wheels as i am alinging with the bed rails and side windows.

I have one other shot id like to get.. pretty much like in post #18.. but a little higher and even with 50% of the trucks overall height


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cacawcacaw
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Feb 11, 2011 02:01 as a reply to  @ Doc Fluty's post |  #42

Doc (sorry, thought I saw Dave somewhere),

As long as you get your camera perfectly aligned with the truck, it doesn't matter whether things are level or not.

To be in line with both the bed rails and the back of the cab you need to establish a straight line that starts at the top-front of the far bed rail, crosses the close bed rail (almost barely touching it) and then continues into the middle of the camera. If you're in line with these two corners, the windows will also be aligned.

You could set that line easily with a tensioned string. Just take some string, tie it to the far door handle, throw it over the back of the truck and then back up twenty feet, letting out string as you go.

Tie the string to your tripod head, then put some tension on it. (Your brother could stay next to the truck to check the string and tell you to move one way or the other.) Move side to side until the tight string is aligned with the back of the truck's cab. Then move the string straight up and down until it is in line with the bed rails. Holding the tripod still, drop the legs and your camera will be in position for a perfect profile of the truck.

A laser could be used to set the same line. Before, I suggested mounting the laser to the truck, but it might be easier to mount it to the camera, exactly in line with your lens. (One of those "L" shaped Arca Swiss quick release plates would be perfect for mounting an inexpensive laser to the side of your camera.) Then just move your camera to the point where the laser shows a red line across the back of the cab and just kisses the top of both bed rails.

Sorry, I didn't mean to be a smart ass about using the fog machine. I was just trying to figure out a way to be able to see a laser line. Maybe I've watched too many Mission Impossible movies. Looking forward to seeing your photos from this shoot.


Replacing my Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm with a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I still have the 17-55 and the 30 available for sale.

  
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Feb 11, 2011 02:05 as a reply to  @ cacawcacaw's post |  #43

Just curious, what would a circular polarizing filter do with this type of back-lighting? Would it enhance the sky or would it destroy the effect?


Replacing my Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm with a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I still have the 17-55 and the 30 available for sale.

  
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Feb 11, 2011 03:39 |  #44

If one wants a laser that throws off a visible beam without fog, then get a green one from ebay, they will show a line all the way to the point of what you're aiming at when it's a little dark, and as you're doing this before the sun rises, you can set it up before i guess. Though the green lasers are usually illegal in many countries, so i don't know what applies for your state.


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Feb 11, 2011 09:56 |  #45

maybe I'm oversimplifying things here, and I'm not suggesting you do things my way. But if I were trying to duplicate the shot, I'd take a piece of wood or metal, mount a cheapo laser pointer to a simple bubble level (think $5 torpedo level - assuming there is no tripod or hotshoe level already in place) mount that assembly to the plate and mount the plate to the bottom of the camera. should let you know if your relatively level and pointing at the right place.

if your baseline is 50' long all you have to get reasonably close, 1' off of level is pretty close to 1* of angle. not much of a change. even a cheapo level will be within a couple inches at that length.

before all the fancy topcon stuff came out we used to survey with a sight glass and a reflector. you placed a reflective ruler at your target point then sighted through a tube mounted to a tripod which you had level. the difference was your elevation. the angle gave you your baseline. Since you don't care about the baseline, all you need is elevation.


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