Balloon Aerial Photography

Yahoo is wrapping up their time capsule project and then archiving it all with the Smithsonian. Time Capsule Camp was a gathering of media makers and some cool workshops that I got to attend yesterday.

Balloon Aerial Photography

While there, I tried sending up my kite aerial photography rig, but there wasn’t enough wind to get the rig in the air. Plan B went into effect and I got lots of help from folks including my friend 3ric to gather a ton of balloons and put the rig up that way.

Balloon Aerial Photography

There are a few differences between kite and balloon photography. There is an interesting thing that happens when you hold onto a string with balloons on it. While you’re letting it out, it goes up, but as soon as you put tension on it, any breeze at all will push it down. It’s a trigonometry thing that resulted in the rig being dragged across the roof at one point. The other interesting challenge is setting up the picavet suspension system so that the rig doesn’t just hang down and spin. I attached the rig onto two diffferent sets of balloons and that seemed to sold that problem. – Photoset Link

One of the interesting things I learned about balloons is that the reason that they don’t work so well over time is because Latex is porous and helium molecules are super teeny and seep out of the latex. Mylar works better, but is more expensive.

Ryan Weh and Brad Larsen: Radio-Controlled Blimp-Mounted Camera

In other inflatable photography news, Last week I saw Ryan Weh and Brad Larsen’s Radio-Controlled Blimp-Mounted Camera at the November Seattle Dorkbot meetup. Their whole rig is remote controlled and under one pound including the video camera!