Filming from helicopters is no doubt fun and one should at least get this opportunity in his lifetime. if you enjoy flying, then this is something worth trying. You must have seen a number of helicopter shots on the television. Now, go ahead and give a try. Believe me, it’s worth trying! In this post, I will share some valuable tips with you, which will definitely help you for helicopter shooting.
4 essential helicopter filming tips
Keep the door shut off
It is necessary that you keep the doors of the helicopter shut off. You can request for this if you want, but make sure to be prepared for the cold temperature inside. Shooting through the glass has a unique distant effect on the resulting images. Know more about helicopter cinematography with 6k red cameras.
Be careful of the skids and rotor blades
It is essential that you stay aware of the skids and rotor blades of the helicopter for both your own safety as well as framing the shot. Make sure to judge the widest focal length, before the helicopter takes off. You can also go for taking some test shots prior to shooting the actual one.
Carrying two cameras
It is near to impossible to change the camera lenses without getting some dust particles inside when the wind is whirling around. In fact, it also increases the chances of dropping the gear. So, for these reasons, it is always better that you carry two cameras along with you. It would be even much better if you manage to have two cameras with two different lenses – one with wide angle zoom and the other with a telephoto zoom.
Proper communication is no doubt essential, especially when it comes to filming from a helicopter. You will need to have a headset during the photography session which will enable you to mute the engine and rotor sound as well as talking with others onboard, including your pilot. It is suggested to use the voice activated units. Some units come with switches which you need to press for starting the communication and it can be quite frustrating when you find that your pilot is not getting the instructions you are giving, which is of utmost importance to click the perfect shot.
Increase the shutter speed and ISO
Generally, helicopters do vibrate and some of them vibrate a lot. As the subjects will be quite at a distance from your camera so it is always better to select a wider aperture in the Aperture Priority mode. It will help you to speed up the shutter speed. This effort is necessary to reduce the camera jerking during the flight, which otherwise can make your pictures blurred. Image stabilizing lenses as well as camera bodies will also be quite helpful.
Include the helicopter in the shots
To give a sense of your whereabouts to the viewer, it is suggested that you include the helicopter in some of the shots. For example, you can take an outside shot with a little part of the interior. Of course, you will have to avoid the blades as they will look out of place.
Photography tips from Digital Photography School