Today we introduce our newest series, Aerials by Highsnobiety. We've partnered with York Galland aka @iflyheli, who owns and flies his own helicopter in Southern California, to showcase various photographers' aerial prospective of the region. Kicking the initiative off, we teamed up with Los Angeles-based photographer asteryx.
Who are you, and where are you from?
Hello, Terry Mclaughlin here aka @asteryx on Instagram. Originally from Wichita, Kansas, and lived in Los Angeles since 2006. Started my Instagram as a hobby and in the last year fell in love with aerial photography.
How did you feel about heights before this?
I think I'm still afraid of heights somewhat. Like standing on the edge of rooftops freaks me out. But up in the heli I find a certain peace. You have to have a certain trust with your pilot and I'm not afraid up there. But I have been flying for some time now.
How did you enjoy the experience?
I always enjoy my flights. Especially when you know you're getting killer shots and content. There is a certain feeling of freedom when you're flying that is a photographer's dream. I think the most important thing about aerial photography is that you find a great pilot like @iflyheli and that you build trust with that pilot. It's important that the pilot and the shooter have an understanding of photography and are able communicate their goals and the angles they want to accomplish with the flight for the shoot to be successful.
What was the most interesting thing you saw?
Everything you see from above is interesting. When you're in the air it changes your whole perspective about the city. We flew over the ocean and saw the fleets of cargo ships coming to port, oil rigs... Flying over the bridges was amazing; we flew over the beaches and piers for amazing shots. Over the city you get these amazing lookdowns with crazy angles of the buildings... Oh and the LA freeways with the tiny little cars moving like toys in the streets. One of the other cool things you see is the air traffic working over the city, with all other planes and helicopters flying around and how air control works to keep us safe.
What camera equipment did you use?
I shoot with a Nikon D810 and my 14-24 wide angle, and my 24mm 1.4 prime lens. Not the best setup for shooting up there but I get it done.
What difficulties are there shooting from this high up?
I shoot in manual mode so it's very hard to constantly adjust the settings on the fly to get the shots right. Every movement is a different setting, but I love the challenge. Second is being able to communicate with the pilot on exactly the angle and shots you want to get. Sometimes things go down so fast.
Could you see your house?
I could definitely see my neighborhood. Maybe one of these days I should get a shot of my house.
If anyone is inspired by aerial photography I recommend shooting at sunset first for the best light and results, because shooting at night is a different animal.