As someone who loves photography, I am always looking at ways to expand my techniques in the art form. In my mind, a photographer should be able to shoot any type of subject matter that crosses his or her lens. I have had the good fortune to travel around and shoot everything from models to landscapes. But there was one form that I overlooked for years: Aerial photography. Maybe it is because it is not the easiest thing to find a helicopter and a pilot. With people such as my buddy 13th Witness, trashhand, and others taking to the skies, it made me realize that I wanted to see what this was all about. Through the beauty of social media (namely Instagram), I came across a variety of LA photographers who had been riding around the skies with Copter Pilot. After checking out his profile, I decided to shoot him a e-mail to see how to go about getting up in the air. He replied pretty quickly and before I knew it I was heading over to Van Nuys airport for my first flight. To think that on a weekday I went from hanging in my studio to flying up in a helicopter is pretty cool.
Meeting up with him at his hanger, he gave me a brief run down of his career. Coming from a background of flying for a variety of movie and film projects, he knows how to fly for the eye of a photographer. It was nerve-wracking to see that his helicopter had no doors. But how else are you going to get the photo right? He ran down some rules of the sky for me and after that up and away we went. The craziest thing about flying with him is any destination you want to hit is open to you. With a city like Los Angeles, this is powerful to go from the valley to downtown to the beach all within a hour or so. Flight is just awesome and makes you never want to drive in the City of Angels ever again.
Once airborne, my eyes lit up. Sure, there are plenty of scenic spots you can go to and appreciate LA, but being hundreds of feet above a city you’ve lived in for years and the ability to maneuver all over is just amazing. I definitely would recommend it to anyone, even if it is just a simple helicopter tour - go up and see your city from this perspective. It is something you can not really explain how beautiful it is. And if you live in the LA area, hit up Copter Pilot. But let me warn you, it can be addicting. My various photos from different flights with him below are proof of that.
Esteban a.k.a. Copter Pilot doing what he does best.
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