Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lomo-Copter - Analog Aerial Photos by a Mounted Diana F+ on a Remote Controlled Helicopter

The possibilities of experimenting with analogue photography are truly endless. The good people at flitetest.com have taken Lomography to new heights. Quite literally. They recently mounted a Diana F+ on a remote controlled helicopter and took some awesome instant photographs with the Instant Back.

Most photos included here made by Dave Knop

What does it take to be able to go out and make your own aerial Lomography topography images? The biggest prerequisite are the skills involved in building and flying a craft like the show’s host David can be viewed piloting in their episode featuring the Lomo-copter:

You already have the skills? Good, you’ll need two more things, a Lomography camera and some sort of remotely controlled aerial device. In this case, the Flite Test team used a tricopter.

The camera might be something you’re familiar with. It’s our popular, Diana F+ camera, a classic Lomography camera that shoots on 120 film. For ease of use, and the ability of taking more than one image at a time, they added an Instant Back the camera can shoot on Fuji Instax Mini film.

But wait, there’s more. Just attaching the camera to the aircraft won’t yield you any lomographic images. You’ll need a method to activate the camera. In the episode, David shows how he’s attached a servo, with some string, and a section of surgical tubing, so a second radio controller can activate the camera.

So, now you’re able to lift the camera into the air, and you can activate the camera from the ground. The film doesn’t have to be advanced, and the images are printed on instant film. How do you know what you’re aiming the camera at? Well here’s where the guys from Flite Test have really gone the extra mile. David shows how to use a video downlink system to look through the viewfinder of the Diana F+ camera.

He utilizes a moldable plastic to secure the video camera to the camera.

He’s now able to see what the camera is seeing.

A video transmitter is mounted behind the Diana. It sends the signal to the ground operator.

The video image is transmitted to a ground station that uses a miniature television screen to view the video instantly.

An alternative to the television screen is a pair of video goggles. This really helps give you the feel of being in the same place as the camera.

During the filming of this episode, Josh was snapping and ejecting the Instant Film photos with a separate radio. He was seeing what the camera sees with his Fat Shark FPV Goggles.

The flying of the tricopter is aided by an on board stabilization system. In this case, the Tricopter is equipped with a Hobbyking KK2.0 Multi-rotor LCD Flight Control Board, which will help with keeping the multi-rotor stable especially on a windy day like they experienced during the filming of this episode!

You still have to know how to fly one of these RC aircraft, because even an experienced pilot can have a mishap every now and again.

Even with the damaged to the tricopter, the resulting images were well worth it.

For more details as to how you can build your very own tricopter check out the Flite Test YouTube channel.

For more detailed building tips, flying advice, and possible locations where Flite Test community members might be able to help you with your training needs, visit their website and forums.

Equipment mentioned in this article:
  • Diana F+ camera
  • Instant Kit (Instant Film camera add-on) for the Diana F+
  • Fatshark AttitudeSD FPV Goggles – with Built in Headtracker
  • Tricopter Motors
  • NTM Prop Drive Series 28-30A 750kv / 140w motors
  • KK2.0 Control Board
Text by Fred Provost of Flite Test, written by bohlera; this original article was published on Lomography.

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