Virtual photography from a remote controlled helicopter

It took this shot with my iPhone as the chopper was taking off. You can just make out the front of the lens in the shadows underneath the main unit.

Today, I did a training session being a photographer (or camera operator) on a large remote controlled helicopter. I had VR goggles on which completely took over my vision, the view I had was a live video feed from a small video camera mounted looking into the viewfinder of an Canon SLR stills camera. This camera was mounted on a gimble head underneath the chopper. I had a remote controller in my hands which controls the vertical and horizontal + horizon pitch of the camera. I can basically move in 360 independent fashion to the choppers orientation.

There are a lot of really exciting applications of this type of photography – the obvious ones are commercial and the film and TV space. In addition thing like getting lead in footage for sporting events and even sporting photos that get angles previously impossible. Rock climbing and base jumping come to mind…

I’m looking forward to doing more in this space!

Here a shot from the chopper itself:

This one is essentially a self portrait so I am actually looking at myself through the VR googles - probably explains why I am smiling looking at such a funny looking man in my field of view...

The finished product so to speak - the view from above looking down. We are just tiny specks in the frame now!

A clearer view of the chopper - showing the camera pointing right down

More of my commercial work:

Commercial – Images by Mark Tantrum

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