Museum Garden

The other day I was asked to take aerial photos of the Museum Garden at The National Colonial Farm.  Most of what I’ve done till now has been video and I have a very good setup for the GoPro.  For this job I wanted higher resolution stills aimed directly down which called for a real camera.  I also now have more faith in my skills and my equipment so I decided to use my Panasonic LX3 (aka Leica D-Lux 3).  Using some aluminum stock I fashioned a 90 degree mounting bracket.  The bracket is offset like that in an effort to keep the center of gravity in line.

LX3 mount_back

Now the LX3 has no IR receiver nor cable release so I had to trigger it the old fashioned way, by pushing the button.  The last time I made a servo trigger I crafted an awkward bracket out of Shapelock thermoplastic that was heavy and ugly and flexed under stress. luckily the LX3 has a hot shoe and I had a hot shoe to 1/4 20 lying around.  Attached to that, I had a piece of Lexan and a scrap of some other flimsy plastic, a 9g servo, and a short piece of silicone fuel tube. All cut, drilled, and fastened and voila!

LX3 mount_servo

What you’d see from the ground.

LX3 mount_front

And here’s the resulting photo

museum garden_small

It’s actually a composite of several shots because I didn’t have FPV live video set up for that flight (I couldn’t find the video out cable for the LX3) so I had to kinda fly back and forth trying to hold the copter steady while pulling the trainer switch to take pictures.

Next time I plan to have at least a down facing FPV and possibly a co pilot to help guide me into position and take the photos. Also, while I did use altitude hold mode for this, I had no idea what my framing looked like but alt hold combined with live video feed should make future shots much clearer.

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