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Top 9 Tips for Filming from a Helicopter

Top 9 Tips for Filming from a Helicopter! Taking pictures out of a helicopter is one of the greatest and most rewarding things you can do as a photographer. It grants you access to unparalleled views that you would never see otherwise.

Camera inside helicopter image

1.    Book with the right operation

Go with a well-recommended outfit like flyVENTURE. An operation that has pilots who understand photographer/filmer needs is essential. Photographers and Filmers have unique time pressures around light and weather considerations – it works out better when your pilot and ground-team understand this. flyVENTURE is specialized in aerial photography and has years of professional experience to understand your needs. You can book your Tour for Tampa or Sarasota right here.


2.    Make sure that you order the “doors-off” option for your flight

flyVENTURE is one of the few companies that offer the “door-off” option during flight, which will provide you with an incredible and unobstructed birds-eye view.


3.    Use a safety harness

Attach yourself to the helicopter at two points (e.g. the frame and floor) plus your seatbelt. flyVENTURE will provide you with an FAA approved harness, which is used parallel to your regular seat belt.


4.    Proper clothing

This one may seem obvious, but is so essential if you want to focus on taking good pictures. For your flight (especially if your helicopter is open door), you will want fitted clothing that won’t fly away, with more warmth than you may need at ground level since it gets windy up there. Gloves are essential in any cold climate, including Florida between the winter months of December to March as they help keep your hands focused on taking pictures and not losing feeling, all of which will contribute to a happier and more successful first flight.


5.    Use camera exposures of higher than 1/1250s

Ideally 1/1600s or greater. This will insure that your shots are free of motion blur. There is lots of motion inside a helicopter that you can see and not see (both high and low frequency). Adjust the rest of your settings (ISO/Aperture) to get the proper exposure around that shutter speed. 3 Tips for the Best Photos During a Helicopter Ride


6.    Battery and Memory cards

Being sure that you have a clear memory card and a full battery is crucial to enjoying your flight.


7.    Think of the different perspectives you want to capture BEFORE takeoff

There are many shots that you can get out of a helicopter, and since you will be moving fairly fast and likely filled with adrenaline; it helps to visualize some general ideas of what you want beforehand. Some of the classic shots include look-down from above, dashboard shots, rear tail rotor shots, and of course regular landscapes from out of the window/door. As the second part of this, try to be unique whenever you can! Try to mix in your own perspective while up in the air for a more unique shot and a chance to really have your aerial work stand out. Once up there, keep your camera in burst shooting mode so you don’t miss a moment. How to Shoot a Travel Vlog on a Helicopter


8.    Gear

You probably won’t want to be changing lenses while up in the air so many opt to shoot from helicopters with two camera bodies to get two different focal lengths. This is a great way to optimize your flight, but if you only have access to one body just pick whichever you feel suits you best. Whether shooting with one or two camera bodies, most prefer to go wide angle and/or telephoto (such as a 70-200 or ultra wides like the 16-35). As an added bonus, having the stabilization feature on the lens itself is very handy in these settings if your lens offers it. Additionally, If you are going to be shooting through a window, it is a good idea to have a polarizer filter to cut down on glare.


9.    Timing of the flight

This may seem obvious, but it is crucial to consider the results you will achieve based on the time of day that you book your flight. Sunset flights are always in high demand, but perhaps a daytime flight with particular weather suits your needs best, or an epic sunrise flight. Know what you want based on the weather and the location you are photographing for a better flight. How Weather Affects Helicopter Rides

More tips of things to avoid while filming from a helicopter [click here]

All in all, if you follow these Top 9 Tips for Filming from a Helicopter, your aerial imagery can be incredibly captivating; and the process of going up in the helicopter to find new perspectives is both an incredible life experience and highly addictive! We’re positive that you’ll capture some amazing images that will up your photography game and overall portfolio.