Some great shots from my left seat.
One of the things that’s so frustrating to me as a pilot and photographer is that I can’t do both activities at the same time. You see, when I fly, my hands are full. I can’t let go of the cyclic to frame a shot — the helicopter would begin aerobatic maneuvers that would make me sick (or worse). So although I get to see some pretty amazing things from the air, I rarely get a chance to take a decent picture of any of it.
So I was tickled pink today when I went through my Google Alerts and found that photographer Ann Torrence had mentioned me in two recent blog posts. In each post, she shared a photo she’d taken from the left seat of my helicopter when we flew from Page to Marble Canyon and back on August 16.
The first post shows a great — and very unusual — shot of Horseshoe Bend. Everyone takes the same picture of this place, primarily because they all take it from the same viewpoint, on the east side of the cliff. But when you’re in a helicopter, above the terrain, you can shoot from anywhere. And as I circled this outrageous bend in the Colorado River, Ann shot from the northwest. As she said, it’s the first time she’d seen it from that angle. And it’s the first time I’ve seen a picture taken from there.
The second post shows the two Navajo Bridges — historic and newer — over Marble Canyon. Marble Canyon is the extreme starting point of the Grand Canyon. It’s a narrow, deep gorge cut through relatively flat rock plateau. As I used to tell my Grand Canyon passengers, it was named by John Wesley Powell, one of the original explorers of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, who thought the walls of the canyon were made of marble. (They’re not.) From the air, it looks like a crack. Ann’s shot of the bridges is pretty good, although I did have a passenger take a nice shot for me, years ago, from the other side of the bridge looking downstream. Trouble is, the bridge is in restricted airspace, so you can’t just fly around it. You can only fly past on landing or takeoff from Marble Canyon’s little airport.
I should point out here that there are other images taken from my helicopter in the Page, AZ area on the Web. Photographer Mike Reyfman has a number of galleries of Lake Powell and Monument Valley. And at least one photo taken from my aircraft in this area has wound up in a Cessna magazine ad.
Anyway, I’m up in Page, AZ, offering photo flights in the area through American Aviation. I’ll be here through the end of September and possibly into October. If you’re in the area and want to see a different perspective for your photos, give American a call at 928/608-1060. They’ll set you up for a photo flight you’ll never forget. And maybe — just maybe — you’ll get some photos as good as Ann’s and Mike’s.