We stopped here for a quick re-fuelling before heading off to look over Milford Sound in the falling light. We were quite lucky the weather was so clear because big rains and storms can roll in here any time but in any case, our pilot wasn’t too worried as he told us that his chopper was faster than a storm.
You never know what the weather conditions will be like in Milford Sound. It’s a 4-hour trip to get there, and, whatever happens, happens. I think it’s beautiful in any kind of situation. Most of the time there is rain and fog and moodiness, as you can see here and as always with that place it’s still like a cover of a sci-fi novel.
As usual, every Sunday we release a new video for Passport Members. Today, you’ll see some videos from my fun day flying in a helicopter over the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand. You’ll also see 700+ terrible photos and how I made the selections of my favorites. Enjoy!
Today’s video shows the 700+ photos I took and how I chose my favorites. I don’t do a lot of processing in here (though you do see some results), so this one is more about how I separate the wheat from the chaff.
We landed at this awesome location just north of Milford Sound to jump out and take some photos. As you can see, the weather was amazing and the light was perfect. It was quite lucky, as there is often a ton of rain pouring in after it crosses the Tasman Sea (the ocean between Australia and New Zealand), so we took the opportunity to take a ton of photos!
Choppy made a stop at the airport in Milford Sound to re-fuel the helicopter so we could keep the flight going longer. It was a super-long day of flying with nearly five hours in the air. I’m not sure how much fuel a helicopter can hold, but we were flying pretty hard so probably about three hours worth… By hard flying, we actually had two helicopters up as we were flying from location to location.
Today, if you’re a Passport member, then you’ll get to see some clips from the amazing 8K footage we captured for Over The Top Helicopters here in Queenstown, New Zealand for my friend Choppy! What kind of equipment did we use? We took up two helicopters, one of them had the first 8K flight setup anywhere in the world – specifically, the Shotover P1 MK ll dedicated 8K gimbal with a Red Monstro camera and Angenieux 36/435 zoom lens.
And here are a few of my favorite photos I captured on those amazing few days of shooting!
Here are some of the best video shorts we got from helicopter to helicopter! They are going to be using these in HD at trade shows and stuff to run in the background and other edits will be used for different purposes. Thanks again to the whole team for helping out!
Not far from where today’s photo was taken is the famous tunnel to Milford Sound. Here’s a 360 video we released that shows what the experience is like!
Daily Photo – A Moody Fog in Doubtful Sound
What an awesomely moody morning! I was really hoping for a bit more clarity, but sometimes I can be a little moody too. It was pretty cold outside, as we were here in the late Autumn. It was one of those rather misty mornings, so the cold really felt like having a cool blanket around you all the time. Every few minutes, I’d have to wipe down my lens… but this Sony A7r Mark 3 seems perfectly weather-sealed so far, so that is great news!
Here’s a quick hit tip about making imperfect reflections in Milford Sound.
And here’s one of my favorite photos from this same spot!
Daily Photo – A Royal Panorama
I don’t make a lot of panoramas with my quad, but I thought this was the perfect situation. Usually, it shoots at such a wide angle that panoramas are not even necessary. But I wanted to do something that would end up with a much higher resolution. So I got a lot closer to the castle then normal and took four or five photos across.
My best advice is to come for at least 10 days and spend the entire time on the south island. Rent a camper van and just roll around all over the place. Some people try to squeeze in the North Island and the South Island into one trip. Just do the south. The north is fine, but it’s too much to squeeze into one trip.
Daily Photo – Tane Kayaking in Doubtful Sound
It was a very moody evening in Doubtful Sound, and it wasn’t just moody because of Tane. The afternoon had seen 70 knot winds, which translates to about 130 kilometers per hour or 80 mph. Crazy, eh? We couldn’t even go outside on the deck. The crew really seemed to enjoy all the wind; for what reason, I cannot discern. It also made me wonder more about why the measurement of knots came about rather than kph or mph. Even as I write this, I’m going to go look this up.
Okay I just looked it up, and it is only vaguely interesting. Here you go:
A knot is one nautical mile per hour (1 knot = 1.15 miles per hour). The term knot dates from the 17th century, when sailors measured the speed of their ship by using a device called a “common log.” This device was a coil of rope with uniformly spaced knots, attached to a piece of wood shaped like a slice of pie. The piece of wood was lowered from the back of the ship and allowed to float behind it. The line was allowed to pay out freely from the coil as the piece of wood fell behind the ship for a specific amount of time. When the specified time had passed, the line was pulled in and the number of knots on the rope between the ship and the wood were counted. The speed of the ship was said to be the number of knots counted (Bowditch, 1984).