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Great photo opportunity, how do I make the most of it???


Standard Member
Hi Guys,

Last year for my birthday my Husband bought me a red letter day, this morning I realised that if I didn't use it soon I would lose it! Initially I was going to go for a 'pamper' thing but when browsing I noticed that they do a helicopter ride!!

I decided that it was too good an opportunity to miss and so signed up for it. What I really thought was that I have never been up in one and could also get some good pics?

Anyway - the flight is only 5 minutes and there are going to be other people in the helicopter. I don't know where I will be sitting etc but in case I am going to take my camer :thumbsup:

So... any tips? what do I need to do to get some good shots? What sort of lens (I only have 2 18-55 & 55-200) Is it even worth it?

Ellen x


Distinguished Member
For something like this I always think it is worth taken your camera, for sure you may not have the best seat and the reflections from the glass on the helicopter may cause problems BUT on the other hand you may just have a unique opportunity to get some nice shots. I think I would go for the 55-200 lens, but you must take something!

Enjoy the trip, I am looking forward to seeing the shots :).


Take a polarizing filter - this will help you shoot through the glass of the whirlygig.

And if you get your SLR out hopefully the other passengers will realise your intentions and let you sit by the window.


Distinguished Member
Ellen, if it's only 5 minutes you will have very little time to actually take some shots. When a helicopter takes off it feels like you are going to plough straight in to the ground so just getting over this initial OMFG moment will take a minute or so.:D

As for lens choice that's quite tough, helicopters aren't the smoothest flying machines especially at low altitude so a longer lens may suffer from blur somewhat. You may be better with the shorter lens and then at least you can get some good pics of the helicopter itself before/after you go up.

Why not take both with you but only one on the trip.

Anyway enough rambling, just make sure you take the camera and enjoy the ride it's a far cry from a holiday jet.


Well-known Member
Ellen, if it's only 5 minutes you will have very little time to actually take some shots. When a helicopter takes off it feels like you are going to plough straight in to the ground so just getting over this initial OMFG moment will take a minute or so.:D

I don't recall that bit!?!? When I was in the Army Cadets we got flown into an exercise in a Lynx. Admittedly a combat ready Lynx is a different beast to the Jet Ranger type chopper you'll be in, but there wasn't much to photograph, especially as the pilot was going NoE and the view out the window switched quite rapidly between horizon, land and sky!!!!

If it's not normally your thing try getting some creative shots of the chopper on the ground....


Active Member
When I took a helicopter flight we were advised to wear dark clothes and cover arms and legs to avoid reflections. Photographic advice was to use a wide lens and a CPL and to put the camera lens as near to the glass as you can. The best seats are probably next to the windows at the back as in the front you can be a little way away from the glass and may get relections.
The flight we had we were offered doors on or off and obviously doors off are better for photos - not sure if I am brave enough for that though !!


Standard Member
Thanks guys... I am quite taken with the idea of taking pictures of the chopper on the ground :thumbsup: I think that would be good and I would probably get much better piccies too!

I will take both lenses that I have an decide just before going up which one I will take with me.

WOO HOO - am really excited about it now :clap:

Ellen x


Standard Member

I shoot images from rotary craft for a living. Its a complicated business to get good results but the following generalisations will help you.

1. Isolate yourself from the aircraft, do not lean on anything, use your body as a damper, don't brace against the seat or any doors/bulkheads.

2. Shoot with a shutter speed of minimum 1.5 times focal length.

3. Support the lens with a hand, don't use both hands on the body of the camera.

For shooting the aircraft on the ground we have found if you put the person in the foreground, close to the camera, with the aircraft in the background, the images look a lot better. If the person just stands next to the aircraft it just does'nt have the impact.

Enjoy your trip and remember a helicopter is 50,000 rivets flying in close formation !

Have a good un

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Active Member
They sit the heavier people in the middle and the skinny ones by the window (I was sat in the middle for an hour in Hawaii :mad:) if that is of any help to you...

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