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  1. #21
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    It can depend on the day. My helishot were in Queensland mid day sunshine while working in Australia, on a Busway project. The state gov't hired a chopper for the final project photos, and I got to ride along. The prime photographer sat in the front, and shot out of a 'hole; in the door.

    I sat in the back behind the pilot, and the rear door was latched open. Everone wore 5 point harnesses. Mine was clipped to the seat and the roof. I made sure I wore a loose windbreaker with a large access front pocket under it. We took off at 5am, and the air was quite cool then. I had film, out of the cans, in that pocket, and a spare lens. I went with 100asa film since I anticipated the need to blow up and crop; I was not the guy who was calling the 'shots'. I did tape the lens to infinity, and also made sure to use my winder, to both advance the film, and give more to hold onto. I went with a 50mm f/1.4 and a 135mm f/4 to allow sticking to 1/250 for the slowest shutter speed. I left front lens caps on the ground.

    Try to change the film over your open jumper pocket to reduce the risk of the cassette fumbling out the door when changing film. I made it though 5 rolls of 36 in a 70 minute flight. It was great opportunity.
    my real name, imagine that.

  2. #22
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the great responses so far. I think the flight won't last more that 40-45 minutes, based on the location that we are flying to, and I'm pretty sure that in all likelihood the doors and windows will be closed (Japan is a "safety" country, to quote my students). I was hoping to avoid changing film and lenses in the helicopter, which is why my plan is to bring two cameras with different focal lengths attached, possibly with one in colour and the other black and white (that being said, I'll bring extra film just in case). At least a third of the flight will be flying over the city just to get out of it (and back in) so I'm not anticipating any need to photograph that part. We'll be flying at midday which will be good in terms of using slower film I suppose, though not necessary for light.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  3. #23
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Joto desu! How would you like to climb that?

    PE

  4. #24
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Don't forget taking pictures on the ground!

    There may be good opportunities there too, especially from a more "documentary" style approach:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  5. #25
    kraker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseontheloose View Post
    At least a third of the flight will be flying over the city just to get out of it (and back in) so I'm not anticipating any need to photograph that part.
    Why not? There might be some interesting views there as well. Just... be sure to take that extra roll of film with you, just in case.

    shuttr.net
    -- A sinister little midget with a bucket and a mop / Where the blood goes down the drain --

  6. #26
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraker View Post
    Why not? There might be some interesting views there as well. Just... be sure to take that extra roll of film with you, just in case.
    That's true...but Kumamoto is not Tokyo, and things become very boring very quickly once you move out of the downtown area, not that that's anything special to begin with. We were given a choice between Mt. Aso (volcano) and Huis Ten Bosch (a Dutch museum near Nagasaki, on the coast), but I think I was the only one asked and I thought a volcano would be more interesting from above so that's where we are going (we are also going on the date I suggested). I haven't heard back yet in terms of getting up front with the pilot so we'll see how that pans out.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  7. #27
    kraker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseontheloose View Post
    We were given a choice between Mt. Aso (volcano) and Huis Ten Bosch (a Dutch museum near Nagasaki, on the coast), but I think I was the only one asked and I thought a volcano would be more interesting from above
    I learn something every day... A Dutch theme park near Nagasaki, would you believe that...

    A volcano would certainly be more interesting from above, no doubt about that.

    shuttr.net
    -- A sinister little midget with a bucket and a mop / Where the blood goes down the drain --

  8. #28

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    Why wouldn't you want to take photos of the city from above? Maybe you could get a photo of your home, the school, some of your favorite places in the city.

    Don't forget photos of everyone in the helicopter with you, the flight crew, have someone take photos of you in the air as well, you may never get to do this again, and I doubt you will ever say "I wish I took less photos when I went up in the helicopter". A photo of everyone with the helicopter on the ground will probably be the one you keep in your office so be sure you hand the camera to someone that knows what they are doing for that shot because that will be your display photo.

    Enjoy your flight.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  9. #29

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    I can't recall if this was the term we used but if we saw a shot we wanted, we'd ask the pilot to 'platform' for us and they'd hover in one spot till done. open doors are best since you don't get the same buffeting effect as in small planes at speed iirc. I preferred open doors and small planes over helicopters but either would be a fun trip. headsets take a bit of getting used to

  10. #30
    eddym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraker View Post
    Why not? There might be some interesting views there as well. Just... be sure to take that extra roll of film with you, just in case.
    Nah... it's probably too cool already to catch any rooftop sunbathers...
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

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