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Thread: Shooting directly up

  1. #1

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    Shooting directly up

    I have a monorail camera. A Sinar F2. If I want to photograph something directly above me (I guess that would be at a 90 degree angle?), how would I do that?

    Thanks.
    --Mario

  2. #2
    lenser's Avatar
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    Tim from Missouri
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    Re: Shooting directly up

    Depends on the distance to the subject and how that dictates the camera position. The first step is to crank the tripod head back to a full 90 degrees which may require reversing the normal camera orientation if the handles get in the way of the column. After that, it's similar to what you're used to except for your body positions.

    I once photographed an open staircase from directly below and had to lie on the floor while making all the settings and exposures because the first landing was so low. A couple of times I've done exposures of trees and sky that way and was able to use a very tall tripod and stand directly below it. In the second case, I was more uncomfortable because of craning my neck for long minutes and I had trouble keeping the focusing cloth in place due to gravity. Even the clips on the camera were allowing the edges to slip through because they were designed to grip while in a horizontal position.

    Otherwise, it's about the same process as normal shooting as far as setting focus, swings, tilts, and shifts. A little harder to set shutter speed and f stop if they appear on the front of the shutter but not the edges. Otherwise, really not a big deal.
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  3. #3
    Christopher Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting directly up

    This is how I do it with the Rm3d on my Arca Cube.



    Sinar should be similar, you just might want to make sure and sandbag the tripod with all that weight cantilevered out. Also, make sure the camera body is centered over one of the tripod legs for maximum stability. As for viewing the image... you might want to pick up "Contortionism for Dummies."

    HTH,
    CB

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting directly up

    My iPhone has two lenses. Use the lens on the same side as the viewing screen and set the whole thing down on a flat surface.

  5. #5

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    Re: Shooting directly up

    A reflex viewing hood such as Cambo's T-20 solves the problem nicely. Other makers offer similar devices.

  6. #6

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    Re: Shooting directly up

    Sinar has a reflex viewer you could use that attaches to any of their 4x5 cameras.

  7. #7

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    Re: Shooting directly up

    I've tried similar shots with my Speed and Cambo monorail and you'll have to watch out for 'creep'
    where the front and or rear standard will move due to the weight. If your Sinar has geared movements
    it'll help immensely, I wound up tightening the locks as much as I could and additionally used spring clamps
    to make sure nothing moved.

    Composing and focusing will be difficult, at least it was for me, with my Speed I had a MP4 viewing hood
    which sort of helped, but I wear glasses so the hood only allowed me gross focusing, for the fine focusing
    I had to contort myself. If I do it again I'd make myself a small little reflex hood.
    It was easier with my Cambo since I was shooting down, all I needed was a ladder.

  8. #8
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting directly up

    what about a front-surface mirror on it's own stand(say, with a ballhead attached to the back of the mirror)? Camera remains pointed horizontal, just use a large enough mirror at a 45˚ angle so you can see "up"?

    I've purchased a few process lenses in the past that came with mirror box attachments

  9. #9

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    Re: Shooting directly up

    I'd agree that the mirror or prism solution would work best in some circumstances.

  10. #10

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    Re: Shooting directly up

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Baleur View Post
    I'd agree that the mirror or prism solution would work best in some circumstances.
    This is exactly what camera makers reflex viewing hoods do. The hoods have advantages over DIY mirrors. They attach directly to the camera's back with no tinkering, thinking or fabrication needed and they keep the dark in.

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