We recently sat down with David LaCombe, one of our FlyNYON photo contributors,
(@davidlacombenyc on Instagram) to talk with him about his passion for photography and what it’s been like for him to be a FlyNYON contributor.
Q: How long have you been taking photos/ what got you into photography?
A: I first took a real interest in photography when I was a paramedic in the 90’s. That work is stressful at times and I was looking for a creative outlet to relax and appreciate the things around me. I started using a film SLR camera and was hooked, even though the feedback wasn’t as immediate as it is today.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I’m the Director of Marketing for a global healthcare training company and a professional photographer. Making time for the photography I want to create is a priority for me even though I travel very frequently. I’m focusing on headshots for executives and actors – capturing people’s expression is so different than aerial photography and it’s very gratifying as well.
Q: How many times have you been up in a helicopter?
A: I’ve flown on helicopters to take pictures more than a dozen times. Most of that has been in NY with FlyNYON and I’ve also flown over Las Vegas.
Q: If you could fly and take photos over any city, which would you choose and why?
A: I try to always remember that flying over NYC is dream for most people. I never view it as routine – frankly I crave flying when I haven’t gone up for a while. So, there’s still plenty I want to capture over NYC. That said, the Golden Gate Bridge is calling my name. Seeing lava flow in Hawaii is also on my bucket list – that’s not entirely up to me though. There, I’m at the mercy of Mother Nature, if you know what I mean.
Q: What programs do you use to edit your photos?
A: I primarily use Lightroom and Instagram to edit my photos. Shooting through rapidly changing light can be challenging. I’ve learned a few principles to capture vibration-free images by shooting faster than you would intuitively think in low-light conditions. The underexposure can be corrected to some degree in Lightroom.
Q: What do you shoot with when you go up?
A: Until recently, I’ve shot with a full frame Nikon body and Nikon glass. That may change as I’m considering adding a mirrorless Sony camera to my kit. I’m drawn to the Sony for its sensor with incredible image resolution and light sensitivity.
Q: What’s your favorite building to see from the air?
A: That’s a fair question but so hard to answer. When I first started flying I was obsessed with the Chrysler Building – she’s still one of my favorites. Now, I like searching for lessor known buildings and landmarks. Our city is just so full of interesting structures – choosing just one is impossible for me.
Q: Who are some of your favorite Instagrammers / photographers?
A: I’ve met so many interesting ad talented people because of the Instagram scene – some of my favorites are beholdingeye, Javan, dalton922, greg.rox.photography, and barreradm1975. Of course, I have to mention my earliest IG inspiration, Misshattan – Call me, Natalie – let’s shoot together!
Q: What was your most memorable FlyNYON Flight?
A: The air-to-air shoot was pretty special. We were shadowing another helicopter around the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. I wouldn’t mind trying that again…wink…wink.
Interested in taking your own epic shots from the skies above and showing them off to your friends, check out FlyNYON.