Project MV Helena – AW Ship Management (UK Based)

The MV Helena is a cargo ship that supplies the Island of St Helena with goods, vehicles and transports other goods to and from the island. 

AW Ship Management based in the United Kingdom, is the company responsible for running of the vessel.   They know the island and its needs well, as they used to run the beloved Royal Mail Ship St Helena.  (The RMS).

How do the MV Helena and AW Ship Management fit into our customer base?

Well the answer is promotional photographs!  I reached out to AW Ship Management and pitched to them to allow me to photograph the MV Helena whilst in James Bay or Rupert’s.  They then asked if they could have me photograph the MV Helena alongside the Jetty for their promotional use on the Website and social media channels. 

I thought why not.  Ships are a good subject to photograph with drones, as you can get a perspective that no one else can with a ground camera. 

Flying around a ship with a drone can be alarming in some places, to some captains.  So we had the company inform the Capitan and crew members of this and all we had to do was ensure we kept to the rules and regulations on St Helena regarding flying drones.  This was to keep a distance of min 50 meters away from the vessel. 

Logistics & Flight Day

The logistics of photographing vessels in St Helena’s waters is not difficult.  Providing you stick to the rules and also and most importantly, inform the captain of the intentions, then all will be fine.

Flight Time – The day of the flight was a brilliant day, good weather and even better sunset.  As you see form the gallery below, the sunset photographs were a good bunch.

Flying in Ruperts’ Bay is a daunting experience, as we know of a film crew whom lost their Phantom 4 Pro in the Bay.  They found it but it fell from the sky into the water.  So for me it was a bit of a daunghting task.

Checking and constantly checking the screen for any signs of compass errors, any malfunctions, or warnings.  Thankfully none were had.

Post Flight

Once completed, i headed back to the laptop at home and downloaded the photographs from the SD Card.  In RAW format the images, capture so much data it gives the editor an easier task (Sometimes) when post processing the images.  I tend to like to keep my images as natural as possible.  So there was little pushing heavily of the saturation slider etc.


Now how does a freelancer like me get images to a UK company?  Being remote on St Helena, we do have pitfalls when it comes to internet capacity.  The internet isn’t like the UK, but it is good enough if you put one’s mind to it and persevere.  A late night (Free midnight window) or if you have one of the higher data allowance packages will get you the connection to carry out delivering to customers.   So upload to a cloud storage service and share the link with the customer and hey presto!!

So all in all, i was happy with the drone shoot of the MV Helena, the outcomes of the deliverables and the delivery of the images to AW Ship Management

AW Ship Management said a few kind words about working with us;

AW Ship Management commissioned St Helena Phantom View in 2018 to take a series of drone photos of our vessel MV Helena in port at Rupert’s Bay to to commemorate the start of the new cargo service to St Helena. Craig was a pleasure to deal with and the end product extremely professional. The photos are now in use across AWSM’s website and social media platforms

Daniel Taylor – Andrew Weir Shipping Management Ltd

Check out their website for our images and more information on their services to the island, and also their social media channels, like twitter and Facebook!

So until next time, those droners out their – Keep Calm and Drone. 

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