While you may have already experienced a helicopter ride, a night flight really is something else and if you are a photography buff and are looking to take some great night time shots in a helicopter, this article was written with you in mind. It would be a shame to waste such an opportunity by not doing the pictures justice. With that in mind, here are a few tips from the pros.
Preparation Is Everything
Once the bird is in the air, the clock is ticking (and so are the dollars) so it is essential that you have everything you need and some more, which includes camera memory and batteries. Create a list of essentials a few days prior to the shoot and lay everything out on a bed, then pack carefully and you’re good to go. Don’t forget some wipes and a few strips of dry, soft cloth to clean the lens.
Invest In A Gyrostabiliser
It’s an expensive piece of kit but it does give you the best shots and the Explorer KS 2 by kenlab.com is the market leader. What this equipment can do includes focusing on an object far away very quickly, which is essential if you want to line up and focus at the right moment. The unit stabilises a camera up to 2lbs and has its own powerpack. At over $1200, you need to do regular sessions in the chopper to get the most out of this item. More information about gyroscopes and their role in taking images are available online.
Choosing The Best Helicopter Charter Firm
Start by typing into Google ‘popular helicopter rides near me that operate at night’ and that will give you a list of registered helicopter charter companies within driving distance. It shouldn’t take long to discover which one is the in-vogue provider with the best aircraft. Choose a company that has an impressive list of clients and you can’t really go wrong. You can opt for a doorless aircraft that also allows wearing a harness so you can move around at will. With the camera outside of the aircraft frame, you get a panoramic view.
Use A Sharp Aperture
When shooting aerial, you are advised to set your aperture at somewhere between f/5.6 to f/8, which will ensure you have sharp focus, while you need to find a balance between your shutter speed and your aperture.
Focus On The Scenery
You must be careful when shooting through a helicopter window, in case the camera automatically focuses on the window itself, which would really mess up the images. Prior to starting to take pictures, focus on something far away and then go with trial and error, experimenting with shutter speed and aperture to achieve the best results.
Communicate With Your Pilot
Of course, it makes perfect sense to have a chat with the pilot prior to taking off, as this will allow the pilot to position the helicopter in the right location to help you get the best images.
Going up in a helicopter is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and by taking all of the above advice, hopefully, you will get the best photographs to put into your portfolio.