redcoat78
Topic Author
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 10:54 pm

Tips for Photos from Helicopters

Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:52 pm

Hi guys,
finally I have been granted to fly onboard the AB212 for a reconnaissance flight over MXP airport.
I wonder if anyone of you got the same opportunity and which apparel and tips you suggest.
I own 2 camerassa bodies equipped with Canon 100-400, 28/135 and Sigma wideangle 10/20.
Thank you
 
User avatar
cpd
Posts: 5103
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: Tips for Photos from Helicopters

Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:30 am

I've done this a number of times including chasing planes down the runway as they takeoff (that took a bit of extra planning).

You will be fine with the Canon 100-400mm and the 28-135. I don't know if you'll need the wide angle 10-20mm, you won't have enough time to swap the lenses over and if the door is removed it'll likely be a bit too gusty inside the cabin to do so anyway.

The times I did it last I was using the following camera setup:
Nikon D3S + 200-400mm F/4.0 VR Zoom-Nikkor
Nikon D800E + 70-200mm F/2.8 VR II Zoom-Nikkor

I suggest upping the shutter speeds a bit (maybe use the increase ISO a bit to do this) and the aperture I kept at F/8.0 or F/9.0. This worked out fine. My usual shutter speeds I'd use on the ground were 1/100sec in daylight, so in the helicopter I was usually 1/400sec or so, only because you don't get a chance to get the shots a second time.

Where I am, I think helicopter spotting has become the normal thing as everyone sought to get out-do the people who had access to the quite elevated ATC tower balcony. Expensive though, $800+ per hour in the local currency. I can't i
 
redcoat78
Topic Author
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 10:54 pm

Re: Tips for Photos from Helicopters

Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:01 am

did you shot at other flying choppers? Unfortunately is not my case so I will focus with cockpit photographs, although after a couple it shyould be enough and other kind of photos that could be through the window at the airport scenes, control tower...
 
User avatar
cpd
Posts: 5103
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: Tips for Photos from Helicopters

Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:29 pm

Not photographing other helicopters, only large airliners like B777, B747, A380, MD-11 and the B767. In all cases, we took the door off the helicopter so I was able to take the photos however we wanted with the agreement of air traffic control.

The wide angle lens will be handy for the airport overview photos.

Although the below was with a 200-400mm at 360mm:
Image

Others were more like this:
Image
400mm for the above, taken from across the runway.
Image
Last one at 280mm

And 330mm for this one, but with 35mm full frame DSLR though.
Image
 
jrowson
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 7:18 am

Re: Tips for Photos from Helicopters

Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:52 am

I've only done it once and the biggest recommendation I have is to keep the shutter speed up. There are all sorts of vibrations going on and gusty winds if you're hanging out the side of the helicopter and I did loose a few shots to blurriness.
James Rowson

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos