AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates  (Read 14003 times)

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7324
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 12:12:25 AM
    • Sure, Why Not? (Highway Blog Spot)
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #75 on: April 20, 2018, 07:36:01 PM »

Interestingly I've been at the roughly same locations as some of your recent photos on CA 41 and CA 166.

CA 41 interchange with CA 180/168 from Belmont Avenue:

IMG_4869 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

CA 166/CA 33 downhill descent to Maricopa just slightly ahead of your photo:

IMG_4673 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr


Interesting to see how much more your camera equipment is picking up versus an iPhone SE.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 07:39:11 PM by Max Rockatansky »
Logged

AsphaltPlanet

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2435
  • Even when it was the bears I knew it was them.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 10:33:14 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #76 on: April 20, 2018, 09:05:04 PM »

Interesting to see how much more your camera equipment is picking up versus an iPhone SE.

Yeah, using a larger camera yields much better results than an iphone.  Iphone's are great if for users who don't understand the exposure triangle, because, unlike most point and shoot camera's, an iphone will pretty much always select a fast enough shutter speed to keep the user out of trouble.

I shoot with a Sony Alpha 77ii.  Honestly, it's way, way more camera than I really need -- and I bought it several years before I really understood how to use a camera.  It's taken me several years to learn how to use it.  When I started with a DSLR, (not my current camera), I left it on auto, and got generally pretty crappy results, then I upgraded to "P" mode, and got slightly better results, but still very inconsistent.  Over the last few years, I started using manual modes (or priority modes), and each year get better and better results.  It's funny though, even looking back at a trip that I took in 2016, I'm always kind of disappointment with the photos that I took, because they just aren't quite exposed properly.  In hindsight, I really wish that I had taken a photography class, or at least asked someone how to get best results, but hindsight as they say is 20/20.  Generally speaking, on my current trip, I came back with results that I was generally pleased with (despite a few auto-exposure issues that I should have known to deal with).

Max, I'm always kind of surprised at your eagerness to post your photos.  On my last trip, I was in the US for nearly two weeks and took 38,339 images and videos.  I.35 TB of space on a harddrive.  These were taken with professional level equipment, and I think at this point, I've have uploaded less than 10 of those.  Evidently, I have a very different approach than you do.

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7324
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 12:12:25 AM
    • Sure, Why Not? (Highway Blog Spot)
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #77 on: April 20, 2018, 09:35:53 PM »

In terms of sheer volume of photo files I'm not working with anything near what you do.  I want to say (for comparison sake) on a two week trip I might take anywhere from 2,000-3,000 photo and eliminate about 1/3rd of them after I download them.  I'm at about a half Terrabyte for all my photos going back to even 2010 (granted from 2010-2013 they were severely adhoc with a low quality camera).  For a road albums I tend to research what I want in advance so I know what I'm looking for and at least take 2-3 shots to get a solid level of clarity.  Generally I try to get my photos uploaded and edited within a day or two of taking them.  From there I try to have a blog post up within a week which generally comes after I do historic map research and look into the back story regarding sites of interest.  For what its worth my photos and blog tends to be more oriented towards the historical information when it comes anything road related.

Generally I tend to find freeways the most difficult to photograph given all the shots are moving at speeds of 65 MPH or higher.  The SE is pretty base level but it does a good job at anything below the 60 MPH.  In the last two years I feel like I've gotten my road photography skills up to a somewhat acceptable level for surface highways.  Given that I generally mostly post about surface routes over freeways that has tended to work out thus far.  I use a flat dark cloth material to eliminate glare for freeways but I don't think that I've quite cracked a good formula for photos compared to surface routes.  I know some photography basics but they weren't anything I was formally trained on which is something that I wish that I had done a long time ago when I was working on the road half the year. 

To that end your freeway and moving photos are some top notch quality stuff, I've meaning to pick your brain in that regard for awhile.  I'd like to try some more freeway albums and blog posts in the near future but I wanted them to be closer in quality in regards to the surface highways.  In that regard what camera specs do you recommend given that the Alpha 77ii is more than what you need?

AsphaltPlanet

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2435
  • Even when it was the bears I knew it was them.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 10:33:14 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #78 on: April 20, 2018, 10:07:58 PM »

^ My recommendation would really depend on what you want to spend, but I'd probably recommend something in the Sony world, just because I'm most familiar with them.  The reason I bought a Sony in the first place is that you can use the the rear screen to take a photo.  While Canon DSLR's do have a system that allows a user to to use the rear screen to preview the photo, anytime I've ever played with a Canon, there is a lag between when the shutter is depressed and when the photo is actually taken.  For other DSLR's you have to use an optical viewfinder, which I don't like to use when driving.

I'd probably recommend either a Sony Alpha 65 or 77(i), or an alpha 6000.  An alpha 6000 is newer technology than the alpha 65 or 77, but the zoom lenses are expensive for that system.  The Alpha 65 and 77's are older cameras (I think from 2011), but they still hold up pretty well as long as the light is decent (and it generally is for most road photography.  One of the features that is an upgrade on the alpha 77 ii vs. the original alpha 77 is the focusing system... but to be honest the focusing system of my camera (the alpha 77ii) is overkill for most road photography, and just makes the camera much more complicated to use.  (Hindsight...)

But, if you do decide to upgrade, be fair warned that whatever you choose will have a steep learning curve.  The auto-mode on a DSLR generally won't pick a fast enough shutter speed to freeze motion from a moving car, and depending upon the lens, there could be some depth of field issues if the shutter speed is fast enough, but the aperture on the lens is opened to compensate for the shutter instead of raising the ISO.  With any of the Sony cameras that I have suggested if you set the camera to "S" mode, and pick a value of 1/500 (or faster depending how bright it is outside) with ISO set to auto you should get decent results almost all of the time.

Sorry, I know that's kind of brain dump, hope it made sense..

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7324
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 12:12:25 AM
    • Sure, Why Not? (Highway Blog Spot)
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #79 on: April 21, 2018, 09:42:47 PM »

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate.  I'm hoping to get some upgraded equipment for the second half of the year.  To that end I think that I'm reaching the limits of what I can do with limited tech, so the learning curve is going to be necessary at this point.

AsphaltPlanet

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2435
  • Even when it was the bears I knew it was them.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 10:33:14 PM
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 03:24:19 PM by AsphaltPlanet »
Logged

nexus73

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1362
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Coos Bay OR
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 08:08:18 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #81 on: April 30, 2018, 12:00:59 PM »

Watching the I-580 video surprised me with two things.  All those button copy signs being up combined with the lush look of the countryside made this freeway look like a classic drive!  I have never driven on I-580 before but now that I see how pretty a route it is, I'll make it a point to do so if I ever get down that way again.

Arizona's Loop 303 will be an interesting one to do a before and after comparison with a video 10 years from now.  I would expect to see a whole lot more commercial and residential activity alongside this freeway over the course of a decade.

Rick

« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 12:23:14 PM by nexus73 »
Logged
US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

tradephoric

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1644
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 05:41:37 PM
Logged

AsphaltPlanet

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2435
  • Even when it was the bears I knew it was them.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 10:33:14 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #83 on: April 30, 2018, 01:14:37 PM »

Watching the I-580 video surprised me with two things.  All those button copy signs being up combined with the lush look of the countryside made this freeway look like a classic drive!  I have never driven on I-580 before but now that I see how pretty a route it is, I'll make it a point to do so if I ever get down that way again.

Arizona's Loop 303 will be an interesting one to do a before and after comparison with a video 10 years from now.  I would expect to see a whole lot more commercial and residential activity alongside this freeway over the course of a decade.

Rick

I drove I-580 (and re-recorded it) this spring.  Most (nearly all) of the button copy signs that were featured in my video have now been removed.

I started this year's trip in Phoenix again, and actually re-recorded Loop 303 again (this time in the other direction), construction is complete now, and the interchange with I-10 is finished, (and really impressive).

Thanks for watching!

AsphaltPlanet, do you happen to use Sony Vegas to produce these videos? 

^ I do use Sony Vegas, (or Magix Vegas as it's called now).

tradephoric

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1644
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 05:41:37 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #84 on: April 30, 2018, 01:57:21 PM »

^ I do use Sony Vegas, (or Magix Vegas as it's called now).

Thanks!  I was just wondering if you disable resample the clips before you render them.  Disable resampling can create crisper footage, especially when you pause the video (less blurry and signs are easier to read for the viewer).  The blurriness is most noticeable on the edge of driving videos and less noticeable in the center, as the pixels in the center of a driving video don't change as much as along the edges (ie. the pixels of the car in front of you will remain pretty constant frame-to-frame).  Some people like this 'blended' look, because it can focuses the viewers attention to the center of the screen.  Of course you can still direct the viewers attention to the center of the video by using vignettes, while still keeping crisper footage along the edge of the video by choosing to disable resample.
Logged

AsphaltPlanet

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2435
  • Even when it was the bears I knew it was them.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 10:33:14 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #85 on: April 30, 2018, 02:15:35 PM »

^ I'm honestly not sure what my settings for that are.  That's not a setting I am too familiar with.  I generally try to match my output framerate to my input framerate, but depending upon the amount that the footage is sped up, vegas may have to create a frame or two using this feature.  It's something that I'll look into.

i do various things to adjust sharpness of the videos that I shoot.  I generally apply an external CMOS adjustment to my footage which helps to reduce jumpiness between frames, but does soften the video quality a little bit.  For older footage, I generally add some sharpness to the frame, but generally don't find the need for more recent footage.

Probably the biggest thing that impacts video footage is the shutter speed.  For more recent videos I have tended to use a faster shutter speed, which results in slightly jumpier footage, but much less motion blur along the outer edges of the frame.  It's for that reason that my Mississauga to Vaughan video is so much sharper than most of the other videos that i have uploaded.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 02:27:31 PM by AsphaltPlanet »
Logged

tradephoric

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1644
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 05:41:37 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #86 on: April 30, 2018, 02:43:35 PM »

^ I'm honestly not sure what my settings for that are.  That's not a setting I am too familiar with.  I generally try to match my output framerate to my input framerate, but depending upon the amount that the footage is sped up, vegas may have to create a frame or two using this feature.  It's something that I'll look into.

I believe the default setting in Sony Vegas is “smart resample”.  From my understanding, Smart Resample was originally intended for 29.970 and 23.976 video while the world has shifted more to 30p and 24p.  From my personal experience Smart Resample just doesn’t work very well and with “disable resample” it ensures that Sony Vegas doesn’t attempt to “blend” any frames together.  But obviously your mileage may vary and ultimately it depends what “look” you are going for.  But if you want crisp, sharp footage... usually “disable resample” is the way to go.  Good luck and great driving videos!
Logged

AsphaltPlanet

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2435
  • Even when it was the bears I knew it was them.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 10:33:14 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #87 on: May 02, 2018, 03:27:34 PM »

I believe the default setting in Sony Vegas is “smart resample”.  From my understanding, Smart Resample was originally intended for 29.970 and 23.976 video while the world has shifted more to 30p and 24p.  From my personal experience Smart Resample just doesn’t work very well and with “disable resample” it ensures that Sony Vegas doesn’t attempt to “blend” any frames together.  But obviously your mileage may vary and ultimately it depends what “look” you are going for.  But if you want crisp, sharp footage... usually “disable resample” is the way to go.  Good luck and great driving videos!

I just wanted to say thanks for the advice.  I was playing around with Vegas last night while watching the hockey game, and I was surprised at how much "smart resample" degrades the rendering quality.  I inadvertently recorded several videos last year at 24 fps, and was pretty disappointed with the results.  I had always though the artifacts that were appearing during rendering were from my stabilization plugin, and not from Vegas itself.  I'll actually be able to make a bunch of movies from footage that I had thought would have otherwise been unusable because of this.  Thanks again.

tradephoric

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1644
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 05:41:37 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #88 on: May 08, 2018, 02:59:10 PM »

I just wanted to say thanks for the advice.  I was playing around with Vegas last night while watching the hockey game, and I was surprised at how much "smart resample" degrades the rendering quality.  I inadvertently recorded several videos last year at 24 fps, and was pretty disappointed with the results.  I had always though the artifacts that were appearing during rendering were from my stabilization plugin, and not from Vegas itself.  I'll actually be able to make a bunch of movies from footage that I had thought would have otherwise been unusable because of this.  Thanks again.

No problem and I’m glad it could be helpful.  Stabilization has always been tricky for me as I like to shoot driving videos with a narrow FOV (which really magnifies any shakiness in the footage).  I bought a Panasonic GF3 which doesn’t have any in body image stabilization, but thought I could just stabilize the footage in post with Deshaker.  Well that didn’t really work out so well.  The problem is any camera with a CMOS sensor will have some level of rolling shutter (not just horizontal rolling shutter when panning left and right, but vertical rolling shutter when moving the camera up and down fast “ie. driving over an expansion joint in the road or a pothole”).  When driving over these “bumps” in the road, it ends up degrading and distorts the actual frame… something that can’t really be fixed in post.  The best you can do is focus on what part of the footage you want stabilized, realizing that the outer edges of the frame will look distorted.  In the footage below, I focused on stabilizing the vehicles directly in-front of me, but if you look at the clouds in the sky they are jumping all around and look like “jello”. 


I’m curious what camera are you using?  Your driving videos appear to be shot with a wider FOV which should help mask any shakiness in the footage.  I'm interested in how well driving footage shot with the Panasonic GX85 can be stabilized, as that camera has some very good IBIS.  I just want to get rid of my jello clouds!
Logged

AsphaltPlanet

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2435
  • Even when it was the bears I knew it was them.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 10:33:14 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #89 on: June 11, 2018, 06:17:02 PM »

^ I don't know why I didn't respond to this sooner.  Sorry for missing the post.  I use a Sony AX-33 or an Sony RX100M3.  The AX-33 has inbody IBIS which really helps, though I still apply electronic stabilization in post.

Anyways, some recent videos:

Ontario Highway 404:

Missouri Highway 364:

Quebec Autoroute 73:

LA Freeways:

California Highway 210:

Autoroute 20:

Highway 17, Ontario, Sault Ste Marie:

nexus73

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1362
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Coos Bay OR
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 08:08:18 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #90 on: June 11, 2018, 07:40:39 PM »

Thank you for letting me be able to see what Autoroutes look like AP.  It appears their shoulder standards are lesser than we have for Interstates.  The yellow tags on the exit signs are exit numbers I guess.  I always did wonder why Autoroutes were just found in Quebec?  That shield would make a good Canadian equivalent for an Interstate one!

Rick
Logged
US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

AsphaltPlanet

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2435
  • Even when it was the bears I knew it was them.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 10:33:14 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #91 on: June 11, 2018, 08:04:04 PM »

I've never measured, but I'd say that Quebec's shoulder standards are more or less consistent with the interstate standards.  Autoroute 20 is quite an old and dated autoroute and is not reflective of a typical Autoroute in Quebec.  It would be similar to looking at the US interstate network through the lens of the BQE in New York City.

The word "Autoroute" is just the french word for highway.  If you listen to english language radio in Montreal, they don't use the word "autoroute" instead referring to everything just as a highway.  Highway 20, Highway 40, ect.

nexus73

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1362
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Coos Bay OR
  • Last Login: October 17, 2018, 08:08:18 PM
Re: AsphaltPlanet.ca Updates
« Reply #92 on: June 12, 2018, 10:45:28 AM »

Just watched the 210 video and saw your sentiments on LA freeway driving.  That was my impression back in June 1974.  The first weekend down there I drove all ~500 miles of Southland freeway, then came back to the USAF base I was stationed at to draw up a freeway skeleton map.  From that point forward I felt good about driving anywhere and never worrying about being lost.  If I was on a surface street I would go until I hit a freeway.  If I hit the ocean or mountains, a 180 would ensure I would hit a freeway!  30K miles of driving in one year just for the sake of driving on those freeways was among the most fun things I ever did in my life.

Now there's even more freeways to explore!

Rick
Logged
US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.