Up to 12,000ft in the sky, photographer uses a helicopter with no door to get a unique bird’s eye view

Leaning out the open door of a helicopter, 75-year-old photographer Donn Delson shows no fear as he clicks away on his camera capturing the buildings below.

Taking up aerial photography in his 60s, the LA-based entrepreneur has since sold nearly £1m worth of artwork since switching careers.

Image: Donn Delson. Pic: Elizabeth Callaghan

Delson has flown more than 300 hours in countries including Japan, the Netherlands, Hawaii and Israel but London, he tells Sky News, is his “favourite city”.

Before photography, Delson founded the world’s fourth-largest entertainment merchandising company, working with stars including Rihanna, Billy Joel and Alanis Morisette. He sold the company to AEG Live in 2007.

Strapped into a helicopter at heights of up to 12,000ft (2.2 miles), Delson captures his artwork at a perspective and range that would be unachievable by drones due to height restrictions in urban areas.

He explains: “I need to be connected to what I am taking pictures of. When I don’t have a door and I can lean out and look down, I am able to have that emotional and spiritual connection.”

The artist likes to find “patterns” and “colours” in the scene but admits he doesn’t always find the right shot on every flight.

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It’s his aerial perspective which makes his large-scale artwork unique and while many of his peers are long since retired, he retains a youth and exuberance for life and his art.

Donn Delson. Pic: Elizabeth Callaghan
Image: Donn Delson. Pic: Elizabeth Callaghan

When shooting, Delson likes to “look for things that may not be what they seem to be at first glance”.

The Crown Jewel, British Museum, Donn Delson

Here he shows the vivid turquoise dome of London’s British Museum – a feature unseen from below.

Pic: The Crown Jewel/Donn Delson
Image: Pic: The Crown Jewel/Donn Delson

London Lights, Donn Delson

Delson doesn’t only focus on the abstract. This photo London Lights is from his Points Of Light collection. He calls London a “special” place.

Pic: London Lights/Donn Delson
Image: Pic: London Lights/Donn Delson

Xylophones, Donn Delson

In Xylophones, Delson depicts rows of shipping containers at a port in Los Angeles.

He says: “At first glance, most people think it’s either bookshelves or a xylophone. Then they notice the truck, and sometimes it takes them a few seconds to study the image and to realise what it truly is.”

Pic: Xylophones,/Donn Delson
Image: Pic: Xylophones,/Donn Delson

Cascade, Donn Delson

The famous cherry blossom season in Japan is usually admired from ground level but Delson captured it from an aerial perspective, east of Kyoto.

Pic: Cascade/Donn Delson
Image: Pic: Cascade/Donn Delson

Abacus, Donn Delson

Another shot from outside Kyoto, this photo shows symmetrical rows of cherry trees which had been purposely planted.

Pic: Abacus/Donn Delson
Image: Pic: Abacus/Donn Delson

Headdress, Donn Delson

Delson was commissioned to create Headdress for $45,000 (£35,000). It was taken above a marina in San Francisco.

Pic: Headdress/Donn Delson
Image: Pic: Headdress/Donn Delson

Feathered, Donn Delson

Feathered was captured on another trip to London where he was flying down the River Thames towards the O2 and spotted some containers.

Naming it, he said it looked like the features on the shaft of an arrow.

Pic: Feathered/Donn Delson
Image: Pic: Feathered/Donn Delson

Tree of Life, Donn Delson

Taken over the Dead Sea in Israel, Tree of Life is part of Delson’s Holy Land collection.

Pic: Tree Of Life/Donn Delson
Image: Pic: Tree Of Life/Donn Delson

Source : Sky News