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Police Helicopter Portfolio

Discussion in 'Photojournalism, Candids and Street Photography' started by SoCalBob, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. SoCalBob


    Feb 9, 2006
    Riverside, CA
    Corona, California, is a prosperous and rapidly-growing sprawling city of 150,000 in Southern California with excellent police and fire departments. One thing that is rather unusual for such a small city is that the police department owns and operates a Bell 407 Jet Ranger helicopter based out of Corona's small airport.

    Over the past couple of years, hanging around the airport with my camera, I've made friends with the helicopter's crew members and taken numerous photos of the chopper. Last week I finally decided to compile my best photos into a very small portfolio and print out 8x10's of them on my Epson R800 for presentation to the police chief and the crew members. These are the selected 8x10's.

    #1 - It's quite a challenge to make a helicopter sitting on the ground look "sexy" but a very colorful setting sun reflected on the plexiglass and body made this shot a bit more interesting.


    #2 - Crown 1 preparing for takeoff. Taken at dusk (much darker than the picture makes it appear) with the 24-120VR lens, 120mm, 1/15 @ f/5.6, ISO 1600 with a D50. Quite severely cropped, so the noise was actually less than I'd expected.


    #3 - Crown 1 taking off. Lots of PP required for this one including cloning out telephone wires and a portion of a hangar roof at the bottom right, plus quite a lot of levels, brightness and contrast adjustment due to the contrasty light. And no wonder the guys in the helicopter are looking at me because I was very close. This was taken at 65mm using the 18-200VR.


    #4 - A close-cropped shot of the Crown 1 crew.


    #5 - Finally, a shot of Crown 1 doing double duty supporting the Corona Fire Department with fire suppression on a brush fire that threatened homes within the city limits.


    Thanks for looking.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2007
  2. Ptchfork


    Jul 8, 2007
    New York City
    WOW... great shots... love the last one.

    That also must have been quite an experience
  3. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Great stuff Bob! Yu know I'm a helicopter fan - now anyways after seeing your shots. I especially like #4, and I know Darren and Steve will too!
  4. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Excellent images
    They will love these for sure.
    Great jesture on your part
  5. These are fantastic, I like each one and the story it shows!!
  6. VoidRaven


    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH
    Very nice shots and I think you idea of the small portfolio gift is an excellent one! The simple thank you gesture will certainly be VERY well received by the chief and crew.
  7. SoCalBob


    Feb 9, 2006
    Riverside, CA
    Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone. I'm actually quite proud of this series. I printed out five 8x10 copies of each and I'll be mailing one copy of the series to the chief, plus giving copies to members of the Crown 1 crew.

    I can't afford to provide the department with big (up to 16x20) Mpix enlargements metallic paper (which I know would look spectacular), but I will certainly invite the chief to order them if he's willing to cover the cost with no profit for me in this venture, of course.

    A subtle message I intend to sneak in as well is that I'd love to get his authorization for a brief ride-along in the helicopter, which is practically unheard of for civilians.
  8. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005

    These are great. I like Crown 1 10-8 (enroute in service)

    Thanks for sharing,
  9. Bob, these are great. I can't wait to hear the feedback you receive from the department and crew. I am sure they will appreciate your work.
  10. Rob


    Jul 28, 2005
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    Bob, Helicopters on the deck can be sexy, depends on equipment levels and time of day. :biggrin::wink:

    My bird from Northern Ireland 1977. Gazelle AH1 with Nitesun and skyshout fitted. Taken with Yashica Electro35.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

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  11. snownow


    Jul 13, 2006
    so cal
    Nice work!
  12. Love the shots, very nice.
  13. Great work, Bob. I have a daughter who moved to Corona from Mississippi and loves it there. We were there in May.
  14. Nice work.

    Here's a link to the Sonoma County SO's helicopter division. http://www.henry1.com/

    A friend of mine is the Sgt. in charge of the SAR division. Hopefully I'll be able to make it out there sometime this year to fly with them.
  15. SoCalBob


    Feb 9, 2006
    Riverside, CA
    Thanks everyone, and special thanks to David for that link to the Sonoma County Sheriff's helicopter division. That's a very impressive website with some fantastic videos!
  16. bunimoo


    Sep 6, 2006
    last one did it for me...great shots
  17. klnyc


    Jun 24, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    Nice shots :) 
    You know, I couldnt take pics like those here in NYC. I probably get locked up by shooting pics on NYPD chopper:biggrin:
  18. Tintop

    Tintop Guest

    This is a great series which captures the working life of the chopper and crew well. I'm sure they'll be really happy getting the prints as a gift. Nice work.
  19. great series.
    good job
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