Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/16 1/100 sec - Michael Grobe
Recently joined the shooting of the 40th anniversary commercial for OBI as vfx supervisor on the set in Slovenia. Always love helicopter shoots. The image above shows the difficulties of shooting a helicopter properly. To get the desired motionblur on the rotor blades, a shutter speed of 1/100 sec was used, but that means tracking the helicopter with the camera to achieve sharpness of the hull. So the camera goes into AF servo mode for focus tracking and you shoot continous bursts of images to capture the peak moment. Aperture was set to f/16 to be able to shoot a bright target in full sunlight with that slow shutter speed, for a wider aperture a Neutral Density (ND) filter would be needed but wasn't handy at the moment.
Shooting the helicopter wasn't the main task obviously, the usual set photography on a commercial or movie set to collect data for the vfx post production is mostly of technical nature and not to achieve creative results. You bring home hundreds or sometimes even thousands of images for texturing, digital environments and mattepaintings together with HDR 360° panoramas for lighting the computer graphics.
The commercial can be found here.