Aerial. Interesting experience.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by JamesD, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    So, I spent the day in the back seat of an OH-58 helicopter, shooting aerial photographs, some in color, some in B&W.

    If I learned one thing, it's this: aerial photography requires an entirely different skill set than the limited one I've developed so far.

    If I learned another, it's this: in order to comfortably take aerial photos, you must be seated on the left side of the aircraft. I was on the right side, and my right arm--particularly the elbowular region--was entirely too restricted by the glass and the seat and the door, and the seat belt harness and every other thing around.

    I don't really expect very many decent shots from today, despite the excellent opportunities presented. When you're travelling at 80 knots at 150-300 feet AGL, things pass by too quickly--especially when the damned door is in the way of your elbow--and also especially when two of your three lenses are primes. A couple of good zooms would have been wonderful.

    Oh, thing number three that I may have learned today: if you're shooting through a window (especially one with some sort of transparent material in it, such as glass or plexiglas), put the polarizer on the lens and preset it to reduce or eliminate the glare.

    I shot four and a half rolls of film; we'll see how they develop.

    Oh, and the final thing I probably learned (although I already knew it: I absolutely love to fly!
     
  2. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    remind me to tell you someday about shooting out the door of a tiny tiny bell chopter. I had been home about 2 years and it all came back.

    Plus the air quality sucks these days. Very hard to get anything worth a crap.
     
  3. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    Good on JamesD, I must agree with you, aerial photography is exciting and stimulating and requires a lot more concentration than shooting on the ground. I personally never shoot through a window. In a chopper, I normally have them take the door of and make sure I'm well strapped in. Post some of your images when you have time. Here's one of mine.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Yeah, that's basically what I was in today. No flashbacks for me, but still not exactly a non-miserable experience. Still... I love to fly...
     
  5. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Phillip,

    No joy on the doors coming off. The back doors aren't removable except by great effort, and even if we'd been willing to expend the effort, it wouldn't have been authorized.

    I'll post a couple images (whether they're good or not, because I don't know yet) when I get through my developing and printing backlog.
     
  6. Oldfireguy

    Oldfireguy TPF Noob!

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    I photographed from UH-1's when I was in the Army. We would slide the doors back, I would sit on the floor with my feet on the skids, and shoot away. I did have a harness on so I wouldn't fall out when the pilot would turn. I was much younger then but it was a rush. Never flew on anything newer. Sucked when it was cold or wet.

    The good old days when Uncle Sam picked up the tab.

    Are you flying military or civilian?
     
  7. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Military. My CO offered to take me up so that I could possibly get something interesting for the upcoming arts fair.
     
  8. I've done some aerial photography too. I love being able to see (and shoot) from an angle that most people never see, but ultimately I find that it lacks a certain intimacy. For me it is mostly novelty. Nonetheless I'D do it again in a heartbeat.
     
  9. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

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    Of all the difficulties associated with aerial photography, I find that the ENORMOUS speedlight required is worst of all. :wink:
     
  10. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    Not as ridiculous as it sounds. The Royal Air Force used to drop some sort of huge flash that would ignite at a certain altitude [at night of course] and planes flying overhead would have their camera lenses open and check how their bombing runs had gone. "believe it or not":lol:
     

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