Monthly Archives: January 2014

Aerial photos over Montreal

There’s nothing quite like flying over a major city in a tiny helicopter, barely bigger than a Mini Cooper, while hanging out a half-open window. You should really try it one day…

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Shoulder to shoulder with the pilot, there’s a quick briefing and then we take to the skies. The thrill I experience every time I fly is like no other. Flying at 1000′, we head towards the river and await instructions from the air controllers. In the distance I can see a jumbo jet that looks like it’s flying over the Big O. It’s tiny in the sky and I know it’s really far far away, but I still look over at my pilot to see if he is concerned. He’s not. How odd…

While we head to our first destination, I snap photos of suburban backyards and whatever else catches my eye.  From this distance, the houses look like they belong in a Monopoly game. I am amazed by how many people have pools in their backyards. The controller interrupts my observations and gives us the go-ahead to cross towards downtown.  Bridges, marinas, parking lots, city streets and local landmarks all have a different quality from this perspective. There are no street signs at this altitude and finding your subject can sometimes be a challenge, but we persevere and it’s time to go to work. Circling the area a few times looking for the ideal location, until we stop and hover while I snap away, working to get the best possible shots. Now it’s time for the direct overhead photo, a moment which requires the pilot to tip the helicopter and try to make me fall out the open window. Not for the faint of heart. No time to be concerned, there are other locations to be photographed, and off we go.

Five minutes turns into an hour, and it’s time to head back. Sadness starts to set in as I realize that this experience is coming to an end. There’s so much more I’d like to photograph, but it will have to wait until next time.

More photos after the break…

Thanks for tuning in.

mcm

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