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Thread: Helicopter or Plane?

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    Member rmlewis's Avatar
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    Helicopter or Plane?

    Hi All
    Two of us from the same camera club thought it would be a good idea to do something different, so we thought we would like to do some areal photography (like Richard Woldendorp and Yann Arthus-Bertrand)

    Our main problem is we have no idea how to go about it. I spoke to a friend of mine who flies and he suggested that a Helicopter would be better as it gives better control over where you are. But on second thoughts maybe there would be more vibration. But then again maybe shooting through the windows of a plane you get the wings in the way. Anyway you get the dilemma

    Anyone done this and have any suggestions?
    Rob Lewis
    ...There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in.... Leonard Cohen
    www.broughttolight.com
    Canon EOS 5D MkII, 7D, EOS 30, Bronica SQai, EF 100-400mm L IS, EF TS-E 17mm F/4, EF 17-40L, EF 24-105 L IS, EF 135 L, EF 50mm 1.8 Mk1, EF 28mm 1.8, 430EX and saving for some more good white lenses

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    Having recently spent some time in a helicopter flying around the Parkes radiotelescope I can say vibration was not a problem and we were only in a little Robinson.

    Basically helicopters are very expensive to operate compared to a plane so I would suggest if you are at or nearby the area you wish to photograph then a helicopter is a good choice. If you have a distance to travel them maybe a plane would prove more economical.

    You should be able to charter a flight at the nearest airport but don't expect it to be cheap. At Parkes we managed to get a 10 minute shared flight for $55 each and that is a bargain.

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    I'd say opposite to Fantasyphoto to be honest, sorry mate....I've done a fair bit of travelling with media crews in helicopters and in my opinion the constant vibration would be a definate hindrance...not to mention extreme rotor noise factor..

    I took an hour flight along Adelaides south coast on a light aircraft early in the year and was surprised how good the results were, the plane remained quite stable most of the time, even managed a couple of pano stitched shots from the cockpit, but make sure the windows are clean and preferably a nice calm sunny day.

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    But then again maybe shooting through the windows of a plane you get the wings in the way. Anyway you get the dilemma
    Not necessarily, any decent pilot will do a steep turn to give you the view you want without the wing in sight.

    Some aircraft are set up for photography and are permitted to fly with the windows out or even door off. I used to have a part share in a Piper Cherokee, one of the other partners used the plane extensively for aerial photography, using large format film cameras. The door on our plane was easily removed and there was a special flap in the side window that could be used for photography. If you think about it a low wing aircraft without struts (e.g. Piper Cherokee) is better than high wing with struts(e.g. Cessna 172).
    Phil

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    [QUOTE=Seesee;426107]I'd say opposite to Fantasyphoto to be honest, sorry mate....I've done a fair bit of travelling with media crews in helicopters and in my opinion the constant vibration would be a definate hindrance...not to mention extreme rotor noise factor...../QUOTE]

    No worries, perhaps vibration is a problem in the larger choppers but I had no problem in the little one and the headsets drowned out the noise.

    Plane wise I would definately suggest a Cessna over a Piper due to the wing position.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmlewis View Post

    Anyone done this and have any suggestions?
    Despite having a neighbour with helicopter laid on and another with a few planes at his disposal I have never tried anything more daring than sticking the lens of a P&S against the window of an Airbus.
    I reckon the answer to your needs is a hot air balloon.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    .......I reckon the answer to your needs is a hot air balloon.
    Now you are talking, a very smooth, quiet and stable platform.... maybe not so manouverable but the champage breaky is a bonus

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    I reckon the answer to your needs is a hot air balloon.
    yep done it in France last year - first time in a balloon.

    http://www.broughttolight.com/p/best...nce/_mg_889635

    http://www.broughttolight.com/p/prov...mmer/_mg_89128

    Problem was that it was the height of summer in Provence and the haze made it hopeless to get good shots. It was great fun though.

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    You will find most if not all light aircraft used for scenic tours are with the wing on top, not underneath so visibility is unrestricted except for on the odd occassion you may want to work around a wing strut.

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