Aerial photography

December 15, 2018  •  1 Comment

A post, long overdue. Had my first taste this week of aerial photography from a helicopter rather than my usual drone work. I've learned the hard way over the years that preparation is everything if you want these sorts of jobs to work out successfully. 

With the drone, fast shutter speed isn't strictly necessary, especially as in hover these machines can be very stable, even in quite strong winds, given the sheer number of GPS and other satellites that they now communicate with to hold their position. I remember flying my drone above Saxa Vord Resort in Unst a few years ago and filming a 360 degree rotation. The footage looked as if it had been taken by a camera on a fixed pole.

In a fast-moving helicopter with the door off and me hanging out on a harness, buffeted by the wind, fast shutter was going to be vital. But how fast? The consensus from a trawl of knowledgeable and expert photographers on YouTube was +1,000th of a second. I set the H6D-100c to that and bumped up the ISO to 800. For experimental purposes I set the Sony a7R iii to a 500th. I was pleased with the results from the H6D, but most of the Sony images contained motion blur.

The purpose of the flight was to get greater elevation than the 400ft I can achieve with the drone, but also to get the great resolution and dynamic range that the H6D affords. DJI produces a drone that is capable of lifting the H6D, but it's hugely expensive. Maybe one day.

Huge thanks to the guys who enabled the flight and to my pilot. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to getting airborne again soon for my next project.



Your Scottish Landscapes made me want to visit immediately! And I would really like to live in that house.
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