Lonely Planet Writer

Incredible images taken from helicopters capture city life around the world

Whether it’s capturing sweeping panoramas of the insides of famous buildings or sharing beautiful images of scenic hilltops at dusk, creative travel photographers can show potential travellers a completely unique side of a destination. One such example is the work of Australian photographer and cinematographer Andrew Griffiths, who travels the world taking eye-catching images of cities from above, spending much of his time hanging out of helicopters in order to do so.

New York City captured from above.
New York City captured from above. Image by Andrew Griffiths/Lensaloft

A lover of travel with over 20 years of experience as a photographer, Andrew’s work regularly sees him rigging cameras to cranes above skyscrapers and designing specialist drones, as well as riding through cities in helicopters. Sharing the captivating views online in an effort to inspire people around the globe, Andrew has amassed over 44,000 followers on Instagram, with commenters and fans frequently asking when he is visiting their city.

An aerial shot of London at night.
An aerial shot of London at night. Image by Andrew Griffiths/Lensaloft

Through his business Lensaloft, Andrew has photographed cities in the United States, Australia and Europe, including New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and most recently, London.

Helicopters flying over Melbourne, Australia.
Helicopters flying over Melbourne, Australia. Image by Andrew Griffiths/Lensaloft

For Andrew, his fascination with seeing places from above began from a very early age, when he used to watch eagles flying around his grandparent’s farm in Australia. “I would try to imagine what the world must look like to them, wishing I could see what they could see. Now, the art lies in composing aerial perspectives in a way that engages the viewer and offers them that same sense of childlike excitement, which is something that I experience every time I lean out of the helicopter to see the breathtaking scene below,” Andrew told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Sydney, Australia photographed from a moving helicopter.
Sydney, Australia photographed from a moving helicopter. Image by Andrew Griffiths/Lensaloft

Whenever he is due to photograph a new city, Andrew first explores different areas from the ground, allowing at least four days to walk around and become familiar with its layout and character. “I look to find where the heart is, how it connects to the people and how the light illuminates key locations at different times of day. In this respect, I found New York to be simply mind blowing. A city full of cultural diversity, architecture, parklands full of life and a place where the sense of scale can be difficult to portray,” Andrew said.

New York City's National September 11 Memorial & Museum seen from above.
New York City’s National September 11 Memorial & Museum seen from above. Image by Andrew Griffiths/Lensaloft

With plans to photograph more cities in Europe, Andrew said that his project list also includes visits to Tokyo and Hong Kong.

More of Andrew’s work can be seen at his official website.