Hanging out of a Chopper

Here is another photo that I took that evening when I was flying in a helicopter around downtown Chicago. The pilots were cool enough to take off the door to give me an unencumbered view. That part was great — the thing I did not expect was the 200 MPH backwash flying through the cavity. It made it rather tough to keep the camera steady!

This is a shot (on Facebook) that Fiona got of me hanging out of the helicopter (albeit on the ground!).

Now, I know some of you EXIF-hunters love to know all the dirty details of the exposure. I keep it inside the Flickr page if you click on More Properties. But to save you the time, here is the basic info. BTW, this is a single-exposure RAW file that I converted into an HDR. This was shot at f/2.8 with an Exposure Bias of -5. The shutter was 1/8000, the ISO 800, and it was shot at 18mm. The camera was the Nikon D3X and it was shot with the 14-24mm 2.8 lens. I have details of all that stuff over there in the HDR Camera equipment area.

Hanging Out of the Chopper

  • Jordan

    Simply Amazing trey!
    I’m making this my new desktop.

  • Love the glow!

    PS: this would have been great as a fake tilt shift…

  • Holy crap, Trey. Hanging out of a chopper?!? That’s some hard core Joe McNally sh*t! Gorgeous shot.

  • Facebook User

    I have flown around Chicago in a helicopter a few times and you have managed to capture just how amazing it is to view such a wonderful city in such a unique way! Your pictures continue to amaze me Trey, keep up the great work!

  • Fantastic!

  • Wonderful! I love the reflected glow on the buildings in the back.

  • Gary

    “A perfect picture shot”. Congrats.

  • Wow Trey! This has gotta be one of my favourites of yours. Love the way that wide aperture makes the background all blurry. it creates a sense of depth and the way the picture seems to fade into the sunset is really beautiful!

  • Brien

    Great shot. Being FROM Chicago (left 30+ years ago) I love seeing Chicago shots. I’m still trying to learn how you get HDR from ONE shot. Keep up the good work. I’m going to try to make the walking tour on 8/6. My “Amateur Photog Meetup” group will be there too.

  • Great image! I’m amazed that you managed to pull out all that foreground detail while looking straight into the sun with -5EV compensation. Does the D3X metering behave differently from other cameras in this situation? I would expect the foreground to fall into shadow without any exposure compensation with an into the sun shot like this.

  • What an amazingly beautiful photo, Trey!!! Love the sunshine in the background along with the blue sky. Chicago looks inviting from the sky, very nice colors in this one. And then the water of Lake Michigan just adds that much more to the photo. We tend to take the northern route when we go back and forth to Michigan. We don’t like “driving” through Chicago on I80, lol. Hubby hates it. Would like to visit my niece and her little boy there though, someday!!!! Meanwhile, apple dumpling making here today, 900 of them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I have heard great things about the D3X’ Dynamic Range… Wow, very nice shot!

  • Great – Thanks all!

    Brien – fun – yes be sure to come over and introduce yourself during the Photowalk ๐Ÿ™‚

    Dave – I am not sure. I set to -5 EXP because I was looking at the histogram and it was totally blown out when shooting into the sun.

    Gail – save me some Apple Dumplings! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow……

    Man…. This is one of its kind.

    Planning for a chopper trip to the Grand Canyon and was wondering about the settings needed.

    Trey… You are amazing…

  • casusan

    Wow is right! Beautiful shot Trey – love the blue and gold tones!

  • Ah – thank goodness for chimping! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dude, this is awesome! A testament to your talent, technique and the amazing flexibility of the D3X file. Very inspiring.

  • decent

  • Mike

    I agree with the other comment.. Joe McNally stunts… remember your kids are younger!

    Trey, any chance you are going to do an in depth tutorial on single shot HDR processing? I’ve found it to be a lot harder than a 10 shot HDR effort. Just joined your facebook fan club.

    Your work is inspiring!


  • Tim Lovelady

    Smooooooth…. Are you using photomatix 3.2 yet?

  • This is pretty amazing…I cannot believe this is one exposure (except for the fact that the title is Hanging Out of a Chopper! That gave me a hint!).

  • Fiona Murphy

    I think we need an encore. Vegas, perhaps. You bring your brilliance, I’ll show up with the chopper. That seems to be a good combo. ; )

    I’ll also have two tickets to the coaster at the top of the Stratosphere in my pocket. There’s a killer shot from the front seat as it dangles over the city that is just dying to be captured…

  • Carlisle

    This scenery recalls the time while I’m in Chicago. The place itself there is simply and irrestibly fantastic.

    Super-duper shot!

  • Fantastic, I love it. The processing is super!

  • Alvin

    what the……… bracketing while in chopper?? how ?
    i thought it won’t be steady enough to do it……

  • FANtastic shot Trey! Love the yellows and blues.

    In January, I flew in a chopper like the one shown in the facebook link, but we had the doors on for that ride. But last August, in Maui, I flew in this Hughes 500D with the doors off (as shown in link below) and it was not very windy at all:


    I’m thinking of chartering a helicopter to go around downtown Austin around sunset. Let me know if you want in on that deal. I figure it would be me, the pilot and two other photogs. Anyway, see you at the photowalk next week!

  • Wow! Great shot!

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