Artist Hires Helicopter for London Aerials

You might have seen these flying feet recently on Atlas’ Twitter feed. These feet belonged to the London artist Michael Wallner and his photographer Xander Casey who, we can re-assure you, were well and truly strapped in.

But why did they need a helicopter and what was the purpose of their flight above London? In this guest blog Michael explains everything…

Above and Beyond

My name is Michael Wallner and I digitally manipulate all my photographs, tracing the outlines of prominent landmarks and buildings. Then, using a graphics tablet and pen I colour in any parts of the image I would like in colour.

For ‘Above and Beyond’ (below) I coloured in the river from the Oxo Tower to Canary Wharf, round every building, every bridge, every boat. It took a long time. But it has to be perfect – that one is 5ft wide so if I miss a bit it will show up bigtime!

‘Above and beyond’ by Michael Wallner

London with Capital ‘L’

London is my favourite city in the world. Many of the landmarks, buildings and streets have distinctive shapes that define their character.

The Thames, Regent St, Oxford Circus, Greenwich, St Paul’s and The Gherkin all have beautiful outlines and shapes which are very recognisable. We flew over these to capture these characteristics.

It has everything – historical buildings, modern masterpieces, quirky places to visit, and many surprising things – for example there are many places to relax and enjoy peace and quiet – even in the middle of a bustling metropolis.

Xander Casey and Michael Wallner above the Shard

Getting a Different Perspective

We hired a helicopter as Xander Casey (a brilliant photographer) and I wanted to get some original shots that not everyone else would have.

I wanted to capture the lines and shapes of the streets and buildings. Xander wanted to use his amazing tilt shift lens for some great effects. The best way to control the shots you need is to hire a helicopter and then you can capture exactly what you need to shoot from some original angles.

At first it was pretty scary stuff! Its a lot higher than you think up there! And although we were very securely harnessed to the helicopter it was strange to be sitting above London dangling your feet out! Your brain just isn’t used to being up there.

But then the amazing sites start coming thick and fast and you forget where you are! Most of my friends who saw the images thought we were crazy, but were jealous at the same time. It was very liberating.

Artist Michael Wallner before his flight above London with Atlas Helicopters

Working with Atlas Helicopters

It was great working with Atlas, especially being able to tell someone exactly the shots we needed and then have him fly there and hover until we got the right shot was a real treat. We’ll see how well the new art does – if people like it we’ll do another trip soon.

I’m working on the art based on this helicopter trip as I write. It’s getting right down to the wire as they need to be on display at The Other Art Fair in The Truman Brewery, London from Oct 16-19.

And then at the Wimbledon Art Studios Open Studios show where I will exhibit alongside 140 other artists at our studios in Earlsfield from Nov 13-16.

End Piece

If you are interested in Michael’s work his pieces range from £180, through £600 and up to £2000. He is open to working with any image and would be more than happy to consider a commission. Our thanks to him for taking the time to write this item and for choosing Atlas Helicopters for hsi London charter.

You can see more of his work at:

If you would like to charter a helicopter for a project, business trip or for a special occasion please contact our Operation Team who can arrange every aspect of your itinerary.

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