science project- need equipment to take shots of subject from the exact same angles every week

Started Jan 16, 2013 | Questions thread
mosswings
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Re: science project- need equipment to take shots of subject from the exact same angles every week
In reply to Russell Evans, Jan 16, 2013

Russell Evans wrote:

Can you put the subject on a Lazy Susanne instead? The 1/4-20 tripod mount on most cameras will make it easy to build a platform for the camera to keep it locked in place, or if you are sure nothing will be bumped or moved, a simple tripod will work. Putting the subject matter on a rotating platform means the subject can be locked into place into the center of the lazy Susanne as well. It just comes down to making the same rotation every time and that seem like it would be easy to do.

Besides having the same positions for everything, you're going to want to have a camera that can be manually set. You will want the color balance, and exposure to remain constant. That means you'll probably want to control the light.

Thank you
Russell

The problem we're having with your request is that it's extremely vague. We don't know how precisely you need to position your shots, and we don't know how you will be lighting the subject. If you are trying to minimize the number of variables in this project, you will want to keep the relative position of the lighting, cameras, and subject constant.  If what you are doing is shooting the decay process of the subject, you'll want to consider the effects of rotating it during the latter, more decrepit stages of the project.

In general, though, you can proceed in this manner.

1. Find, as Russell suggested, a Lazy Susan turntable bearing at your local woodworking supply or possibly home improvement store.  The larger the diameter, the more stable.  Something like this will do:

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=2273&site=ROCKLER

Note that it's got a large hole in its center.  This is important.

2. get a couple pieces of 1/4" apple-ply or other dimensionally stable plywood. Don't go for the cruddy stuff at Home Depot. One will be the turntable plate, the other will be the base.

3. Make a large hole in the center of one of the pieces.  What you are going to do here is place the subject on a small raised table that mounts to the base through that hole in the turntable bearing and that hole in the turntable plate.

4. Mount your camera on the turntable with small clamps, tabletop tripods, or museum clay. Secure the base to something solid. Mount your lighting off-table.

5. Drill a hole sized for a 6 or 8 penny nail in the table. Make sure that it's a barely-slip fit, not sloppy. Make sure that the hole lies in the interior of the base. Drill that hole all the way through into the base. This will be your first alignment point.

6. Rotate the turntable to your 2nd position and drill down through the hole in the turntable into the base. Now you have your 2 index points.

7. Take your pictures by dropping the nail through the hole in the turntable plate into the first hole in the base, then rotating and dropping into the 2nd hole.

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