TDF - A view from the air


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 08:08
I found it very difficult photographing from the helicopter. Our 'airspace' was 1500ft and the largest lens I had with me was the Sigma 50-150. I started off using the Pentax 17-70 which was not up to the task at all.

I also found that I 'reverted to type' and could not resist trying landscapes from the air - so forgive the shots devoid of anything to do with the race - hope they are interesting at least.

Image 7 is my home town Knaresborough. Towards the back in the centre is a building with a yellowish facade and a French flag - this is Knaresborough House where my wife and kids were standing to watch the race and waving frantically at me













No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 09:35
Really interesting shots Carl, looks like you had an amazing day...

Thanks for sharing
FF: Pentax K-1, D-FA* 70-200, D-FA 24-70, D-FA 100, D-FA 28-105, FA 77, FA 43
APSC: K3, K5, DA*50-135, DA*300, Sigma 17-50, Sigma 10-20, 18-55mm, DA 55-300mm, DA35, 1.4TC
4/3: Q10, Q, 01, 02, 06
Fuji XT1, XF18-55, XF27


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 09:38
Carl, I really envy you. I personally like the 2nd and last image, but they are all unique in that you had the opportunity to take them from the air. Its a shame you did not have a DA* 300 with you or something longer than the Sigma 150 you did have.


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 09:58
I do love aerial shots as you get a really unique perspective on things and places. Some of your shots are really crisp and sharp considering the vibration and turbulence
you would have had to handle.

For me the landscapes beat the TDF shots hands down. Nos 6, 8 and 12 are particularly good.

I think PU should run a competition with the prize being an hour of airborne photography over the UK landscape of your choice! Might even enter that one myself.



Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 10:04
Lovely shots Carl.
You certainly got to see the cyclists for longer than we did on the ground.
I took far more shots of support cars than the bikes themselves, which flashed past in around a minute, despite me chosing a spot with a longer view.

Juggling lenses in a Helicopter isn't easy, so having a longer lens with you would have drastically reduced your shots of the overal scene. I found the DA55-300 gave me a useful range and the vibration/windows probably introduce enough distortion that any IQ improvements in better optics become lost.

The scenic views are indeed interesting, so don't worry about including them!
Pentax:K5ii, K7, K100D, DA18-55, DA10-17, DA55-300, DA50-200, F100-300, F50, DA35 AL, 4* M50, 2* M135, Helicoid extension, Tak 300 f4 (& 6 film bodies)
3rd Party: Bigmos (Sigma 150-500mm OS HSM),2* 28mm, 100mm macro, 28-200 zoom, 35-80 zoom, 80-200 zoom, 80-210 zoom, 300mm M42, 600 mirror, 1000-4000 scope, 50mm M42, enlarger lenses, Sony & micro 4/3 cameras with various PK mounts, Zenit E...
Far to many tele-converters, adapters, project parts & extension tubes etc.

.[size=11:].Flickr WPF Panoramio


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 10:30
For me the landscapes and aerial shots of the town are great, I particularly like 6 and 12. The TDF ones give a sense of the scale of the event (the crowds lining the streets in 7 particularly), but are removed from the action so don't convey that. What an opportunity though!


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 12:28
The areal pictures are better at showing the complete peloton in full cry winding through the streets than would be possible from ground level.
I love the landscapes.

Last Edited by davidtrout on 10/07/2014 - 12:30


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 13:43
Great stuff . Lucky man

Crossroads shot is my pick.

As the tour came past I was mesmerised by the number of helicopters in tow (7?) and the way they circled together. Presumably they have to fly in defined formation for safety?

Some of my vaguely better stuff


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 15:29
Northgrain wrote:
I was mesmerised by the number of helicopters in tow (7?) and the way they circled together. Presumably they have to fly in defined formation for safety?

5 TDF helicopters Tim plus assorted media, and on Saturday - the Queen's helicopter.

The TDF helicopters don't follow a set pattern as such - but kind of 'follow the leader' and have set operating heights and airspace (1500 feet in our case).

No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more
Last Edited by fritzthedog on 10/07/2014 - 15:31


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 22:32
Well that was different

The last one is my favourite
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 22:38
These are great once again Carl, another very different perspective on the action. Funnily enough, I think the ones of the cyclists are less successful than the landscapes are! Same as Stuey, the last one for me is my favourite.


Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 23:04
Thanks everybody - and for the record - I prefer the landscapes too - but then - as many of you know - landscapes are my thing

No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more


Link Posted 11/07/2014 - 01:16
Good shots Carl.

Looks like you caught part of the Menwith Hill facility in number 11.

Best regards


Link Posted 11/07/2014 - 02:07
Great shots and what a great experience to work from a Heli
My Flickr


Link Posted 11/07/2014 - 05:39
Great set! I also prefer the landscape but the images of the peloton do work well for me, too. Longer lens would have been nice but it's also a bit more hit and miss with the vibration.
How inappropriate to call this planet earth when it is quite clearly Ocean. - Arthur C. Clarke
Prieni's PPG page
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.