5 Tips for the Best Photos During Your Helicopter Ride

5 tips best photos during helicopter ride

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of going on a helicopter tour. Not only will it get your adrenaline pumping as you rise higher and higher, but you’ll also get to check out cities and natural spaces from a whole new perspective.

Another reason that helicopter tours are so popular for exploring both bustling cities, as well as expansive landscapes, is because of the fantastic photos and videos you can capture. You don’t get many opportunities to capture a birds-eye view of an area. In fact, aerial photography using helicopters dates back to the 1940s and one was even used for aerial cinematography for the 1945 film ‘The Bandit of Sherwood Forest.’

But whether you’re a professional photographer or you just want to capture some incredible memories of your trip, here are some key tips for taking photos on a helicopter tour.

1. Make Sure Your Equipment is Properly Secured

Make sure your equipment is properly secured

To keep you, others, and the pilot safe on your flight, you can only bring certain items onboard during a helicopter tour. While cameras, phones, and video cameras are allowed, they must be secured correctly.

There’s a chance that you’ll run into some turbulence caused by strong winds on your flight. This could jostle the helicopter – and you might lose your grip on your camera. Adding a secure strap that slips over your neck or wrist is highly advised. This will also help you get a bit more stability so you can capture the shot perfectly without worrying about accidentally dropping your camera.

2. Bring the Right Lens

Bring the right camera lenses

Having the right lens for aerial photography will make a world of difference in the quality of your shots.

You will most likely want a zoom lens so you can capture details of the buildings or natural elements below. If you have a professional DSLR camera, consider adding a telephoto lens with a 70 to 200 mm focal length. This is great for capturing close-ups from tall heights.

However, if you’re flying over a vast landscape like the ocean or a national forest, consider getting a zoom lens with panoramic capabilities. A focal length of 24 to 70 mm is the best option here.

3. Adjust Your Settings Before Taking Flight

You want to make sure that you’re fully taking in your surroundings while capturing images on your helicopter flight. If you’re trying to adjust your camera to capture crystal-clear shots, you could lose out on a lot of the experience. So, it’s best to adjust your camera’s settings beforehand as much as possible so you’re ready to shoot once you take off.

Be sure to adjust the shutter speed to 1/500 or 1/1000 seconds. This will help to reduce blur caused by the vibration of the helicopter. You should also play around with the aperture or exposure settings so that it’s adjusted based on the amount of sunlight.

4. Charge and Bring Backup Batteries

Dslr camera battery backup

There’s nothing more disappointing than having your camera die halfway through a helicopter tour! Make sure that you’ve got a full charge beforehand and bring a backup battery just in case. Pack an extra memory card for good measure, too!

5. Plan Out Some Shots

You can capture some pretty incredible perspectives by changing the angle of your camera during the helicopter tour. You may want to plan out some shots that you want to capture – just be sure to ask the helicopter tour pilot beforehand! They may be able to tell you when it’s a good time to snag a pic of a specific location or angle.

Some of the most common perspective shots taken from helicopters are:

  • Lookdown shots are taken directly above the subject

Sarasota marina beach

  • Rear shots showing what is behind the helicopter

Top view from the helicopter

  • Dashboard shots showing the front of the helicopter

Top view from helicopter

  • Landscape shots that capture wider images from the natural eye-level perspective

Siesta key beach

Of course, safety should always be your top priority here. Make sure that you are not in the way of the pilot or shifting the weight of the cabin to capture your shot!

Ready to Book Your Next Helicopter Tour?

If you’re looking to see some pretty incredible sites of both cityscapes and natural beauty, be sure to book a helicopter tour of Sarasota, FL. This incredible city has a lot to offer and you can see it all from above thanks to Sarasota Helicopter Tours.

We offer several tour packages ranging from 20 to 60 minutes for up to 3 people. During our tours, you’ll get to learn about some of Sarasota’s most notable landmarks and have the chance to capture incredible photos, too. Give us a call at 941-800-1515 or book online to learn more about our helicopter tour offerings!


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