I entered a night time aerial view of San francisco, and five aerials from my Iceland trip. My submission included two new abstract views of the Ölfusá River
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Back in January on a trip to the UK, I was looking for a fun afternoon escape from the dreary winter rain. The Helicopter Museum near my parent’s place in Somerset was well worth the visit, especially at a mere £6.50.
The museum has the largest collection of helicopters in the world. Two hangars are crammed full of an incredible assortment of models. It was hard a little hard to appreciate the size of the helicopters as they were so closely placed, but you will get to see helicopters that you wouldn’t see anywhere else.
The visit was part history lesson, part trip down memory lane. I got to see a Westland Dragonfly, a helicopter that my dad flew around in sometime in the early 50’s. I also saw a Westland Whirlwind in which I took one of my first helicopter flights when I was 16 or 17, only few months before they where retired from service with the RAF.
The museum also has a good collection of Russian helicopters including the massive Mil Mi-8, which holds 24 passengers, 3 crew, and clocks in at 60 feet in length. Not to be outdone, the infamous Mil Mi-24 holds only 8 troops, but has staggering array of weapons. I really wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of either.
Mil Mi-24 Hind
The Kamov Ka-26 is one of the strangest looking helicopters. In the photo below, you can see two sets of rotor blades that run in opposite directions. And it features an optional passenger pods that can be detached (preferable not mid-flight.)
It was also good to see one of the US helicopters on display is a Hiller UH-12C, built in Palo Alto, California near my home in the Bay Area. When you are visiting Northern California, check out the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA. They have some fun stuff too.
Two things really stood out for me.
Scale. I‘ve flown in a Robinson R22 and at the size of a smart car this is one of the smallest helicopters in the world. For contrast, this was placed next to a huge old French helicopter, Sud Aviation’s SA321F Super Frelon (Super Hornet) which carried around 35 passengers, and was used by an inter island airline in Greece.
Variety. The Helicopter Museum has around 80 helicopters, with a few repeats. As a museum that started as a private collection, this is a real mish-mash of models, from the menacing to the silly. Honestly, I am amazed some of these ever flew. But my visit was definitely a fun day out.
Robinson R22 (foreground ) and a Sud Aviation’s SA321F Super Frelon
My aerial of the Sunset district took 3rd place in the Architecture - Cityscapes category and my Salt ponds shot got an Honorable Mention in Nature - Aerial category.
This year the 2013 International Photography Awards received nearly 15,000 submissions from 104 countries across the globe. The jury included respected magazine photo editors, curators and art buyers.
It’s always a great feeling to have been selected for an award and to check out the other winners work.
I only had time for a quick shoot during my Iceland trip but the landscape near Reykjavik changes pretty dramatically in only 15 minutes of flying.
Bláfjallavegur Road looked amazing curving through the snow covered lava fields near the Thrihnukagigur Volcano. The lava fields had some interesting patterns so I spent a little time trying to get some more abstract views with a hint of road for scale.
I had a great last minute aerial shoot on my short trip to Iceland. Reykjavik Helicopters made it happen with almost no notice on a cold but clear morning only a couple of hours before my flight back to London. Thanks guys - it was the highlight of my trip.
It was pretty windy, check out the horizontal windsock !
I concentrated on mostly new abstract landscapes as the really dramatic scenery was too far away to fly to and make it back in time for my UK flight this trip. Stayed tuned for some shots from the shoot.
It’s turned into a bit of a tradition for each aerial shoot to take a shot of the back of the helicopter from my position sitting out of the door on each trip. I call them my tail rotor shots, and I’m getting quite a collection. This one is over the bay bridge in San Francisco from an earlier blog post.
These two tail rotor shots from Iceland are maybe 10 minutes apart, and you can see how dramatically the landscape changes.
One of my aerial shots of San francisco made it into the final 200 photos for the 2012 World Open of Photography.
I took this shot on a crystal clear morning over the Sunset district of San Francisco. Despite the hopeful name, this is a neighborhood that is usually covered in fog. So when I saw the opportunity to shoot these long straight streets, I grabbed it. I really love that red siding on the house in the middle. My eye is drawn directly there. Then I start seeing all of the other houses around it.
It’s a great feeling to be selected for the final round, and to see some excellent photography from the other finalists.