Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Specialty Topics › Outdoor Video › Filming from an aircraft › Jrode, Having cut my teeth
Having cut my teeth in the business as an Aerial Photo/Videographer, the first question you need to ask is; ‘What type of aircraft will I shoot from?’ The aircraft (or platform) you’ll be gathering images in will decide what your options are for getting smooth aerial footage.
If you have a certain degree of room to shoot (like out of a helicopter door) it may be possible to rig up an impromptu bungee cradle for your camera. If you have much less like out the window of a Cessna, you’ll have to use long straps securing the camera to you so it can be held out the window.
First thing to remember is you cannot rest your arms or any part of the camera array on the aircraft. Whether a prop, jet or glider, there will be vibrations causing camera shake.
As for what camera to use? Again, it depends on how much room you’ll have in the aircraft. I’ve shot with big broadcast cameras in helo’s and palm-sized rigs in the back of a fighter.
Whatever you shoot with make sure you have medium to telephoto length lenses. You can shoot with wide lenses if you’re looking for ‘Planet Shots’. But if you’re looking to highlight a specific area or structure, you’ll need those longer lenses.