Plane or helicopter

March 15th, 2010

Helicopter or plane?

Helicopters are far more expensive to operate than small planes. They also make a lot more noise and can disturb a whole neighborhood.    Helicopters make sense for cinematic quality video, unusual or dangerous terrain, sweeping panoramas of places that are hard to photograph, and so on.   Helicopters are necessary in some situations where there are many obstacles, tight airspace restrictions, or when you simply must hover to get the shot.

Cessna 172 - high wing allows great visibiltiy

We use mostly Cessna 172airplanes, a high wing aircraft that provides a better view and open window.   I use helicopters when the job requires one.

Kites and balloons for aerial photos?  Yes, BUT….

Another recent innovation in aerial photography is the use of small balloons, or even kites, to carry a digital wireless camera that sends the photo down to an operator on the ground  who views a screen and snaps the photo.  This is useful in situations where you can’t get a plane into an area,  or get it low enough for good photos.

Balloon based aerial photos require special equipment,  and is not necessarily less costly, because it still requires the operator to travel to the location, set up, and edit the photos.

No way to get a shot like this with a balloon camera

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