Andros 32, How to photograph a boat from a helicopter, By Sam Root of Saltyshores.com

How to photograph a boat from a helicopter:

Well I got out today in Sarasota Florida to do a helicopter Boat shoot. The boat happens to be the new for 2010 Andros 32 .

At 6am this morning I wa making the drive down to the Sarasota airport. To meet up with the helicopter pilot.  It was fridget 38 degrees out side. I bundled up and got out into the gulf of Mexico. We found the 32 feet Andros and started to do all kinds of crazy maneuvers. The pilot was awesome,  he ws like 50′ from the boat at times and I had to ask to be backed off it was crazy.  We even flew under a bridge following the 32 back when we were finished.

To shoot a moving object you have to have a fast shutter speed. So I set my camera to Shutter priority at 800/s or 1000/s or  more if you have enough light. The faster the better.  I set my ISO between 200-400. 200 if you have plenty of light 400 is low light setting, like this morning.

Since the chopper was costing $700.00 per hour I had better not screw up! I set my camera to shoot in bracket mode. What bracket mode does was shoot multiple exposure shots with one push of the button. In case there was bad lighting one out of those 3 shots would have been exposed properly.  It’s kind of a insurance policy, just in case.

I also set my camera to meter center weighted. This means it meters the scene using what is near my focus. Since all I care about is exposing the boat properly and not worrying about the water etc. Since we were shooting  a dark colored boat a general 3D matrix exposure probably would not have worked as well.

By the end of the hour I was at almost 600 shots fired.

Here’s a little Iphone clip shot from the boat, Yes that’s me in the chopper: (warning: turn down your audio, it’s loud)

Here are some I had a chance to edit. Very little editing as the morning light was great. I did not use the shadows and highlights at all, as evidence in the lack of the famous halo effects.

New for 2010 Andros 32 More details as I get them. They are just 30 minutes from me so that should not be a problem.

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