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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

 
REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-16-007    Date:  January 2016
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-16-007
Date: January 2016

 

Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program Protocols, Version 1

Photography Protocols (PH)

FLD-DC-PH-001, Photography Equipment Requirements

FLD-DC-PH-002, Photographing for Documentation Purposes

FLD-DC-PH-003, Image Naming

Long-Term Bridge Performance Program Logo

Photography Equipment Requirements
LTBP Protocol #: FLD-DC-PH-001


1.

Data Collected

 
1.1 None. This protocol provides the specifications for photography equipment for onsite documentation and data collection.  

2.

Onsite Equipment and Personnel Requirements

 
2.1 Equipment:  
2.1.1 Digital camera or smartphone with built-in camera, as described below.  
2.1.2 Tripod (optional).  
2.2 Personnel: None.  

3.

Methodology

 
3.1 The equipment used must meet the following specifications, at a minimum:  
3.1.1 Resolution: 8 megapixels.  
3.1.2 Sensitivity for digital cameras: ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (minimum range).  
3.1.3 Flash: built in.  
3.1.4 Storage: 4 GB, internal or external.  
3.1.5 Timestamping: Required.  
3.1.6 Geotagging: Desired.  
3.1.7 Video: Capable.  

4.

Data Collection Table

 
4.1 None.  

5.

Criteria for Data Validation

 
5.1 The assessment team leader will verify the appropriateness of the team’s photo documentation equipment.  

6.

Commentary/Background

 
6.1 This protocol provides guidance on the important characteristics of a camera for field documentation. Use only digital photography for field documentation.  
6.2 Camera Types. There are several families of camera that meet these qualifications.  
6.2.1 “Point and shoot:”  
6.2.1.1 Benefits:  
 
  • Compact.
  • Affordable.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Expandable memory cards.
  • Replaceable batteries.
  • Can be dustproof and waterproof, making them versatile for field applications.
6.2.1.2 Drawbacks:  
 
  • Small, digital screen as opposed to a viewfinder for framing shots, resulting in focus and framing issues.
  • Lack of geotagging.
  • Poor performance in low light.
  • Pixilation when zooming (digital zoom).
  • A tendency for photographers to overestimate the quality of their images.
6.2.2 Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras:  
6.2.2.1 Benefits:  
 
  • Interchangeable lenses, expanding the camera’s capabilities.
  • Viewfinder for framing shots, resulting in more high-quality images on the first shot.
  • Users can control the camera settings in challenging imaging scenarios even with powerful automatic exposure tools.
  • Expandable memory cards.
  • Replaceable batteries.
6.2.2.2 Drawbacks:  
 
  • Price.
  • Size.
  • Steep learning curve for operation.
6.2.3 Smartphone cameras:  
6.2.3.1 Benefits:  
 
  • Geotagging.
  • Automatic cloud backup.
  • Video and still image capabilities.
  • Panoramic capabilities.
  • High dynamic range (HDR) capabilities.
  • Image quality on par with point and shoot cameras.
6.2.3.2 Drawbacks:  
 
  • Price.
  • Susceptibility to damage.
  • Pixilation when zooming.
  • Poor performance in low light, depending on smartphone model.

7.

References

 
7.1 LTBP Protocols: None.  
7.2 External: None.  

 

 

 

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