My guardian angel wears propeller, not wings
11 Apr 2009
Imagine you are to shoot rather big objects at interesting angle. To do this from above is good idea, so than you need to use device or vehicle to lift yourself with camera to the desired level.
Many professionals (making photo or video) like cranes. Great opportunity in studio or on locations with the hard ground! But what if your goal is to catch yacht 115 feet long moving along the coast?
My favorite flying cranes are Robinson helicopters, R22 Beta II or R44 Clipper II.
I've fallen in love with them more than five years ago.
Many of images I can be proud of were made aboard, mostly world premiers of famous yacht brands in UK and Italy.
Well, let's see what is possible with Robinson. Everything.
You can move with the speed of cruise yacht or much faster (up to 210 km/h) to the distance about 300 kilometers without refueling. What is more interesting, your dragonfly can hover over the object at unbelievable angles for seconds or even minutes, five or five hundred meters high. If helicopter (Clipper, to be exact) is equipped with floats, it can make alighting on water surface and lift-off safely. Even on rough seas.
Just put on headphones to reduce noise level and communicate with the pilot. Fasten safety belt (strongly recommended) , especially if you are planning to incline with camera out for better field of view. Remove the side door, lean against the float. Try not to drop your shoes somewhere near Portsmouth, La Spezia or Volga river. And aviod the shadow of helicopter appearing on the most fabulous shots.
Usually we rent helicopter like all of you guys probably rent a car arriving to next travel destination. Not so high hour rates include fuel consumption and pilot's fee. Oh, pilots... Calm, friendly, very professional. Many of them in Russia have previous military experience. The best pilot I ever met once was flying with our former president Putin in Chechnya and has the highest governmental award, Hero of Russia.
What about ownership? Robinson is very expensive toy. Sad news. More than 300 000 dollars. As my Italian friends might say, troppo caro. So I need to make much more photos to buy one day precious yellow fellow for myself.
Spring is coming despite there are still some snow and ice here, in suburbs of Moscow. Navigation will be open soon. Moscow International Boat Show with exhibition of glorious brands like Riva, ISA, Sunseeker and others is being held this week as a sign to start thinking about new season and new shots.
Good luck to everybody! Enjoy.
P.S. I'd like to apologize to all readers of previous story's version for removing it. Frankly speaking, I was afraid of being rude to some people having rough times due to the global financial and economic disaster. Seems it's not appropriate occasion to speak about luxury things like yachts or helicopters - and under the pressure of moment, hesitating, I've deleted the story from the site.
But as far as I know now, International Ancona Shipyard have several boats in progress for Russian customers, and that is very good for their business, saving jobs and bringing money. Sunseeker sales in Russia also are not bad indeed.
So - what the hell - the story is back.
Forget the damn crisis.
Life is awesome.