Photographing wide landscapes from up high is not an easy job. Whether dangling, raised up or flying, aerial photography means hard work and weeks of preparation. I have recently had some experiences as a photographer to take what I call ‘a trip with the flying camera’.
Joking aside, the shot starts long before the click. To take this type of photo, the entire operation needs to be well-planned and thought through to the very last detail – every mistake must be eliminated.
About two weeks ago I flew over the Marvellous City looking for images that might show the building progress of our Olympic venues. Everything began months earlier, from the booking of the helicopter to organising the flight.
A weather study is crucial when taking aerial photos, since the ideal day and time for the best conditions must be planned. Safety is another very important aspect, because in this case I would have to take the photographs with the helicopter door open. There is a real sense of danger and the usual butterflies in the stomach, but it soon passes. The eagerness to take photographs is stronger than that – so off we go!
We passed over the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic and Paralympic Village and the Olympic Park in Barra in just a few minutes. The movements of an ‘iron bird’ are quick and abrupt, even more so on this type of flight where time is short and precious.
To take a photo commemorating two years until the Olympic Games, we had to think of a completely different approach. The project was based on a plan where I had to fit around 1000 employees – who together formed the number two – into just one photo, in addition to showing the architecture of the sambodromo and the Christ the Redeemer statue in the background. All perfectly calculated and with no glitches.
The initial visit had taken place a month earlier, when we took into consideration the landscape we had to work with, the size of the stands, the positioning of the sun to control shadows, the photograph angle together with a given height and, obviously, the ideal lens with which to take the photo. Then it’s up in the crane to take the snap.
To finish this highly adventurous trilogy, the photo’s name says it all: ‘In the Lord’s arms’. That’s right, not happy with being at the top of Corcovado Mountain, I climbed right up to the shoulders of the Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the symbols of Rio de Janeiro. I needed a special lens, called a fisheye, since my idea was to make Christ embrace the whole city.
Well, I hope to have shed some light on these assignments. They are jobs where we must always take into consideration the professionalism of everyone involved, since everything must be done together. There is no room for joking around or breaching regulations, principally when we are talking about safety. Everything is extremely serious and must be thought about, thought about and thought about again.
Until the next click!