I think it was in the fall of 2003 that it first occurred to me that a camera with a self timer could be used to do a very simple-minded sort of low-altitude aerial photography by simply tossing the camera in the air. Only today did I finally get around to trying it.
Of course this technique leaves much to chance, with lots of pitfalls. One precaution I took to protect the camera was to embed it in a block of foam (roughly 6x6x8 inches) cut from a discarded sofa cushion. I was also careful to try to catch the camera, gently.
The picture here was only my fourth try. It stands out among the two dozen I took today for several reasons:
- The camera was not pointing toward the sun.
- It shows something other than sky and tree tops.
- Recognizable objects are visible on the ground.
- The camera motion is not as bad as in many other attempts.
- The focus is no worse than the camera motion.
- The horizon is close to horizontal.
A few of the other shots are sharper, but I especially like this one because of the small shadow near the bottom center. That's the shadow of the camera in its foam block. (You can also see part of the foam block along the left side of the picture, as I hadn't yet properly trimmed the lens opening.)
More about TCAP:
- Equipment and Technique
- Cushioning the camera
- A lucky shot from the first session
- All my TCAP photos through Nov. 2005 (so you can see just how bad they usually are)