The best aerial shots of New York… ever: Photographer captures breathtaking images of the Big Apple from three miles up in an open-door helicopter
The lives of millions of people captured in single frames – and in a uniquely breathtaking fashion.
We’ll hazard a guess you won’t have seen aerial images of New York as jaw-dropping as these before. They were taken by photographer Paul Seibert, who pushed his creativity to new heights to produce them – literally.
Paul, who has lived in New York for most of his life, took the pictures from an open-door helicopter from nearly three miles up (15,000ft) – something he believes has never been done before over the Big Apple.
He told MailOnline Travel: ‘These images were created by a lot of planning. From the idea to realization, it took two years. I worked with my cinematographer Alex Geiger, and an aerial film production helicopter company. Together we ascended to 15,000 feet above the ground to capture these images. It was the first flight of its kind, and I’m so proud of the outcome.
‘The aircraft wasn’t pressurized so at 10,000ft and above the pilot was required to be on oxygen. We had the option to use O2, but decided against it, as we had experience flying at 13,000ft and above in Colorado over the Rockies. The pilot who flew this flight has had multiple years operating in the media and production community. He perfectly interpreted my desires for angle and time spent at each location.
‘I loved how many lives are lived out in one frame when you can see the entire city and beyond. In one frame, there were upwards of eight to nine million lives just starting their day. It felt overwhelming to witness yet, at the same time very intimate.’ Scroll down to see New York as you’ve never seen it before…
Photographer Paul Seibert ascended to an altitude of 15,000ft in an open-door helicopter to capture images of New York
We’ll hazard a guess you won’t have seen aerial images of New York as jaw-dropping as these before
Paul, who has lived in New York for most of his life, said: ‘These images were created by a lot of planning. From the idea to realization, it took two years’
Paul worked with cinematographer Alex Geiger and an aerial film production helicopter company to capture these photos
This is Paul’s favourite image of the set. He said: ‘The grid of NYC is very pleasing to my OCD, and I was so excited it came out aligned so well, and as sharp as it was
What sort of camera and equipment did Paul use for these aerial shots? He said: ‘I shoot on Canon EOS R5 cameras. For this flight I took two camera bodies. One body had a wide-angle zoom lens, the Canon RF 15-35mm 2.8L lens, and the other body had a telephoto zoom lens, the Canon RF 70-200 2.8L lens. This allowed me to take these extremely expansive images, as well as capturing details of buildings and neighborhoods from almost three miles above the ground’
Does Paul have any tips for taking great aerial pictures for amateurs? He said: ‘Before you take off, have five images in your mind’s eye that you absolutely want to get. When your target starts coming into view, start to dial in your exposure settings, and be prepared to shoot. Once you get those five shots, everything else is icing on the cake’
Paul said: ‘The pilot who flew this flight has had multiple years operating in the media and production community’
New York in winter mode. What is it about New York that Paul loves? He said: ‘I love the speed, the people, the food, the culture, the architecture, and the history’
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