How aerial pictures of Santacruz-Chembur Link Road were shot

Apr 23, 2014, 07:28 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Just days after the flyover was thrown open to public, mid-day spoke to Umesh Vaghela, whose aerial pics of the structure have gone viral, about difficulties and thrills he experienced while executing the shoot

While the spellbinding aerial shots of the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) have gone viral, this mid-day correspondent spoke to the photographer, Umesh Vaghela, to get an insight of the technique used and difficulty faced before he accomplished the final product.

Umesh Vaghela learnt the tricks of the trade by keenly observing all the photographers he assisted. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Umesh Vaghela learnt the tricks of the trade by keenly observing all the photographers he assisted. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

An SSC pass from the J B Khot School in Borivli (E), Vaghela has always been passionate about aerial photography because of his belief in clicking challenging shots.

Two of the many pictures shot by Umesh Vaghela, using a drone-mounted GoPro cam, of the SCLR (above and right) that are trending on the social networking sites and apps. Pics/Umesh Waghela
The pictures were shot using a drone-mounted GoPro cam. Pics/Umesh Waghela

He said the picture, which has been trending on social networking sites and apps was taken using a camera-mounted drone, released 70 meters above the SCLR.

Vaghela said, “Photography has been my passion since childhood. So after passing SSC, I started assisting photographers. I would closely observe the photographers whom I assisted and it helped me lot. The SCLR picture was taken using a 12 megapixel, GoPro Hero 3+ camera, which was mounted on a drone. I borrowed it from my friend Ashwin Tankvan. Without his equipment it wouldn’t have been possible.”

The shutterbug said he was asked by one of the companies that constructed the SCLR to do the shoot, a few days prior to the SCLR’s inauguration. “I got a call from Gammon India Company, asking me whether I would like to do a photo shoot for them. The location they had asked me to visit looked good, but clicking pictures was an uphill task,” he said.

The next day Vaghela once again visited the SCLR and after discussing the nature of his job with the onsite engineers, they decided to shoot the picture from the median of the upper deck of the SCLR flyover.

“After studying the area I realised that the best shot could be obtained from the upper deck of the flyover, as it would provide me with the view of the entire junction, including the upper and lower deck, the arm of the flyover that goes towards LTT Terminus and Tilak Nagar,” he said.

Clicking the perfect shot
Vaghela said the 12 megapixel camera was mounted on a drone, which can be flown to the height of 100 metres. Its movements can be tracked and angles can be adjusted using a Wi-Fi connection. Once everything is in place, pictures are clicked using a remote control.

He said since the area was an air funnel zone, being close to the airport, they had to seek permission from concerned authorities before they started shooting. Most of the pictures were clicked using the auto mode, as manual setting would have required the drone be called back every now and then.

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