How to Take Aerial Shots
A helicopter's not required for great landscape shots. We just had this opportunity, and we wanted to demonstrate the optical image stabilization of both these lenses. What that is, is that is a technology that's in both of these rear-facing lenses that's a new feature to the iPhone X. What we're gonna demonstrate is that when you're up in a helicopter, there's a lot of high-frequency vibrations. We're gonna demonstrate that we're able to take really clear, crisp pictures, despite the fact that we're in basically a flying lawnmower. It's also really useful, this technology, when you're zoomed in on something, because it allows you to keep that stable. Also in low light, when your shutter time is a little longer, an optically stabilized lens will allow you to take a better photograph, a sharp photograph, when the light's not so high. Let's hop on board. We're gonna go out and fly around Seattle. We've got a beautiful day. Let's put this sucker to the test. (helicopter engine rumbles) (i...
ndistinct radio chatter)
Roger, one, two. And I got traffic in the pattern site.
I'd kinda like this out over the edge of the water just a skosh. Nice. This is gorgeous. Okay, when you get to where you wanna be, if you could flatten out those blades. Oh, that's gorgeous. (indistinct radio chatter) We're gettin' into position for a shot here, we're gonna be about 1200 feet up over the city. To the left side, I'm gonna put the Space Needle, to the right side, I'm gonna put Mt. Rainier, just frame up a nice shot with the sun falling on the city from the west. It's gonna be beautiful, beautiful little shot. Let's go right in here. I wouldn't wanna go too much, I know. When you get your turn leveled out, go ahead and... All right, so this is just a nice, gorgeous little shot here. I'm gonna zoom in and use the 2x lens. Right there, Space Needle to the left. Can we hold here and gain a little altitude? That'd be great. Yeah. Nice. Aww, that's so gorgeous. Now I'm gonna zoom, I wouldn't normally zoom much here, but it's a nice shot. I'm gonna go to a vertical, get the Space Needle and the mountain lined up there. Still catch a little water. You can see I'm working really quickly here. I'm less focused on the horizon. Let's go 'head and keep this exact trajectory that we got right now, I like the speed. Same heading that you got right now. All right, zoom in 2x there, nice shot. What would happen if we did a third pass at a slightly lower altitude? I wouldn't get too much, I'm tryin' to get the Space Needle against the water, as opposed to against the land. So one more circle, just that last 30 seconds of that pass.
All right, now I'm gettin' a little bit lower here. He'll tilt the rotors back out of the way for me. Look, I'm just, there's some high-frequency vibrations. I'm gonna wait and move the Space Needle out over to the bay. Gonna get a couple good ones here with 2x. Touch on that city, the... Aww, look at that, that is buttery. Get Key Arena there.
Oh this is perfect. Now let's slow down just a little bit, I really wanna nail this one. Oh yeah, now the Space Needle's right where I want it, we got the mountain back there. Oh. Wide backin' out. Great, let's just go 'head and just gain some altitude now. All right, oh, this is... Rainier right behind the city. Sorry, I'm ignoring you, Space Needle. All right, really nice job just lining up the Space Needle again to the left, where this is the second or third pass we've done here. Tryin' to capture some of the water. Oh, that's really nice. Gonna zoom in there again, and compress that mountain. Tap on the focus on that where you can see Mt. Rainier poppin' up in the background. Lookin' really pretty. One of the things you've gotta be careful of is the rotor. Sam's done a really good job of keepin' the rotor out of my frame, but it's just one of the things. 'Cause you don't really see it in the camera, and you'll see it in all your pictures. (indistinct radio chatter) Oh, this is some perfect altitude. Maybe, yeah, maybe take me up a skosh. There we go. Now you can see, I'm puttin' the Space Needle just back behind the water there. A little bit more out? Oh, you're climbin' as fast as you can, nevermind. We're good. Every once in a while, tappin' on the sky to get my exposure where I want it. Darken it just a tad, we can do that in post-production. Gonna probably gain some altitude here. I'm lookin' to get a nice backlit shot of the city with the sunset in the background. I'm thinking of trying. Let's go 'head and gain some altitude now. Now when I'm asking him to climb now, we're doing that so I can get Rainier behind the buildings, versus through them. Got a different shot on the last pass, tryin' to keep up the variation here. Nice and slow, we're not in any hurry here, Sam. That's good.
Gotcha. (indistinct radio chatter)
This is just delicious. Perfect altitude, Sam.
Perfect. All right, you can see I got the Space Needle framed up against the water there. Got that nice cloud formation moving in, Rainier in the background, I'm gonna try a couple different exposures here. Aw, nice and slow, nice and slow. Back to wide. Get the whole region. When I tilt up, I gotta be careful. The helicopter blades, you can start to see those there. This is beautiful. All right, just gonna turn myself around a little bit. Might be a little resistance, I'm gonna get my feet out for a couple of interesting shots. All right, let's go 'head and head down the I-5 corridor there.
When we were getting the shot, now we're trying to just really get some interesting variety, that's why I had my feet hanging out. Just, all those things, some of the shots you don't expect to be the great shots, those gonna be great shots from the shoot. Oh, look at that, we've got the Space Needle there, standin' out a little bit proud. Aw, that is money. Big shout-out to Sam, the heli pilot. Thank you very much. As I'm looking just here, initially reviewing some of the shots, so many of them are tack-sharp, which is that technology working for you. And remember, the same thing is true if you're in low light and you've gotta hold your camera really still to get a shot, that's another way that these image stabilization technology comes into play. Also, if you're zoomed way out. If you use the optical zoom and then digitally zoom in as well, and you can see, it's like you move just a little bit, that's another way where this kicks in. You don't need a helicopter, although they're a pretty fun toy. You don't need a helicopter to make use of this technology, we just wanted to find a really simple, but extreme, way of demonstrating it. Let's go back and check out some shots.