There is something to said about being in the right place at the right time. It can make all the difference between a good photo and a great photo. Well that’s part of the story about how I got this photo of a helicopter rising out of the fog.
I was up the top of Mt Panorama in Bathurst (in Central New South Wales, Australia if you’ve not been) for work. It was one of those morning’s where there was a little bit of a fog around, but nothing really note worthy at the start of the day. As I, and several other photographers, got to the top of Mt Panorama the fog started to close in.
It was still quite early in the morning and from my vantage point, I was above the worst of the fog. One of the unique experiences where you are standing above the clouds with just a light haze where I was standing.
The city of Bathurst disappeared underneath me and all I could see was the outlines of the mountains off in the distance. The fog was so thick that what I was there to shoot had to be delayed for safety reasons. Leaving me sitting on top of a mountain watching the horizon to see when the fog would ease up.
I tried to take a couple of photos of the fog, but they turned out to be mostly just a haze. What I needed something to be the focus of the image, something to rise above the fog to make the photo really work.
Camera still in hand, I heard a helicopter off in the distance. It’s like the helicopter pilot was reading my mind. Out of the fog the helicopter popped and I snapped a couple of shots. This particular shot with the faint outline of the mountains off the in distance was my favourite from the sequence.
I used a slow-ish shutter speed (about 1/200th) to make sure that the rotor blades had some motion blur. Which in turn kept the aperture quite narrow, helping in keeping the mountains off in the distance recognisable.
Turns out that wasn’t the only helicopter to fly past that morning. Here’s a another photo of different helicopter, a bit later in the morning as the fog started to ease. The change in light with a lighter fog and the sun higher in the sky made for another unique shot.
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