High Altitude Night Flight Above NYC

This flight required extensive planning and special clearances – we were actually flying ABOVE all of the airline traffic landing at JFK, LGA and Newark airports … This project has been shared around the world by millions, as it expands to other cities around the globe & takes on exciting new forms, and to potentially be part of it!
I have to admit that it was very odd to be looking at airplanes – big ones: jetliners – flying beneath you!Ultimately this is a flight I will never forget. These are some of the most unique images that I have ever photographed of New York City in nearly two decades… And I’m not sure if, and, or when I’ll ever go back up that high above Gotham…I was recently on assignment for Men’s Health Magazine and I proposed shooting the city from an unusually high altitude so that we could capture the lines that are formed by the streets of New York at night. It was an article about psychology and I’ve always thought that from a high altitude the streets looked like brain “synapses” – at least to me.But something tells me this won’t be my last flight up there… Just maybe not THAT high…These are pictures I’ve wanted to make since I was in my teens, but the cameras simply have not been capable of capturing aerial images from a helicopter at night until very recently.

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Helicopters vibrate pretty significantly and you have to be able to shoot at a relatively high shutter speed (even with tools like a gyroscope) and that makes it incredibly difficult to shoot post sunset.Armed with cameras such as the Canon 1DX and the Mamiya Leaf Credo 50 MP back- both capable of shooting relatively clean files at 3200 & 6400 ISO and a series of f2.8 to f1.2 lenses including a few tilt-shift lenses.