Over the Top with Aerial Shots

Photographs and videos aim to show the world from a new perspective, revealing the unexpected and showcasing the familiar in unfamiliar ways. As the most photographed and recorded city on the planet, New York still manages to astonish and impress viewers, especially with images taken from aerial perspectives and helicopters. We’ve compiled the best tips for taking amazing aerial shots on NYC helicopter tours.

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  • Which Flights Can I Shoot From? Not all flights–commercial or private–allow image recording of all types, so it’s best to do some research before booking. Choosing a well-respected company that specializes in airborne photography and videography, like HeliNY, means your tour will be customized for you get the best snapshots of all the iconic buildings in the city.
  • Best Tools for the Task: While film cameras absolutely still have value, for the quick, well-focused images you want to capture in the sky, digital is the way to go. The number of pictures digital cameras store is also a major benefit when time is at a premium.
  • Time of Day: A common error made by first timers is choosing midday NYC tours for their lofty shoots. While the lighting is indeed excellent at that time of day, the lack of shadow makes shots appear flat and lacking in perspective and depth. The ideal lighting is around sunup or sundown when the sky’s colors complement the city’s industrial beauty.
  • Perspective Shift:  Another frequent mistake? Shooting pictures only from one angle. The steeper the angle a photo or video is shot at, the more unusual and striking the effect on viewers. Don’t let yourself get locked into shooting on basically horizontal lines. In a helicopter, the pilot can easily make dramatic turns to help you capture the magical image of your dreams.
  • Safety First: The Federal Aviation Administration maintains strict limits about how close pilots can fly to the ground, to structures, and to other aircrafts. If you communicate with your pilot in advance, you can usually find a way to get the shot you want without putting anyone in danger.

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Preparation, communication, and bravery are all the essential tools to getting the most out of your NYC helicopter tour for photography or videography. To capture the amazing autumnal color displays of the city, contact HeliNY today at 1 (212) 355-0801.

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