New York Mag’s Stunning Sandy Cover Was Shot From A Moving Helicopter
Well, before we got a chance to ask photographer Iwan Baan ourselves, Poynter got the scoop: He did in fact rent a helicopter.
We can tell you that New York airspace was indeed open throughout Sandy and its aftermath despite the airports being closed. In fact, without any arriving or departing airliners in the neighborhood, air traffic controllers allowed the chopper to hover at a higher altitude than would ever have been allowed if any of the nearby airports were open. That altitude provided the perfect angle for the cover shot.
It also helped that Baan had the latest and greatest Canon camera setup on the market: A Canon 1D X body behind a new Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L Mark II lens. He opened the aperture all the way and set the ISO to 25,000 with a 1/40 shutter speed. “[It was] the kind of shot which was impossible to take before this camera was there,” Baan told Poynter. We’ve all tried it from planes with lesser cameras, and sometimes you might get one keeper that isn’t a complete streaky, grainy mess, but even those are hardly worthy of a magazine cover.
Personally seeing lower Manhattan almost completely dark was jarring enough from ground level. I can’t imagine how surreal it must have been to see it while hanging out the side of a bouncing helicopter a couple thousand feet above the harbor.
Of course we’d also love to know where he rented the helicopter to give the pilot and some love too. We’ve sent Baan an email, so hopefully we’ll find out soon.