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.
In contrast to Dani Diamond's method of underexposing images then correcting them in post, I deliberately overexpose to pick up as much shadow detail as possible, while at the same time being careful to not blow out any part of the image. I find that this allows me more latitude in post, expoiting the raw file as much as possible, to get both deep and detailed blacks, all the while retaining highlight detail in the brightest parts of the image. Being that LA sits right on the pacific ocean and is constantly bombarded with direct sun, this method has proven to be extremely helpful for retaining all of the detail that makes these images so interesting to me.
To see more images from the project, check out my LA Aerials page on my website, and be sure to check out the upcoming Fstoppers Workshops, where I'll be teaching all about how I shoot and giving talks on my personal work.