The GetDPI Photography Forum

Great to see you here. Join our insightful photographic forum today and start tapping into a huge wealth of photographic knowledge. Completing our simple registration process will allow you to gain access to exclusive content, add your own topics and posts, share your work and connect with other members through your own private inbox! And don’t forget to say hi!

Medium Format Ariel photography?


Google search shows that GPI Pro moved from North Hollywood to Valencia in 2012.

GPI Pro Systems
25026 Anza Dr. Unit B
Valencia, CA 91355 - USA

(661) 257-5771 - Office
(661) 257-5775 - Fax


Active member
I would add one more thing, don't put the camera into the airstream. The moving air can create a distortion, plus it is annoying when bits of the camera fly off. Highest shutter speed is trump. Helicoptors are smoother if moving rather than hovering. It is best to run an arc around the subject so that it is a lot like a pan of a moving object. The subject is on the inside of the wheel and you are on the outside, so relatively speaking, the subject is hardly moving. Good luck and Happy New Year. Joe


I have shot aerials since 1979 - mostly 35mm and medium format film - until 2003. Since 2003 - all digital. I've shot around the world with both MF digital and DSLR's. A Gyro is an must-have tool for aerials with MF. Folks who use IS or VR are, in my opinion, kidding themselves about sharpness. A gyro is essential.

I shoot with my Alpa TC or my Hassy H series mated to a Leaf Credo back. I always use - either my Kenyon Labs KS 4x4 gyro or a KS-8 gyro.

Don't worry about depth of field, go for the highest shutter speed possible, stay out of a Robinson R-22 and remember, altitude is your friend.
I was just about to link to some of your images, but I didn't know that you are here.

Just look at some majestic images from Cameron, and Cameron loves the first and last hour of sunset:

Cameron Davidson Photographer Mary Virginia Swanson and the Alpa TC


I see that Cameron now updated his gear and I hope his website will have an example or two with his new Credo 60 and an unknown Hasselblad H series camera.

One of Cameron's most famous images for a shoot for Vanity Fair happened doing the golden hour:

Or how about a crisp autumn morning aerial of Manhattan?

Cameron Davidson Photography CD_2013_1020_nyc_aerial_0005_1

Cameron, do you still use sunPATH?

So, Gerald, it's possible to go medium-format during those magical hours of daylight.

P. S. Gerald, what does FPS and 32HR stand for? I think I know, but just in case. :)


Check also Nick Rains' website, he shoots with a Leica S2:

Nick Rains | Imaging | Search

Check page 9, for example, for a shot of the cliffs and the deep blue sea around it, though that one was made with a Canon, or page 13 for stunning medium-format images of the farmlands and wheatfields in the Stirling Ranges in Western Australia.

Or this:

Nick Rains | Imaging | Western Australia | Aerial

I believe Cameron Davidson is a follower of Adriel Heisey's work and perhaps he knows which camera Adriel now uses for his work. I believe previously it was a Pentax, it maybe still is his camera of choice. Cameron should know a few other photographers who shoot medium-format.

Basically, you should select Aperture Priority, select the aperture at which your lens is at its sharpest and monitor the shutter speed. I believe it is desirable to go around 1/700 and above.
Last edited by a moderator:


Zerimar, will those images ultimately end up on a website?


Hello All,

I was able to have a bucket list adventure, when I flew on an Airship Ventures Zeppelin (since has gone out of business) ride from Long Beach to Moffet Field in San Jose. I took well over 3,000 images with my Leica S2. It was amazing. Most of my images were taken with the 180mm lens. I had a high percentage of keepers. I tried to make sure that I shot the images at 1/2000 of a second. I also shot the images with the lens wide open. You can see more images at to see more images

Lovely photos.

Such a pity that from 3,000 images only a few made it online.

What's missing is the required photo of The Manor:

The Manor - photopilot



MU= mirror up
Thank you. :)

Does anybody know how did people use to judge exposure, and how they still do, in fact, when shooting film, 35 mm or medium-format, such as with a 6 × 7 Pentax, Mamiya or any other similar camera, or with a 6 × 6 Hasselblad or some other camera of that format?

Is there any sense in using a light meter for aerial photography?
The Pentax 645D is a good camera for aerials, if not for the possibility of moiré sometimes generated by roof structures at particular distances.
An example:

_IGP1551a by sergio lovisolo, on Flickr

The full size jpg is available on flickr.

My company, Pubbliaerfoto, has been active worldwide for the past half century,
shooting mainly with Linhof aerotecknica 4"x5" transparencies: main limit was low shutter speed and low film sensitivity. This notwithstanding, results were usually outstanding. With digital, everything got really easier, and now, with cameras like the pentax, or D800 or A7r in the near future there are no problems.

A link to a page of my site ( New York)

Aerial photo archive of Italy, Europe and World - Photo Agency - Image Bank

This argument has been discussed on Getdpi e.g.:

Thank you. :)

Does anybody know how did people use to judge exposure, and how they still do, in fact, when shooting film, 35 mm or medium-format, such as with a 6 × 7 Pentax, Mamiya or any other similar camera, or with a 6 × 6 Hasselblad or some other camera of that format?

Is there any sense in using a light meter for aerial photography?
No difference from every other type of photography.


I am so fascinated by that Linhof Aero Technika, you have no idea. How do you use that thing? It seems like such a beast. How do you set it up, choose / determine all the parameters?

I know a Dutch photographer Karel Tomeï uses it, you can see him holding it on his website:

Flying Camera

I'm also fascinated by those ancient cameras such as the Fairchild F8, used for example by Mary Upjohn Meader, who loaded it with special 5 × 7 film made by Kodak.

So with film I know that you have to guess. Are there any rules you use in practice? I've been trying to find film that I think should be great for aerial photography, and I ended up with Kodak Portra 400 120 colour negative film. Is there anything better? What sort of slide film did you use for your assignments?


New member
Absolutely take your medium format gear.

Two years ago I did aerial photography from a plane while in Belize. The kicker though was I used my Fuji 617, so it was film only for me. I used velvia 50 and provia 400. I got some good results. As others said you don't need to stop down, I believe I shot most of my shots at f8-f12 focused at infinity.

In the end I got about 4 very useable shots. I did have some with some motion blur, so I just threw those out. Handholding a 617 is hard enough, add a cramped plane too. I imagine the helicopter can go a lot slower or even stop for you. Either way have fun!

As for exposure, that easy, should just be sunny 16 rule. I also used my Olympus with the same settings as my Fuji to meter the first few shots though.

this is a shot of the south side of ambergris cage in Belize.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve by WRY Photo, on Flickr


Why does it say Canon to you, Bill?

To me it looks like a photo from the National Geographic of the 1970s and 1980s.



New member
I had a first attempt and experience with a Cambo RS with HR28mm and HR40mm aerial around Flinders Ranges SA (AU). The result was satisfactory considering that I had only the viewfinder to view my shots. But certainly there is more benefits with MF-DSLR.