Drone Lighting Outdoor... Is it Practical?

8/23/2014 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

A drone could be a great portable light stand to add light in locations when to use a flash could be impossible. Manohar Srikanth, Kavita Bala, Fredo Durand from MIT are the team behind the project "Computational Rim Illumination with Aerial Robots".

The results are amazing.
All images copy righted. Dr. Manohar Srikanth
All images copy righted. Dr. Manohar Srikanth
Drone flying 30 feet above ground lighting the subject

In this case they do not use an AUTOMATIC CONTROL like their in-lab setup* (This is a followup video to their past video: youtube.com/watch?v=fhob-... )

Manohar Srikanth explains this project:
Abstract - Lighting plays a major role in photography. Professional photographers use elaborate installations to light their subjects and achieve sophisticated styles. However, lighting moving subjects performing dynamic tasks presents significant challenges and requires expensive manual intervention. A skilled additional assistant might be needed to reposition lights as the subject changes pose or moves, and the extra logistics significantly raises costs and time.
We present a new approach to lighting dynamic subjects where an aerial robot equipped with a portable light source lights the subject to automatically achieve a desired lighting effect. We focus on rim lighting, a particularly challenging effect to achieve with dynamic subjects, and allow the photographer to specify a required rim width. Our algorithm processes the images from the photographer's camera and provides necessary motion commands to the aerial robot to achieve the desired rim width in the resulting photographs.

We demonstrate a control approach that localizes the aerial robot with reference to the subject and tracks the subject to achieve the necessary motion. Our proof-of-concept results demonstrate the utility of robots in computational lighting.

Please, visit Dr. Manohar Srikanth´s website for more information: www.photonish.com