My Aerial Photograph of Leicester

As I carry on with my portrait of people I know project (you can see more here ), I thought it was a good idea to take a portrait of the city I live in. This is something I have wanted to take an aerial photograph of Leicester. After a few beers, I got chatting to a friend who owned a helicopter and a plan was formulated.


aerial photograph of leicester
Sun setting over Leicester in Summer

Those who know me well will know just how scared of both heights and flying I am. So as we stood in a field removing the doors from the helicopter, the nerves started to kick in. We did a small test flight so I could get used to hanging out the side of the aircraft and then we were on our way.


Aerial photograph of leicesters canal
Photograph of canal boats taken from the sky

How to take photographs from a helicopter

There are a couple of key points to aerial photography to keep in mind. Safety is key, lens hoods are removed alongside  anything that can fall out of pockets or from the camera were also left on the ground. With the door off the aircraft, I was strapped in and handed a headset. Helicopters do not look like they move that fast when you are looking up at them from the ground. However, you are actually flying at about 100mph and the aircraft vibrates a lot. Your shutter speed (especially with the 200mm lens) needs to be pretty high. So I was at 2000th of a second, f4 and 3200 ISO


Scott in a helicopter


aerial photograph of leicester at mid day
aerial photograph of Leicester taken from a helicopter

If you are really into cityscapes then you should definitely check out Vincent Leveret’s cityscape book. It is amazing

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