Optics of Shooting from a Helicopter: The Angle Between the Camera and the Aircraft

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by dinora_de_rivera, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. If you are shooting from a helicopter with no door or with an open window, regarding minimizing refraction, is it better to shoot with a camera pointed perpendicular to the window / axis front-of-the-helicopter – tail or to choose an angle lesser than 90°?
    How does that depend on where the Sun's rays are coming from?
  2. I don't know that there is a better angle if you aren't dealing with a surface you are shooting through. I have shot at all times of day and in all directions with regards to the sun from the air with no issue. Am I not understanding your question? A variety here.
  3. Well, I think I've read somewhere that you should never shoot perpendicular to the direction of the flight, but now I cannot find the place where I read it. To complicate matters, I have just read the exact opposite, but I presume it refers to when shooting through a closed window.
    However, there is physics in all of this. No matter how invisible or visible the effects of the angle of shooting, I would like to know theoretically what way is the best.
  4. "regarding minimizing refraction" - no window = no refraction
    I shoot at all angles, depending on the subject. Sailboats and other terrestrial subjects are all over the field of view. Air-to-air photos are most often pointing aft, since you usually want photos from the forward angles.
    Air-to-air (actually this shot is through a window...): http://moving-target-photos.com/AirVentureCup/2012/album/slides/IMG_0294_screen.html
    Sailboat looking down: http://moving-target-photos.com/2010RCC/WedHelio/slides/IMG_7569.CR2.html
  5. SCL


    I think what you read was dealing not so much with refraction, but the fact that if you shoot anything which is moving across your field of vision there is a greater chance of motion blur unless you have learned how to effectively pan. Most of my helo or small plane shots were generally taken about 45 degrees from the direction of travel, but that was sometimes determined by the incident angle of the sun.....

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