Sunday, September 26, 2010

Whistler Heli Wedding

Natalie and Steve, with the storm we flew through to get to the location in the background.
Helicopter weddings are a rare treat for me, and something I really enjoy doing. This one with Natalie and Steve from Kamloops almost didn't go because of the stormy weather we've been having over the last few days. Luckily, we got a small window of clear weather and Natalie decided she wanted to go for it. The original plan was to land on the Rainbow glacier, but the high winds flowing over the peak were throwing the little A-Star helicopter around like a toy boat in a storm tide, so the pilot took us to Sprout Mountain, a much lower peak, but much more sheltered.

Our window of good weather was very short, and after only two minutes of portrait shooting time, Andy the pilot was yelling at me "we gotta go NOW!" By the time we took off, the area had already started to sock in.

Since we had such a short time for portraits, we stopped off at the Green Lake board walk for some extra photos. The weather was much calmer.

Since they were staying at the Four Season's resort, and since it's such a beautiful location, I thought I'd do a few photos there to finish up.

Tech Stuff
During the helicopter ride, I put most of my equipment in the rear luggage compartment, except for a D700 with a 17-35mm lens. Sitting in the back of a helicopter is like having four people in the back seat of a Honda Civic, so you don't have a lot of room for shooting pictures. There isn't enough head room for a camera flash either, so you just have to let the outside blow out.

There's almost no flash used in any of the photos except the last on in the Four Seasons. For that, I used a SB-900 on a stand with a photo umbrella.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lenses: Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8 (inside helicopter, Green lake), Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 (all wedding and mountain portraits), Nikon 85mm f/1.8 (B&W portrait and Four Seasons).
Lighting: Nikon SB-900 fill flash, SB-900 with SU-800 controller for Four Seasons.

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