In early October, Ming, Olivia, and I had the opportunity to do some aerial photography. Our client, whom happened to own a single engine 4 seat Cessna, wanted aerial video and photography of their campus as well as their training farm.
The plane had already been fit with multiple exterior GoPro rigs along with iPad screens in the cockpit for live viewing. Using the iPad screens and our iPhones, we were able to make sure the cameras were in the proper positions we wanted. Early on we had decided that the GoPros would make for some great cut away shots, but they won’t allow us to get the close up shots that our client was looking for.
Once in flight, we realized that both the instability of the plane and the room to move around, especially with these long lenses, would be a major factor in getting the shots we wanted.
After about two hours and multiple flybys, we were able to get all of our shots. Below is a short video of our adventure!
Ming and I discussed a wide range of lenses that would enable us to get our aerial shots while also adhering to aviation laws that limit how close to the ground you can get while in the air. We ended up deciding on Canon’s 100-400mm as the primary camera, and the 70-200mm as the secondary camera.
Once we saw the interior of the plane, we decided that Ming would sit in the back seat with Olivia. The back seat had larger windows and more room to move around. I ended up sitting in the front with the pilot.
While the client flew us to their campus, Ming and I were able to practice our shots while competing with the light vibrations of the plane. For the most, the plane was a lot smoother than flying on a commercial airline.