It's that time of year when specialist aerial photographers from around the world gather to share ideas and their work. This year the conference is held in Los Angeles, California .
It's also a great opportunity to share our work, where it is judged by members and then by an expert panel of artists and photographers.
I have decided to step back from competition submissions and this year will be my last for the foreseeable future, freeing up valuable time to spend on new and exciting aerial projects!
Lost and Found - Judged Best Landscape Photography
I captured "Lost and Found" whilst on a photo flight for Etihad Airways in Barcelona, Spain. My goal was to capture an angle that is rarely seen in such a prolifically photographed city. We positioned the helicopter directly above Gaudi's famous La Sagrada Familia and I used perspective shift to provide a direct lookdown whilst emphasising the one point perspective of long roads and uniform blocks leading off to the horizon. This was offset by Avinguda Diagonal slicing through the perfectly arranged grid like a knife, breaking uniformity and leading the viewer's eye across the frame towards the sunset light.
2020 Sports Precinct - Awarded Best Vertical 2020
As part of my work for Australian Open I was commissioned to map Melbourne's Sport Precinct and the redevelopment of Melbourne Olympic Park during the 2020 Australian Open event. This involved flying a precise grid pattern thousands of meters above Melbourne to capture a series of vertical images that could be blended together to form a giant high resolution map mosaic. The flight required careful planning and coordination with Melbourne ATC to access the altitudes required as well as a steady hand from our pilot to accurately follow the GPS points. Not an easy task in a helicopter at high altitude, where depth perception and reference points are limited.
Urban Commuter - Awarded Best Air to Air
Urban Commuter was captured as part of a body of work for Leonardo Helicopters. Flying formation in a second AgustaWestland AW109 we flew out across some of Melbourne's higher density suburbs, skimming rooftops and banking and turning around the city fringe. This image was captured as we closed formation to around 30m and the target AW169 passed beneath us. The trick is to capture a crisp airframe whilst a slower shutter produces motion blur to the 5 bladed rotor system, providing energy and movement to what would otherwise be a fairly static photo. Crisp enough to see individual pop rivets across the AW169's beautifully crafted skin!
It has been a great honour to have been involved with these awards and conferences over the last decade. I’ve met some incredible people and made friends with photographers and artists from around the world. Stay tuned for future collaborations!