Photography Bjorn Olin of http://www.essingen.com has done some pretty amazing, he’s taken to helicopters as his camera aid in getting some amazing shots.
You can see some of the footage from the helicopter:
Check out the helicopters as well as the history behind how he got into it.
Here’s Bjorn with one of the helicopters loaded with a Nikon D3
The single rotor, I call it ED 209, because there are some similarities. It is pretty dangerous to operate but it is the best flyer in regards of speed and strength.
Octocopter. This is a toy compared to the single rotors but for precision work it is superior. Also it is much less dangerous to operate.
In late 2007 I travelled up north in Sweden to witness the devastation caused by large scale forest clear-cutting. My job was to get the word out by photographing the damage. I tried really hard, but from the ground I was not able to show the extent of the situation. The pictures did not stand out.
During this trip I realized that I must get my camera up into the air. Not like regular aerial photography from planes, or satellite imagery. I wanted close up wide angle shots with details and drama.
I started to explore the options; Helium balloons, cranes, poles and RC planes. None of them suited my purposes very well, since I operate in roadless hard to reach areas, and my camera gear is heavy. For example, a helium mini zeppelin that lifts 2 kilos of equipment is seven meters long, two meters wide and the helium to fill it costs a fortune.
One day when I took a walk on the iced lake outside my house I stumbled upon a guy who was operating an electric RC helicopter. He did some truly amazing tricks with this helicopter. I asked him if it could lift a 2 kg camera. He said it was no problem.
The same night I ordered a simulator, a large sized RC helicopter and began to practice. Then, three years followed with crashes, fires and major defeats. This helicopter flying was far from easy and the project involved some serious technical handyman skills. It was a “Do It Yourself” world. In the first year I tried to outsource the technical work to people who liked it, but the logistics to order and transport parts to different places for assembly was tiresome. With time I learned to do more and more things myself.
In 2011 the project finally started to deliver. Now I operate three helicopters, specialized for photography and film. All of them can fly in pitch black winter nights, enabling me to do photography from dusk to dawn.
- Bjorn (http://www.essingen.com/)