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The World’s First Pinhole Photo Captured by Drone


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Say hello to drone pinhole photography. A photography class at the Rochester Institute of Technology has successfully created what appears to be the first documented case of a pinhole photograph captured from a drone.

On March 19th, 2015, the Aerial Photography and Videography Class at the Rochester Institute of Technology captured a pinhole photograph of their cameras using a Phantom drone.

Led by Professor Frank Cost, the class created the DIY camera out of the box that their Zenmuse gimbal arrived in, discovering that it was a perfect fit for the 4×5-inch film sheets they wished to use.

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After converting the box into a camera, the class created a remotely-controlled shutter mechanism using a port cover from a GoPro camera — “thus making the GoPro pay proper respect to its elder” — and an RC servo for opening and closing the piece.

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The team then mounted the box to the camera and took to the skies.

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Here’s a behind-the-scenes video showing how the project was done:

And here’s the aerial pinhole photograph they captured showing a section of the RIT campus:

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Image credits: Photographs courtesy Frank Cost/RIT