DuPage Airport Authority/Prairie Landing Golf
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Here is a nice article from this week's issue of the Chicago Daily Herald about a long time DuPage Airport tenant, Aerial Images Photography of Illinois. It is provided below as well as at the following link : www.aerialimages-photo.com/Chicagotribune.pdf
We hope you enjoy the article.

He's on a mission to capture best shot
Chicago Daily Herald

Alex L. Goldfayn
April 23, 2007

High in the sky, with a wicked-cool digital camera, Allan Goldstein snaps photos of golf courses, subdivisions and commercial properties for clients.

In Elgin, for example, he will be shooting the construction site of the new Sherman Hospital on the corner of Randall and Big Timber roads once a month for the next three years.

"These are called progressives, where we capture how everything is coming along," said Goldstein.

Whatever he is taking pictures of, he calls his shoots "photo missions."

"When airplanes fly for a reason, they usually call it a mission," said Goldstein, 60, who owns and operates Elk Grove Village-based Aerial Images Photography of Illinois (www.aerialimages-photo.com). "When a portrait is done, they call it a sitting. Well, we call ours photo missions."

Goldstein's missions start at DuPage Airport, where he climbs into a 1979 Cessna Skyhawk, a four-seater.

"But I don't shoot and fly," he said.


"There are photographers out there that do shoot at the same time they fly," Goldstein explained. "They'll open the window of their airplane and they look to the side while the plane is going forward. I find that very dangerous."

So Goldstein always hires a pilot to come along.

He usually takes off in the late morning, when the light is just right.

Most of the time, he's shooting from 1,200 feet, because it's a good height and because the Federal Aviation Administration states that it is as high as you can fly near an airport.

Typically, Goldstein takes pictures through an open window. Because his Cessna has its wings over the window, a pocket of low pressure under the wing keeps the window open, he said.

"Those shots through window are on a diagonal," he said. "But sometimes we need to shoot straight down to get vertical shots. We take those through a hole in the bottom of the airplane."

Whoa! A hole in the bottom of the airplane?

"Don't worry," Goldstein said. "It's a reinforced hole."

I'm not worried because I'm not on the plane with the hole.

"There's a hatch, and we remove it to have a clear view of the ground. It is great for golf courses and large pieces of land like the Sherman Hospital."

Goldstein takes pictures with the high-end Canon EOS-1Ds, a 16.7-megapixel digital camera that creates photos ranging between 16- and 18-megabytes.

This is not a camera for amateurs: It retails for about $7,600. (But the 1Ds can be found for significantly less online.)

Think that is expensive?

He uses two lenses with his camera: a 24-105-millimeter unit ($1,400) and a 70-200-millimeter zoom lens ($2,000).

Why are the lenses so expensive?

They feature a constant f-stop as the zoom changes, which keeps the high amount of light coming in. They also include electronic stability control, a critical feature when taking pictures from a moving airplane.

Goldstein uses three 2-gigabyte memory cards. Today, these can be found at about $40 after rebate. "It's amazing," he said. "When I bought the first one four years ago it was about $275."

Goldstein only takes between 20 and 30 pictures of each site, and tries to squeeze two or three sites into each "mission."

Once he is back at his PC, Goldstein Photoshops the images and deletes the shots he doesn't like. He usually keeps about half of the photos he took.

How much does it cost to have Goldstein take really cool pictures of your home or business?

About $450 per shoot, plus about $180 per hour of airplane time and the cost of digital or printed photos. On average, Goldstein said customers spend about $1,200 per shoot.

"And we [shoot] when you tell us to go," he said.

Goldstein said some aerial photographers are "speculators." They take pictures from the sky, then come knock on your door hoping you will buy them.

"When speculators go out and shoot, you may or may not like it. What if there's a landscape truck in front of your house? Or garbage cans?

"The best way to shoot a golf course is right after the fairways have been crossbowed [in an eye-pleasing diagonal pattern]. But if you go out and shoot the course on your own, it has probably not been manicured."

Goldstein can provide customers with printed photos up to 2-by-3 feet in size, as well as the digital files.

It's not every day you can get photos taken from an airplane -- with a hole.


Alex L. Goldfayn is host of "The Technology Tailor Show" from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays on WGN-AM 720.
Copyright (c) 2007, Chicago Tribune