• Ewan Arnolda

Discover The City of Melbourne from above

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

In 2015 I had the great opportunity to experience my beloved city of Melbourne from the skies. This allowed me to enjoy the cityscape from a perspective that humans were never meant to have. Not only was I able to re-discover the city that from a ground-level viewpoint, but I’d also always taken for granted, I was able to make some awesome images.


The tour commenced from Essendon Airport, 16km from Melbourne CBD. We took off in a Robinson R44 Clipper II Helicopter. The notable characteristic of this helicopter is its large windscreen that allows great views from the cockpit.

Robinson R44 Clipper II Helicopter.

Essendon Airport


Headed for the City of Melbourne


The aerial perspective gave Melbourne and its icon attractions of that I would normally photograph from the ground a three-dimensional look. At ground level, you are limited to photograph sections at a time. But from the skies, you can capture the entirety of an architecture.

The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground)
AAMI Stadium

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Top Left: St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne Top Right: Royal Exhibition Building

Bottom Left: Government House Bottom Right: Shrine of Remembrance


From above you can easily capture as far as the eye can see. Allowing you to photograph a wider area of Melbourne's sprawling landscape.

Sprawling Melbourne CBD and Docklands


Port Melbourne Queen Victoria Market Federation Square


I managed to capture more than 150 photos within the one-hour tour on my Canon 5D III with a 24mm - 105mm lens. The camera settings were vastly different from my standard ground level settings. At ground level, the shutters speeds are slower - between 10 second to two-minute exposures. This is because of my love for long exposure photography. While the aerial photography shutter speeds were faster - between 1/250 - 1/400, to compensate for the movement of the helicopter. 


I have always been fascinated by aerial photography and with the advancements, in drone technology, this type of photography is fast gaining popularity, with many photographers reaching for the skies to capture Earth from a birds-eye view. 


Check out 10 Aerial Photographers Reveal How They Capture the World from Above


I would love to experience this again, next time in an open-door helicopter. This will allow me to capture clearer images without the obstacles of windows with water or dirt marks, scratches or reflection. This allows freedom of movement (with safety precautions) for a better angle.



Enjoy the video with more images




! ******* DISCLAIMER ******* ! This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.

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