Shooting from helicopter with open door

Discussion in 'Aerial and Drone' started by Mary Doo, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. Guess this classification is applicable to everything? ... how about "two kinds of people", the kind that are alive and the kind that are dead?:D:eek:
  2. It should be really good adventure, go for it. If I would have a chance, I wouldn't hesitate, we all live only once:)
    On practical side, 2 cameras with 2 zooms, probably 24-70 and 70-200, for full frame, no time to change lenses. Both cameras secured with belt or line, so they wouldn't fall out. VR may help with framing, fast shutter speed, start with 1/1000 and shorter. Have a fun.
    Share pictures with us later.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  3. Yes, unless I chicken out when I get there; or Covid would deter me from getting there this year; but this would only delay it because I don't plan to cancel the trip.
  4. I was living in Niagara Falls for two yeas, never tired to photograph it.
    Another advice, have polarizer filters for your lens, don't think it would be practical use them on helicopter ride, they cutting light and you will need high shutter speed, to minimize vibration. But for the land shots polarizer probably can help a bit to reduce softening effects of water spray.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
    Mary Doo likes this.
  5. I note that billionaire politician Olivier Dassault was killed yesterday in a helicopter crash in northwestern France, and he wasn't even trying to photograph.
  6. You've already shot from small planes, but when I did this many years ago with film, I found 35 mm woefully inadequate. The amount of fine detail was just too much for it. I find a similar thing happens on some landscapes with my Z6. Take the Z7!
    Mary Doo likes this.
  7. So sad.
  8. Hi MAry,
    Wondering if you've gotten over to fly and photograph in/from the helicopter? I'd be very interested to see your photos and hear of the experience.

    I do a fair amount of work "at height". Harness up, add a tether from your camera to either yourself or to the vehicle, absolutely secure all personal items against sliding about inside the aircraft, and enjoy the fun. I am certain the flight crew will be well versed in all of this.

    No reason to worry- as long as you take all (very) necessary precautions. Failure to strictly adhere to safety protocols could end badly for you- but what a way to go, eh? But clipped in to the vehicle or craft, with your camera secured properly, you cannot possibly fall to your death. Even if you drop the camera it will only fall to the end of the tether. In the event of a fall or drop, you or the camera may get banged up a bit - but you won't die and the camera will be a nice reminder of that time you hung out the side of a moving helicopter over one of the World's Natural Wonders.

    Remember most of all that this is routine for the flight crew & staff- you wont be the first or last to do this.

    DO IT! and post pix upon your return.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  9. The trip will be in October. I worry a little about the Covid situation but will be booking the flights in the next few days. Whatever happens will happen.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  10. In open-door shooting from any kind of aircraft, it's a "good idea" to fasten yourself AND the camera to the aircraft, of courseo_O 32MO11-NRNOM_Page_1.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
    Mary Doo likes this.
  11. My one and only helicopter ride was in c1962, as part of a requirement for course at Columbia. Copter had a transparent bubble for viewing down on city, almost between legs. My one and only experience with helicopters. Once was enough.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  12. LOL.
  13. Just got back on this forum after 12 years away. Ive kind of concluded that drones have pretty much taken over the aerial photo world. They have great optics and built-in stabilizers...and they can fly at altitudes that actually work for photography, as in under 500 ft.
    I was a U.S. Coast Guard Photo-Journalist back in the early '70s and photographed from helicopters a lot; HH52A's as well as Army Hueys. At that time either used a machine-gun belt and shot out the open door, or on the Hueys just sat on the floor with feet on the runners. 1/250 will stop a rotor in flight, but you need at least 1/500 to minimize the vibration coming through the deck and causing movement in the camera. When shooting motion picture, had to stand with knees bent and elbows bent to soak up the vibration. About every 500 ft. of altitude knocks down about an f-stop of light, depending on how much crud is in the air. A good UV filter helps some, but you probably won't have time to play with polarizers, etc.--which also knocks down another 2 stops of light. A really good neck strap is really bout all you will get as far as holding your equipment on--depending on what type of helicopter you are using you won't have room for much gear anyway
    I was a commercial and editorial photographer from 1980-2009, and did a lot of aerials for architecture and engineering work, shooting out of both helicopters and fixed-wing. No reason not to trust either platform over the other, although the nicest helicopter I ever flew in and photographed from was the same one Stevie Ray Vaughn was killed in, I'm almost certain. Anyway, unless there's a ban on drones, I'd use a drone to get those amazing photos, and take the helicopter ride for fun.

Share This Page