For a bit over a year now, I have been taking regular flights over the city of Los Angeles, photographing the city from a helicopter. I get a lot of questions about how I'm editing the images to get the look and feel that I am, and the answer is actually quite simple. Using only carefully considered exposures and Lightroom adjustments, I've come up with a consistent and somewhat unique look for the project.
Pressure, fear, joy, excitement – these are not uncommon emotions on any shoot. A few weeks ago, I spent a few hours in a helicopter above New York City with Vincent Laforet where we experienced all of these emotions. This exclusive interview and BTS video highlights not only what’s involved to produce aerial stills of this nature, but provides 5 key insights we can all apply to our own shoots.
On Nov. 17, 2013, an EF-4 rated tornado ripped through central Illinois relentlessly damaging and destroying over 1,200 homes, and ultimately killing three people. The Journal Star’s photojournalist team sprung to action after the tornado subsided, taking to the streets and skies of the affected towns to document the ravaged community. One year later, they traced their steps of that tragic day to create this astonishing Then and Now photo series.
Sitting front row for some of the best aerial views in the world, airline pilots (both private and commercial) have taken their selfies and photos to Instagram with some astonishing smartphone imagery from all over the world. It is undeniable that these images are unique by their own right, as pilots have access to views over the average passenger. However, the question stands, are these insta-snaps harmless or are they a despicable jeopardy of safety for passengers and crew?
People often forget that all successful photographers started from the bottom. This knowledge should be an aspiring photographer's motivation that fuels every action and re-touch. Each person has the ability to exceed beyond expectations; to set goals and reach them. In the future, you may look back at your work with embarrassment. Remembering where you started from should be a source of pride. The growth of 20 popular photographers in their retouching skills might be the greatest source of inspiration.
SmugMug Filmmaker Anton Lorimer has an incredible way of telling us stories about photographers. He blew us away with Arctic Swell, his dramatic film that followed surf photographer Chris Burkard to the ends of the earth in search of the perfect wave. But in the latest film of this exceptional series, the ends of the earth wasn't quite far enough. Space seemed like a more fitting backyard.
Keisuke Iwaya is an amateur Japanese astrophysicist. On July 20th, 2014, he sent a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera into the Earth’s stratosphere from Obihiro, Japan for the first time ever. The video captures a time-lapse view of the amazing voyage into the heavens as well as some behind-the-scenes views of the lift off and finding it after its free fall back down. If you've ever day dreamed of flying around the planet like Superman as a kid, this video will rekindle that fantastic flame from your youth! – check it out!
GoPro HEROs may be flying in their own cape by late next year according to reports from the Wall Street Journal. GoPro, who currently leads the market in wearable consumer point-of-view cameras is said to be developing their own multi-rotor helicopters equipped with high-definition cameras. It is said that GoPro’s drones will seek to enter the market between the $500 - $1000 range.
Capturing the launch of a space shuttle is undoubtedly a tremendous task to take on. Add to that the pressure of capturing the last space shuttle launch and you may have one of the most immense photographic endeavours of your career. In a very passionate and insightful video talk, Dan Winters takes us through the process of accomplishing said task. From his emotional relationship with capturing launches, to diagrams of his camera setups, Winters not only shows us how he captured his incredible photos, but conveys what doing so meant to him as a photographer as well as a human being.
In what surely must be one of the highest budget-to-film-length ratios in history, Airbus put five of its brand-new 300 million dollar A350 XWB planes together for a photoshoot. While most of the clips last only a few seconds, the amount of planning and preparation to pull something like this off is just staggering. With two chase planes, five hero planes, and the stakes as high as ever, watch how Airbus plans and pulls off this truly epic feat of filming and aviation.
Cinematographer Danny Cooke spent a week with his guide Yevgein, known as the Stalker, exploring Chernobyl and the city of Prypiat, Ukraine. He came back with a haunting and beautiful video which is essentially a time capsule of the city, frozen by a devastating nuclear disaster that occurred nearly 30 years ago. His aerial shots are especially quite stunning.
Drone technology and camera technology are on converging courses. Photography and flight actually share a twin history of development dating to the turn of the twentieth century, with the Wright brothers’ first flight on the heels of the proliferation of Kodak’s “Brownie” box camera. But thanks largely to the smartphone revolution this convergence is now advancing at a remarkable rate, as core components for both drones and cameras become increasingly smaller and more powerful. It’s easier than ever—and with 3DR’s open copter platforms
If you've ever thought about trying out a drone, you probably have heard how complicated it is. Sure, there are easier systems to use like the DJI Phantom, but there is still a learning curve that you need to overcome before you should fly and shoot with a drone on your own, especially before an important shoot... and also before any situation where you may possibly LOSE the drone. Watch the video and learn more below.