2 months ago
This post is a a failure...
but there’s still merit in posting it. Here’s why👇🏻 I was given the opportunity to shoot some social content for a TD Centre / Raptors collaboration piece, the producers said I could create whatever I wanted from a helicopter as long as it showcased “We the North” written in the windows of the buildings. I wanted to take my hyperlapse techniques that I’ve used on the ground and try them out in the sky.
Trying something new for a client can always be a risky decision, I was confident in my hyperlapse skills but never from this vantage point. I was told I had an hour in the sky, but when I was up in the chopper I quickly realized that was not the case.
I found myself sharing the helicopter with 5 other people, including a photographer, of which we had to take turns shooting out of the only accessible window. With take off, landing, and dialing in my equipment mid flight, I had maybe 15 minutes of shooting time max - stress definitely ensued.
My goal was to capture 2 solid aerial hyperlapses, 1 or 2 backup angles and then 5 useable shots of video b-roll in case all of the above failed horribly. Since these type of shots are so rarely done, I didn’t have anywhere online to pull information from, I didn’t know what focal length to use, what shutter and if I should go stabilized or handheld, but I love a good challenge.
What you see above is my stabilized and uncropped handheld attempt at capturing the Toronto skyline. What I didn’t realize at the time is that my wide angle lens was too slow at f/2.8 and my shutter wasn’t fast enough to capture anything without inducing a bunch of motion blur.
At the time I thought it was going to be an incredible capture that would for sure work. It wasn’t until I brought the footage into photoshop that I saw all the errors, despite the inconsistencies I decided to still give it a go. This meant aligning 450 photos by hand, layer by layer, which took me about 5 hours... In my mind this clip failed but in retrospect I learned so many things and now know how to capture a handheld aerial hyperlapse properly. I’m posting this as a personal victory in failing... because it’s the path to succeeding ✌🏻