Two days ago, I was asked to do an aerial observation of several security convoys weaving through Manila traffic during rush hours. I did this as part of our preparations for the ASEAN Senior Ministers Meetings which will be held in the Philippines from July 24 to August 2, 2007. Primarily, the purpose of the flight is to come up with measures to minimize the inconvenience to the riding public.
Below is an image of one of the security convoys weaving its way through EDSA.
Having done quite a few aerials before, I had to convince the pilots to fly anywhere between 10 am to 2pm. This is the best time for aerial photography since the sun is directly overhead thus minimizing unwanted shadows. The flight was planned for an 11 am take-off but did not materialize due to some minor problems in acquiring a flight clearance. However, we managed to take-off around 1145 am.
To say the least, I came prepared not only to focus on what was required but also to get some fancy aerial shots. Here are some of the things I had to do for this shoot:
- The shoot must definitely be between 10 am to 2 pm, Check.
- Chopper doors must be left open, Check, after some minor discussions with the pilot.
- Gaffer tape all seatbelts to prevent accidental unbuckling (I find that this gives me an added confidence that I will not fall off thus allowing my mind to focus on the shoot) Check
- Bring Canon 1DS camera set at 800 ISO and AV at its widest opening. This gives me a shutter speed of between 3000-4000 of a second thus eliminating camera shake. Check
- Set the camera to shoot camera raw. Check
- Bring extra CF card. Check
- Bring one lens only Canon 28-135 IS which I find to be the most versatile when shooting aerials. The images from this shoot were shot between 28mm to 120mm. Check
And below are the other images from the shoot. You can click on any image to view a slightly bigger version since the thumbs do not do justice to the actual photos. BTW, the images (32mb each) taken with the 1Ds could easily be printed at museum size.
Nothing fancy considering the slightly overcast condition when the pictures where taken. All the raw images were processed and resized in Adobe Lightroom 1.1.
Special thanks to the crew of the PNP's Air Support Unit who had to violate some of their flying SOPs in order to accommodate my requirements.