Photo: Maui from Above

Maui from Above

To say that I’m excited right now would be an understatement. This shot from our first (and only) helicopter tour was taken over 3 years ago on our first trip to Maui. A nice view, no doubt, but is it that big a deal?

Well, about 4 hours ago, I just booked a 45-minute, doors-off helicopter tour as part of the Maui Photo Festival next week. Yes, doors-off! How many times is a web developer from Chicago going to hang out of a helicopter to take photos of scenery like this? Not too many, my friend.

The Selling Point
When I first learned about the photo festival back in February, I was immediately interested. It sounded like such a great opportunity. The budget part of things, however, didn’t seem like it was in the cards. You know, maybe next year.

That was until they announced the helicopter tour with former Air Force photographer, Stacy Pearsall. The thought of getting to experience a look of Maui from above without windows or doors in my way was just too good to pass up.

The Opportunity
So, just how big of an opportunity is this? We’ll, there festival organizers are planning for about 300-350 attendees in the inaugural event. For the helicopter tour, there were only two 45-minute flights available. And for each flight, only 3 passengers each. 6 people out of 350, and I’m one of them. Sweet.

The Results?
We’ll have to wait for those, but regardless, I’m just totally stoked this is actually happening. I’m not sure how much of the 45-minute flight I’ll get to be shooting on my own. If could be 15 minutes, it could be longer.

I do know I’ll be looking for a ton of advice and also bringing along both my Canon’s (EOS 20D and Rebel XSi) so that I shoot both wide angle and telephoto with ease. It worked with some success last February with the whales, but I imagine it will be even better when I’m chasing air spouts above the ocean surface.

Wish me luck.

P.S.: If you wanted to see more photos from my first helicopter tour in ’06, check them out on the Helicopter Tour page at Maui by Photo.

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