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Pat & Julie Belanger
Award winning aerial photographers and pilots, Pat and Julie Belanger, invite you to enjoy the view! Using the latest digital camera equipment and techniques, they offer the highest quality aerial images at affordable rates. With their office in the San Francisco Bay Area their local flying area covers San Jose, Sacramento and the Central Valley, Northern California. They accept assignments throughout California and worldwide. Since 1994, they have dedicated their business to providing the finest aerial photography services for their clients. They have become specialists in knowing what their customers need. Their custom services are flexible enough to give each client exactly the kind of aerial photography that suits their purpose.
The 111th Aerial Photography Squadron
I SHOT THE CROP CIRCLE
By Julie Belanger, 111th Aerial & Architectural Photography (www.the111th.com)
All good flying stories begin with "There I was..."
So...there I was on December 30, 2013, flying in an R44 (Robinson Helicopter) piloted by my husband Pat, heading to a photo site that was taking us through the Salinas Valley of California. It was a pretty, if ordinary, flight over rural croplands that even at the end of December has fields rich, lush and green. Not really much to photograph, but a nice view to enjoy. To our left, I saw a design that didn't belong there. It was etched in one of the fields below. We were up at 2500' and I took a few shots. It was beautiful and so unusual. What is it? We flew lower and lower and at each altitude I took more photos. No one was around. From the lowest altitude my photographs even captured how the plants were bent over smoothly to create the intricate patterns that made up the whole design. We have been in the aerial photography business for nearly 20 years and this is the first time we ever saw anything like this!
Before we left, I took out my iPhone to capture a quick aerial video of one orbit around the site. To be frank, I never considered it to be an alien creation, but I thought the news people would enjoy the photos. So I posted the short clip to YouTube and sent some of my favorite photos out to the local news folks. Fueled by another YouTube video showing the discovery of the crop circle on the ground from the night before, my aerial video, photos and story went viral even making us the #2 trending news on Yahoo. It was literally in every news outlet from Silicon Valley to Mongolia! And I got calls from all over the world from alien and UFO enthusiasts, government conspiracy theorists, crop circle experts and from a few certifiable crackpots.
It was an exciting ride and on January 5th, the truth came out that the Nvidia Corporation, maker of computing chips had made the crop circle as a marketing stunt to publicize their new chip. I am happy to report that Nvidia loved our aerial photos and bought them from us for their use. This will go down as one of the most exciting aerial photography adventures we have ever enjoyed.