I find canyons and gorges to be among the most breathtaking places to visit and photograph. They’re as beautiful from a viewpoint as they are from air, and photographer Mitch Rouse sure proves it in his stunning aerial images.
While drones are easily available today, Mitch chooses a more complex, and I’d say braver method for taking his aerial shots. Pairing a Phase One IQ4 with his passion for photography and flying, he takes mesmerizing photos from up high. The series we chose shows the incredible beauty of canyons, and Mitch kindly shared the photos and some details with DIYP readers.
Mitch is a transportation entrepreneur and photographer based out of Cody, Wyoming. Bringing his two interests together, he first began exploring aerial photography with high tech drones. However, he found that they had too many limitations for what he wanted to achieve, so he switched to taking photos primarily straight down from fixed wing aircraft.
After years of experimentation, Mitch has now found the sweet spot between the two. He has developed a system that incorporates a Bell 407 helicopter, a shot over gimbal mounted to the nose, and a 150 MP Phase One IQ4 mounted onto it. This system is perfect for what mitch wants to shoot: it lets Mitch take aerial photos straight down like a drone, but it offers superior image quality.
The Canyons project was shot on the IQ4 paired with the Schneider Kreuznach 35mm lens. While the monster industrial camera is definitely his favorite, he sometimes opts for a more modest and compact solution, the Leica SL2. It provides him with more freedom and comfort, especially when shooting for long periods of time, while its 50 MP resolution still enables great image quality. As for the lenses, the Schneider 75-150mm is his go-to lens for the IQ4, while he pairs his Leica SL2 with the SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 and the APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4.
Other than canyons, Mitch is interested in industrial sites including agriculture, transportation, shipping, ports, solar power, wind power, oil and gas. He is using his skills and interests working with a retired NASA scientist to explore the worlds of photorealistic mapping with 10 times the resolution of Google and virtual reality of real world places.