Helicopters and photography

Recently I was lucky enough to get a helicopter ride for free (something that is not at all common here in Switzerland, maybe in the US it's easier), so here are a few pieces of advice in case you get invited to one (or decide to pay for it).

- helicopters are rather small, so you may not have the leisure of being able to swap lenses. Stick to one type of shot, or make a tradeoff in quality by using a superzoom lens

- ask the pilot what the route will be, so that you know on which side of the aircraft to sit. In general you cannot move around during flight.

- watch where the sun is, so that you can take a picture of the shadow of the helicopter during takeoff

- know the area you will be flying above. If you know the route in advance, use Google Earth to do a "practice flight" so that you can recognize the locations when you fly over them.

That's it, I hope you'll find some of this interesting.

For the record, it was an absolute blast. It's like flying in a soap bubble!

Photo credits: Folco Banfi.

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March 17, 2009


I have captured some really great landscapes from helicopters in Hawaii. Well worth the time & money. Also the adventure aspect is awesome.

March 17, 2009


It is great fun, been on a few myself, but had to pay for all of them :0(
Unfortunately the images are on print film, so no digital to submit, guess its time for another flight soon :0)

March 17, 2009


good one, and lucky to have that free ride.

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