Behold the stunning pictures taken by a 75-year-old aerial photographer who has spent over 100 hours hanging out of helicopters to capture bird’s-eye-view

Behold the stunning pictures taken by a 75-year-old aerial photographer who has spent over 100 hours hanging out of helicopters to capture bird’s-eye-view

‘Each flight offers a new perspective and a chance for me to share my view of the world with others who may prefer to keep both feet planted solidly on the ground.’ 

So says Donn Delson, a 75-year-old aerial photographer who has spent over 100 hours hanging out of helicopters capturing mind-blowing images from above.

Donn, an artist based in Los Angeles, first embarked on helicopter adventures in 2015 after retiring from a lengthy career in the entertainment industry. He had the opportunity to shoot from an open-door helicopter in New Zealand and fell in love with the ‘thrill of flying’.  

He has since travelled all over the world snapping pictures while thousands of feet in the air. He documents his work on his website donndelson.com, with pieces selling between £4,000 ($5,100) and £35,000 ($45,000). 

He told MailOnline Travel: ‘The ability to capture the world from a bird’s-eye view without the distortion of windows or reflection was a revelation. The trip sparked a passion and I knew I’d found my artistic niche. I’ve been dedicated to creating art that presents my perspective on the world from above. It is one from which I never tire and a gift for which I am always grateful.’

From the twinkling lights of Piccadilly Circus in London to the azure waters of the Bahamas, the daredevil photographer shared some of his most jaw-dropping pictures with MailOnline Travel. Scroll down to decide which one’s your favourite. 

Behold the stunning pictures taken by a 75-year-old aerial photographer who has spent over 100 hours hanging out of helicopters to capture bird’s-eye-view

Pictured above is ‘Circus Nights’, an image of Piccadilly from Donn’s ‘Point of View’ collection. The photographer told MailOnline Travel that the city is one of his favourite places to shoot due to its ‘visually exciting views’. He explains: ‘Hovering over London as the city lights begin to twinkle is always magical’

'Choosing a favourite photograph is like choosing a favourite child,' Donn says. But one shot that stands out is 'Broadway Boogie Woogie' (above), taken over Times Square. Explaining the meaning behind the shot, Donn says: 'From above, the scene was nothing short of enchanting: a radiant web of stories, dreams, and ceaseless movement. Out of the doorless helicopter from about 2,500 feet, I realised how lucky I was to have the opportunity for this rare view. And, for a few seconds, I forgot the camera and my purpose for the flight'

‘Choosing a favourite photograph is like choosing a favourite child,’ Donn says. But one shot that stands out is ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie’ (above), taken over Times Square. Explaining the meaning behind the shot, Donn says: ‘From above, the scene was nothing short of enchanting: a radiant web of stories, dreams, and ceaseless movement. Out of the doorless helicopter from about 2,500 feet, I realised how lucky I was to have the opportunity for this rare view. And, for a few seconds, I forgot the camera and my purpose for the flight’

This energetic image shows Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. Donn says:  'I've been fortunate to visit many incredible places and shoot from the air. Japan is a favourite in its stunning natural beauty and unique, almost never-ending urban landscapes'

This energetic image shows Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. Donn says:  ‘I’ve been fortunate to visit many incredible places and shoot from the air. Japan is a favourite in its stunning natural beauty and unique, almost never-ending urban landscapes’

In creating his aerial art, Donn says: 'I tend to shoot straight down as I'm always looking for symmetry, patterns, and colour; images that, when seen from high above, often take on a completely different identity from what they are on the ground.’ An example of this is 'Feathered' (above) - an aerial image of containers taken over London

In creating his aerial art, Donn says: ‘I tend to shoot straight down as I’m always looking for symmetry, patterns, and colour; images that, when seen from high above, often take on a completely different identity from what they are on the ground.’ An example of this is ‘Feathered’ (above) – an aerial image of containers taken over London 

Before a flight, Donn makes sure that all of his equipment 'is in perfect working order'. He shoots with two camera bodies, the Fuji GFX 100 and the Nikon D850, both of which offer a 'broad spectrum of opportunities'. Pictured above is 'FanDance', an image of grid-locked shipping containers in San Francisco

Before a flight, Donn makes sure that all of his equipment ‘is in perfect working order’. He shoots with two camera bodies, the Fuji GFX 100 and the Nikon D850, both of which offer a ‘broad spectrum of opportunities’. Pictured above is ‘FanDance’, an image of grid-locked shipping containers in San Francisco 

One of the things Donn enjoys the most about aerial photography is the 'unique perspective it offers'. Pictured is 'Headdress', which was taken above a marina in San Francisco, California

One of the things Donn enjoys the most about aerial photography is the ‘unique perspective it offers’. Pictured is ‘Headdress’, which was taken above a marina in San Francisco, California 

Donn says: 'The thrill of the flight and the ability to capture and share these moments with others is incredibly rewarding.' Above is RedLock District, an image of hundreds of bikes taken above Amsterdam

Donn says: ‘The thrill of the flight and the ability to capture and share these moments with others is incredibly rewarding.’ Above is RedLock District, an image of hundreds of bikes taken above Amsterdam

Donn says 'Xylophones' (pictured) in his ‘Points of View’ collection has become one of his most 'iconic images'. While flying over the Port of Los Angeles in 2016, Donn says: ‘I spotted six symmetrically positioned horizontal rows of shipping containers that looked like the tonal bars on a musical xylophone. I got very excited to then see a single white semi-tractor trailer driving along the road between the rows. Getting the pilot to quickly manoeuvre me into position to take the shot, I accomplished it only seconds before the truck had moved’

Donn says ‘Xylophones’ (pictured) in his ‘Points of View’ collection has become one of his most ‘iconic images’. While flying over the Port of Los Angeles in 2016, Donn says: ‘I spotted six symmetrically positioned horizontal rows of shipping containers that looked like the tonal bars on a musical xylophone. I got very excited to then see a single white semi-tractor trailer driving along the road between the rows. Getting the pilot to quickly manoeuvre me into position to take the shot, I accomplished it only seconds before the truck had moved’ 

Tree of Life (above) is part of Donn's 'Holy Land' collection. The shot was taken from 5,000 feet while flying over the Dead Sea in Israel. Donn says: 'I was entranced by the stark contrast between the deep blue-green water, the white salt formations, and the multi-toned, light brown and beige patterns in the sedimentary layered rock formations'

Tree of Life (above) is part of Donn’s ‘Holy Land’ collection. The shot was taken from 5,000 feet while flying over the Dead Sea in Israel. Donn says: ‘I was entranced by the stark contrast between the deep blue-green water, the white salt formations, and the multi-toned, light brown and beige patterns in the sedimentary layered rock formations’

'On The Green' was also snapped above the Dead Sea. The image shows an ear-shaped salt formation with a tree in the middle of bright green waters. The landlocked lake between Jordan and Israel is another standout location for Donn 'with its dramatic contrast and otherworldly scenery'

‘On The Green’ was also snapped above the Dead Sea. The image shows an ear-shaped salt formation with a tree in the middle of bright green waters. The landlocked lake between Jordan and Israel is another standout location for Donn ‘with its dramatic contrast and otherworldly scenery’

Donn says: 'Seeing the world from above reveals patterns, shapes, and interactions, whether man-made, natural, or a combination that is invisible from the ground. It is a constant reminder of how interconnected and intricate our world is.' Pictured is Huntingdon Beach Pier in Los Angeles, California, USA

Donn says: ‘Seeing the world from above reveals patterns, shapes, and interactions, whether man-made, natural, or a combination that is invisible from the ground. It is a constant reminder of how interconnected and intricate our world is.’ Pictured is Huntingdon Beach Pier in Los Angeles, California, USA

Donn reveals a lot of preparation goes into taking the perfect shot. He uses tools such as Google Earth to have specific targets in mind before flying. Above is ‘Bahama Rhapsody’, taken while flying in the Grand Bahamas

Donn reveals a lot of preparation goes into taking the perfect shot. He uses tools such as Google Earth to have specific targets in mind before flying. Above is ‘Bahama Rhapsody’, taken while flying in the Grand Bahamas 

'The majority of my art is discovered by a sharp eye and serendipity than by any other means. Being flexible and open to new perspectives is key to capturing truly unique images,' Donn says. Pictured is 'Yin Yang' in the North Shore, Oahu

‘The majority of my art is discovered by a sharp eye and serendipity than by any other means. Being flexible and open to new perspectives is key to capturing truly unique images,’ Donn says. Pictured is ‘Yin Yang’ in the North Shore, Oahu 

The photographer adds that his ‘most successful images’ are often captured by ‘looking out and scanning’ as he flies. ‘Sometimes, I see an image I like, and until I get home and enlarge it on my computer, I’m not aware that there’s an element within that I never saw while flying,’ Donn says. Above is a spellbinding picture of Jerusalem

The photographer adds that his ‘most successful images’ are often captured by ‘looking out and scanning’ as he flies. ‘Sometimes, I see an image I like, and until I get home and enlarge it on my computer, I’m not aware that there’s an element within that I never saw while flying,’ Donn says. Above is a spellbinding picture of Jerusalem

This spectacular image is of Masada National Park in Israel. It depicts an ancient fortification above the dusty orange plateau and is part of Donn's 'Holy Land' collection

This spectacular image is of Masada National Park in Israel. It depicts an ancient fortification above the dusty orange plateau and is part of Donn’s ‘Holy Land’ collection

Donn says there are many challenges to taking a successful image from a helicopter, including weather. 'Wind, rain, sun and fog can all interfere with a shoot,' he explains. 'City by the Bay' shows a cloudy shot of San Francisco's skyline

Donn says there are many challenges to taking a successful image from a helicopter, including weather. ‘Wind, rain, sun and fog can all interfere with a shoot,’ he explains. ‘City by the Bay’ shows a cloudy shot of San Francisco’s skyline

Safety is 'always the top priority' for Donn, who says he only flies in conditions 'that are purported to be ideal'. Pictured is 'Alphabet Soup', which depicts a winding neighbourhood near Palm Beach, Florida

Safety is ‘always the top priority’ for Donn, who says he only flies in conditions ‘that are purported to be ideal’. Pictured is ‘Alphabet Soup’, which depicts a winding neighbourhood near Palm Beach, Florida

Donn says: 'I've never encountered any serious danger, but there have been a few tense moments due to unexpected turbulence or sudden weather changes.' This aerial images titled 'Louisiana Bayou' captures the rich waterways just outside New Orleans

Donn says: ‘I’ve never encountered any serious danger, but there have been a few tense moments due to unexpected turbulence or sudden weather changes.’ This aerial images titled ‘Louisiana Bayou’ captures the rich waterways just outside New Orleans 

While flying, Donn says he wears a harness and secures his equipment with safety straps to prevent anything from falling. 'Well Grounded', a picture of an airplane converted into a home, was taken above Nashville, Tennessee

While flying, Donn says he wears a harness and secures his equipment with safety straps to prevent anything from falling. ‘Well Grounded’, a picture of an airplane converted into a home, was taken above Nashville, Tennessee  

This image of Napali Coast in Kauai at sunset was taken at 1,500 feet in the air. Donn says the time of day and angle of the sun is important while shooting from the skies 'if your image requires shadows to enhance the understanding of the shot'. He also advises amateur photographers to consider the 'vibration and movement of the helicopter'

This image of Napali Coast in Kauai at sunset was taken at 1,500 feet in the air. Donn says the time of day and angle of the sun is important while shooting from the skies ‘if your image requires shadows to enhance the understanding of the shot’. He also advises amateur photographers to consider the ‘vibration and movement of the helicopter’

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