On The Job Training

Something I learned this week: fighting the wind, cold and a spinning head are needed to photograph a fast moving pilot boat from a helicopter. One of the things I love about my work is I learn something new every assignment. I've done numerous aerial photo assignments of ferries and ships for local shipbuilder Vigor Industrial, but shooting a slow, lumbering ferry in Seattle’s Elliot Bay, I learned, is very different from photographing a speed boat at low altitude. With careful planning, though, and studying work done by other photographers, as well as extensive preparation with my pilot, it turned out to be a pretty straight forward assignment. The best kind of on-the-job-training.

It was only later when I was editing the images I realized that my opening photograph was taken at close to 30 knots, about 20 feet off the water and flying sideways. Again, when doing something outside your comfort zone and skill set: study and plan, study and plan.

Oh, and hire a very good pilot with nerves of steel.