Aerial Photography By Mark Watson
Mark Watson is an ‘extreme sports photographer’ and in this video he has teamed up with Red Bull hanglider Jon Durand to produce some amazing photos as well as video. The idea was to mount a D300s camera to his hang glider to shoot both video and still shots while he sails through the Morning Glory cloud. The results are absolutely stunning! I hope Nikon includes the remote video hack described in this video in their next series of cameras.
Here is an email Mark sent me with some details about this shoot:
The hanglider is a single person high performance racing hanglider…. therefore only carrying one person.
The concept was to design a system to get footage from the nose.
To do this the internal circuitry of the camera had to be rewired as well as a magic black box, splitter and two separate 10-pan cables to fire the video and stills. It is something we may see in future cameras however is not a simple cable, plug or software alteration. Anybody trying this will definitely void all camera warranties and potentially damage their camera (which is why I teamed up with Nikon to do it).
This system was designed and completed by myself, Nikon NPS and Nikons head tech boffins here in Australia as well as with the pilot’s input… it was a joint project based on a concept I approached Jon and nikon with a few years back.
I then utilised a previous mounting system the hanglider pilot and I had designed a year earlier to mount it on his glider.
Once all this was in place the only remaining question was should it be fired using radio-remote (very complex) or should Jon fire it from the hanglider (very simple)
Using the KISS rule I decided to throw my ego out the door on realising the system was best used as a hard wire system and so it was designed to simplify all actions so the pilot could fire the camera… therefore I would set it up every morning and when the morning glory cloud came Jon simply had to press the button at the right time.
This was a combined effort between myself, Jon Durand (Pilot) and Nikon Australia.