How did I do it?
In response to my photos from last month, I was asked by a number of people to explain how I made the photos seven weeks after the fire that fit so accurately on the first photos. I’ll explain it all here.
When I took the photos during the fire, I did that without a tripod and I didn’t pay attention to the exact position where I took each photo. Conditions were too dynamic for that at the time. It was only a few weeks later when I saw how quickly the greenery emerged and that the traces of the fire were largely hidden from view, did I start to visualize this.
The preparations could begin.
Fortunately, I always automatically save the GPS coordinates for each photo in the EXIF files of the photo. There I can also find at what focal distance the zoom lens was set. Both are essential to carry out this project.
It is also necessary to have the original photo at hand and to operate the camera from the tablet. That way you can continuously compare whether the photos match sufficiently. On the print, I drew the grid lines that I also had visible on the tablet. This ensures that you have a number of reference points and makes working more accurate.
To put everything together in a workable way, I did some tinkering. I use the quick-connect system from Really Right Stuff, Benro, Arca Swiss, or unknown brands on all tripods, adjustment slides, etc., but always in short: Arca Swiss compatible.
I mounted a quick release plate under a piece of plywood, then a frame around it to put my tablet in. (see photo) Above the tablet, you see the printed photo. With that mounting plate, I could put the whole thing on an old tripod right next to the camera so that I had my hands free. The tripod on which the camera is mounted is equipped with the Benro GD3WH Precision Geared 3-way head. This allows you to set each direction of the camera very accurately without the camera sagging afterward. You turn a knob and when you release it everything is fixed. You set all three directions separately, so up and down, left or right, and tilt to level everything.
Via the coordinates, I was able to get the camera quite accurately in the same place where I had taken the first photo. The lens was then adjusted to the correct focal length. However, to get the perspective right I sometimes had to go a meter or half a meter to the left or right. After everything was set up, it was only a matter of pressing the shutter button on the tablet and a split second later the picture was ready.
Via the software on my website, I could superimpose both photos and have them operated before and after with the mouse.