Photographing while flying on a helicopter above the New York, combined with unpredictable winds, sound of chopper rotors, make the feeling when looking through the lens of your camera a truly heart-pumping experience. I have over 500 hours of experience in flying and photographing from the helicopter and the excitement is always the same for me, especially when flying above the stunning rows and columns of glowing light of iconic Manhattan skyline.
Each location that I visit has a story, and I try to use that story as an inspiration when taking photographs to truly give it justice. New York has always given me plenty, each and every time I visited it, always inspiring me, and of course, providing me with plenty of photographic opportunities with it’s grandeur and majesty! There’s a thrill that comes from photographing the City that Never Sleeps from a helicopter point of view, be it from beneath tall buildings, on top of them, or above one of the New York’s rivers.
But there is something especially stunning about the City that Never Sleeps when seen from the top down and Hawkes’ method of getting his birds-eye-views are equally inspiring. Furthermore, this aerial photoshooting of New York city was the biggest challenge because of the low-light conditions. Photographic experience and knowledge are then reaching new levels because darkness and lack of light most often make some unreal effects thus changing the photographers themselves into real artists.
There is a particular mesmerising feel that I try to capture that is within the mysterious street lights of New York. It’s grid-like shapes hugging the city blocks leave a sense both of vastness and perfection of human design. When you’re so high and up above it all, you can see how close things are, and you realize everything is much more within reach than we all realize. And that’s the power of aerial photography: to show you this.
I always look forward to visiting New York City! A cultural hub of the world, it’s rich and exciting history is underplayed in the walls of each and every one of it’s buildings. Old and new, modern and traditional, it retains it’s cultural spirit that is America, all the while constantly growing and changing into something new, yet still familiar, still American. Is has birthed great many individuals that have shaped it’s history, and has gone by the names such as “The Great American Melting Pot,” “Gotham,” “The City that Never Sleeps”, and of course by the great late John J. Fitz Gerald, “The Big Apple.”