EGRA (egraphoto) wrote,

Saint Petersburg : flight hour

russian version

I had no dream like that, but it happend - was flying over the city. And the matter is the “Aurora”. The company I work for, learning about the impending historical event, decided to hire a helicopter for the filming of the sailing campaign of legendary cruiser out to the construction yard. As you understand, the thought to use a chance was born in my head instantly. To see in detail Saint Petersburg from a height of 300 meters is priceless. Although, of course, the cash equivalent of this delight there is, and very impressive. To afford such a luxury not everyone can. Therefore, a rare opportunity could not be missed. Well, let's fly?! Look to the “Northern capital” of Russia through the eyes of birds and pilots...


All in all about 1 hour. The timing of the campaign is the moving “Aurora” along the Neva river from the place of permanent anchoring to the place where the Neva river drains into the Gulf of Finland. Because I was, what is called, “fell on the tail", I haven't had priorities in terms of comfortable conditions for review, and in particular for the comforts to photography. Helicopter is compact, model Bell 206, two places behind: right door was removed for our cameraman, left - me and the casement. The priority, of course, to my colleague: during the flight he was headed by the actions of the pilot, based on the preferences for his frame. Therefore, the helicopter was almost always placed right side to the best possible overview to the historical event.


Well, I did what I could: wiggled, spun and shot, thrusting out my long arms to a flashed loophole between “the director” and narrowness or to a modest casement. However I cannot complain. Yes it's inconvenient, yes it is hard, everything is constantly spinning, the horizon 'jumps', in the eyes there is a fast-flowing flash-dance of stirred perspectives and angles; my colleague had all the “tasty”, but he still asked to adjust the headphones, to give the lens... Ah well, after all, and that is a gift! When will it happens again?! Camera hold secure in hand, head on 360...








First flash-card filled up with new frames at roughly the same speed as we circled around the earth. I shot everything I saw, all fleeting, no time and opportunity to choose - after I'll watch, now is only the moment, so that before you know where you are, its existence will be already in the past.




What can I say. Impressions of course are crazy. Seemingly, we have seen St. Petersburg from the height before, specially creeped to roofs, on the level of the horizon to see details and amenities, to feel the dimensions of the urban environment, ideas of architects. But it is a quite different case. That's really where all is spread before the eyes: clear lines of avenues, the cosy nooks of quarters, narrow "well"-courtyards, spacious squares, stately dominants.









Desirous eyes with insatiable, inexhaustible interest ranged over the neighborhood, and heart with phrenetic fervour danced delighted: there is the Saint Petersburg - even wanna hug him!


Time lost in space: minutes passed like seconds. Aurora just departed from Petrogradskaya embankment, and she is under the Troitsky bridge already.


Between maneuvers of the helicopter I got lucky in a series of unsuccessful shots and a few times fit the full cruiser in my lens.


In addition I shot some panoramas. But then three days and three nights in a row we will be long and boring aligning them from last forces: without tears cannot look at some source images.


By the way, I was surprised by the number of viewers of the show. The excitement around the event was rather unexpected: people gathered into swarm anywhere and everywhere, the most daring even slithered on board the cruiser. It seems that more spectators gather only to “Scarlet Sails”.




Perhaps, the best word at that time - scale. At a such height the idea of it collapsing completely. The city is still huge, but at the same time is extremely small.


Whatever it is sooo interesting to contemplate. However, during the flight as I said there were some hitches with it. But at home, when we were picking frames for publication from a pile of images, we both were deep in the process of scrutinizing: the extremely amusing to find familiar and almost native places in the global parity.


A lot of unusual details that otherwise couldn't be seen reveals, and the mind is sometimes difficult to compare this habitual and explored along and across area in these rich architectural complex: only so and in no other way it is clear where and how we live, how the houses weaves in a great big single organism...


Also I caught myself once again thinking what is clearly more liked in the city, what the eye gladly rejoices, but what he isn't able to take. At the sight of an old dilapidated typical historic buildings of St. Petersburg  in the chest involuntarily trembles, and when looking at the faceless and boring new building - ache in the soul.




And indeed everything is clear, understandable, easy and convenient, and until things are thus - modern urban art relentlessly progresses with unflappable stone face.



Anyway, thanks to amazing occasion I again saw St. Petersburg in his inimitable charm and wonderful amazing diversity. And once again made sure that all is due to the angle of view: no matter what you look at: a patchwork mosaic of the city or the essence of what is happening in the life of things. And while life goes on, it with considerable pleasure brings us surprises, regardless of whether we expect it or not. And if they are good or bad is completely in the power of our perception.




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Tags: cityscape, russia, saint petersburg

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