Art, I own most of the archival film for the immediate area, so business should stay good. I always say that the "meat and potatoes" provided by the aerial photography makes it possible for me to take on "regular" photographers at a very reasonable price, well, okay, the ease of my equipment also makes my job easier than just about anywhere else which also keeps the price down.
My goal is to be the last standing LF&ULF ANALOG shop in Idaho, and maybe the entire NW. And having cameras that can print 36"x48" from a regular 400ASA 35mm neg, should keep me way ahead of the usual pack.
Im curious. I just read this whole thread and still have a couple questions for you.
what purpose does archival aerial photography serve? is it a surveying thing? geological? or am I completely off base and lacking any comprehension of what your business is? I understood you as saying you also do enlarging for people. but Im just very curious about the aerial part... very intriguing. and congratulations on the constant business and I hope things continue to go wonderfully for you.
I bought the business from fellows who say it is "originally" used to map with, then as archival film it seems to be used for design and planning rather than surveying, environmental site asessments, legal exhbits relating to automobile accidents, and some places just want to count how many rooftops are in an area to see if it is worth extending a franchise. Now the mapping is done almost entirely digitally, but these archival issues seem fairly ongoing.
I just recently joined this forum, and noticed this thread.
I don't know if there is really any interest in it, but:
I've been in photogrammetry ( topographic mapping using aerial photos) for
over 25 years ( oh man, that's a long freakin' time...).
The pirmary use for the aerials that inthedark describes was for this purpose. They are generally shot in stereo ( 60%) forward ( along the flight line) overlap. We use the hard copy photos in whats called an analytical stereoplotter and scans of the negs in whats called a softcopy stereoplotter.
Lots of geometery and other stuff, but the idea is that we look at one photo with one eye and its overlapped mate with the other - stereo viewing. By working with a land surveyor ( who puts out crosses - either painted or plastic) in the scene to be mapped. He then gives us coordinates ( x,y,z) of these targets. We can then relate the photos to each other and the ground coordinate system. They are then measurable.
We have archive photos of our area going back 30 years. There is a market for them, but it is not terribly active hereabouts.
So, there's a lot of trivia for your distraction.
Hope it helps rather than confuses.
Oh, yeah, the other varialbe in the lab is that we use 10x10 Saltzman enlargers. They can tip and tilt the negative to re-create the attitude of the
aircraft at the time of exposure. This corrects for perspective displacement from that tip & tilt.
Terry, I don't use the tilt and tip because although it corrects perspective, I affects the focus and for the site assessments, focus is key. However, the previous owners were photogrametrists (?), and did have one of those cameras, I think, prior to downsizing (selling everything they could get out of the door on Ebay) and then selling to me.
Yeah, I should have mentioned that these enalargers also have lens stages that tip and tilt.
I came to this business after having a fair experience in Large Format photography - so it all made sense
Yes, the person in the practice is a photogrammetrist ( two m's - no doubt from some arcane language rules).
At the place I worked prior to starting my business, we had a monster Robertson Tri-color overhead process camera. It was put in the building and the walls were built around it. The Acti line is much more advanced and accurate.
Best of luck in your operation - we're booming out here ( left coast).
I saw a bunch of the 3D photo viewers (I won't attempt to spell the names) in an engineering class back in college. A whole room full of them, with piles of the stereo photos just waiting to be tossed I think. On a slow day we set one up and checked it out. It was amazing, totally 3-D. You felt like you could touch the trees! Most of the photos were of the forests in northern idaho, but I'm guessing that photos of more urban areas would be cool too.
I have a question based on one of these recent posts. Driving around Boise here, I've often noticed some large X's or painted in odd places. Could these be some of these markers?
We use aerial photographs quite often in the early stages of design (I'm an architect), to help the building and the site design fit into the area. I love to look at older aerials to see how much this area has changed in the last 50 years. Boise is growing so quickly that it really is amazing to see what was. I can't remember who does it, but someone around here actually "stitches" the photos together and makes a large mosaic of the entire valley each year. You obviously can't see a whole lot of detail fro that high up, but it is nice to see everything at once.
Not that it really applies to this group, but just in case anyone is interested...there are quite a few websites out there with all sorts of aerial photo's. Here in Boise you can get the entire metro area at http://www.compassidaho.org/maps/200...s/2003map.html This is a planning agency and the photos are actually done by the Fed's so they are public domain. I assume that many areas have something similar.
This site... http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ has photos from way way up from satellites, as does this one...http://www.spaceimaging.com/ which has a nice gallery page.
This site...http://terraserver.microsoft.com/ has all sorts of capabilities, but from what I've found the photos are a bit old. They can be cool too though.
Yup, those are probably for photogrammetry.
The "stitching" you mention all done digitally now. I've been at it long enough to have learned the old manual processes. We would "rectify" ( bring to scale and reduce tip and tilt effects) each image first.
It was important to make the enlargement on the lightest weight fiber paper possible. Even with rectified images features wouldn't necessarily match from one photo to another.
Once you had your prints, you'd soak them down and glue them onto masonite or some other stiff backing. The reason for the light weight paper was to allow you to manually stretch the paper to make things fit better. It was critical to keep the paper grain going in the same direction in all the prints ) to avoid differential stretch).
Anyway - more trivia - photogrammetry is used in Architecture as well. Stereo photos are taken of building facades and then they are mapped.