Real or a trick of the eye? Here’s why helicopter blades can look stationary on video
If you’ve watched films and TV shows with helicopters featured in the scenes, you’d see what you’d expect to see: the helicopter’s blades spinning quickly, appearing as a blur – just how you’d normally see it with the naked eye.
But what happens when you adjust your camera settings and match your shutter speed with the helicopter’s rotor? The blades would look stationary, like they’re not moving at all. The helicopter appears to be simply hovering above the ground.
It may be hard to believe your eyes, but there’s an explanation for why it appears that way. This video from the Brain Stuff on YouTube explains why helicopter blades and other fast-spinning objects can look strange on video – and it has something to do with shutter speed and frame rate.