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Aerial By Night

You know life is treating you well when you have to make a decision between flying around Sydney in a helicopter at night, or flying south to Victoria to surf a monster swell. The photographer in me won this battle as I had been planning a night shoot over the city for some time. Conditions last week were lining up to be perfect with the forecasts showing a two-day window that was the best for aerial photography I had seen in nearly three years.

There are so many reasons why photographing from a helicopter at night simply shouldn’t work. But get the mix of equipment, aircraft, pilot (and photographer) right and you can push the limits of a modern digital camera to produce photographs like these, photographs that I really hope you like.

I will bring you part B of my two-day aerial spree soon, I wanted to show these night images on their own. It was an adventure to get it done and I can’t wait to have another go, perhaps in a different city. If you like these photographs and want to see more, leave a comment at the bottom of this post to let me know…
Enjoy your day,
Joel Coleman.

Manly By Night

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23 Comments
  • Lyn
    Posted at 23:53h, 08 May Reply

    Brilliant shots!

  • tom-paul jagg
    Posted at 00:09h, 09 May Reply

    what spectacular views. Im proud of Sydney. FANTASTIC photos Joel!
    Well Done, as Per usual.

  • Barbara Foster
    Posted at 00:12h, 09 May Reply

    These shots are spectacular, so crystal clear and vibrant. Well done and thank you for sharing. Sorry you missed your ‘wave’ though.

    • Joel Coleman
      Posted at 00:14h, 09 May Reply

      Cheers Barbara, I am happy I stayed to do this, missing a surf trip is a small price to pay I think! 🙂

  • Richard Webbe
    Posted at 00:14h, 09 May Reply

    What stunning photos with such “light box” detail.
    I would be interested to know the method?
    Just amazing.

  • pete gee
    Posted at 00:22h, 09 May Reply

    spectac stuff Joel
    going from strength to strength
    and unless you were surfing Bells/Winki area ( as spectac as yr pics), ya missed little here as wind and size effectively cancelled most of the coast those 2 days

    • Joel Coleman
      Posted at 00:25h, 09 May Reply

      Thanks for the comforting words Pete… I planned on heading to a ‘not so secret’ spot away from the crowds and in the brunt of the swell, my mates got a few down there. I’d happily miss it again to get in a heli at night though, its such an amazing way to photograph.

  • Kevin Deacon
    Posted at 00:34h, 09 May Reply

    Stunning images in this genre Joel, well done, you have come a long way from the underwater days of Lord Howe! Your images keep me connected to the ocean and nature during gaps in my own dive and wildlife photo safaris, cheers Kevin Deacon Dive 2000

    • Joel Coleman
      Posted at 04:59h, 09 May Reply

      Thanks Kev, it means a lot to receive a comment like that from a person who is as respected as yourself in the photographic world. I’ll drop by and say hello when I next go past your store.

  • Jude Johnston
    Posted at 00:35h, 09 May Reply

    Joel! These are just spectacular, really amazing! The photos are so clear. Well done.

  • Carol
    Posted at 01:33h, 09 May Reply

    Fabulous photos, Joel 🙂 with all the colours of lights. Sydney’s such a lovely city, day or night.

  • Meghan
    Posted at 03:05h, 09 May Reply

    New favorites! These are beautiful, truly incredible work Mr. Coleman. Thanks for sharing them (and for skipping the surf to capture them)!

  • Jasmine
    Posted at 04:01h, 09 May Reply

    Frighteningly beautiful..unquestionably stunning shots, but sooo many lights.

  • Mick Free
    Posted at 04:41h, 09 May Reply

    My gosh….you missed 6 foot Winki for this haha lol. Good job lord!

    • Joel Coleman
      Posted at 04:58h, 09 May Reply

      Cheers Mick! I stand by my decision, i’ll be with you for the next swell…

  • Chelsey
    Posted at 06:10h, 09 May Reply

    Really incredible! and I love the way the lights are reflecting off the water. Stunning Joel – well worth the huge effort.

  • Andrew
    Posted at 07:31h, 09 May Reply

    Some amazing shots in that mix

  • Alan Guest
    Posted at 09:00h, 09 May Reply

    Spectacular pics, fantastic colours for night shots, it just gets better .
    Well done Joel, I look forward to the next round

  • Nic
    Posted at 09:58h, 09 May Reply

    Fabulous clarity and colour.
    Air must have been clear.

  • Jenny Lloyd
    Posted at 13:17h, 09 May Reply

    Spectacular, intricate, pretty, and so energetic in a busy but peaceful way! Thank you for sharing :)!

  • Sharyn
    Posted at 00:30h, 10 May Reply

    Tom-Paul turned me onto your incredible nature photos years ago and now these… so amazing! Someday I want to see it all for real and meet you to say thank you in person.

  • Kat
    Posted at 08:22h, 10 May Reply

    Absolutely stunning Joel!

    Thank you so much for sharing

  • Warwick
    Posted at 03:40h, 12 May Reply

    Sydney at night is the most spectacular one could imagine. None better worldwide. Great Photos. Seeing is believing. Bucket list stuff

    I left Sydney on board a Qantas Super Constellation on 30/6/60 to fly to Pt. Moresby.It was just such a night at 10pm as we flew over the Harbour( no Opera House then) and I followed the Northern Beaches and beyond into eventual cloud, landing at Jacksons Field P.M. at 6am. Without a doubt Sydney Harbour by night is the most spectacular of any I have seen worldwide. It’s great to be an Aussie with something like this to which one can come home.

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