I use a gyrocopter or a paraglider both of which I steer myself. The camera is not suspended or attached to the cockpit; I don’t use remote control. I hold both the camera and the controls in my hand. Neither the gyrocopter nor the paraglider have a closed cockpit. I feel the air with my whole body, I am exposed to temperature, scents and all that’s available to senses. I wouldn’t trade it for a closed and warm cockpit. Neither would I let anyone else do the steering. I navigate with precision and control the image. I like this part: it’s analog and traditional. I enjoy getting tired, experiencing emotions, feeling the vibrations of the engine and the wind in my face. I need to see with my own eyes what I want to capture before I bring the camera up to my face and press the shutter button.
My favorite altitude is 150 meters (500 ft). It is a “human” distance. You still recognize your friends and if it’s quiet, you can call them by their name. Looking downward from this height, you see everything in the architectural scale. It is also a relatively safe altitude. If my motor stalls, I can still plan a route for emergency landing.
I most enjoy flying close to home. When on a gyrocopter, I never go more than 150 kilometers from the start. If I choose the motor paraglider, I sometimes venture a little further, as all the equipment fits into the trunk of a car. I don’t like to go abroad, unless I intend to fly without a motor, in which case I choose the Alps or the Himalayas. I leave my camera behind. These flights are meant to be something else. But that’s a whole different story.