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Aerial photography appeals to the kid in all of us

If you don’t have one of these at home I am not saying you should run out and buy one, but I do know where you can rent it.

Layne Van Rhijn with two specially designed helicopters for aerial photography.

Layne and Melinda Van Rhijn of Coaldale, Alta. were at a recent southern Alberta field day, providing aerial photography services with remote controlled helicopters. We’ve all seen people flying model planes, well this is a similar concept except they are specially designed helicopters (one is actually a multi-rotor machine) that are equipped with good quality cameras for taking aerial photos of anything you need.

At this Fendt tractor field day near Lethbridge, Layne, who owns Aerial Vantage Media, stood in the field with the controller and had the multi-rotor machine flying up, down, zooming in and out, taking still and video footage of the day’s activities. He could raise the copter a couple hundred feet in the air to get overall shots, or bring it down and hover five feet off the ground to zoom in on someone’s face.

Van Rhijn, who is also a full-time paramedic, operates the Aerial Vantage Media as a sideline. He built the first helicopter himself, and later bought the multi-rotor machine, which actually has six propellers on top. He has a still digital camera mounted on the helicopter and a high definition video camera on the multi-rotor unit. The cameras are mounted with a stabilizing system, which allows them to be properly positioned, with no vibration…resulting in crisp, clear photos and videos.

Camera is mounted below the body of this multi-rotor copter.

The aerial photography service is great for anything you want a picture of from a height and standing on your stepladder just isn’t going to cut it. Van Rhijn’s company is hired to photograph everything from the standard “Farmstead” portrait pictures, to field days, to garden weddings, to business photos, to crop photos. He can take photos for calendars, for websites, for marketing, or for real estate services. Depending on what you need his services are billed out either by a flat rate, or by the hour.

It is a legitimate business, but to me it just looked like it would be fun to fly one of these little ‘copters. But with several thousands of dollars worth of equipment hovering 100 feet in the air, I can understand why Van Rhijn didn’t say “here, try it.” For more information on Aerial Vantage Media visit their website at

Lee Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]




About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.



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