Aerial Photography – Everything You Need To Take Perfect Shots
Aerial photography is one of the best types of photography as it captures some awe-inspiring views. Just as the name suggests, aerial photography is all about taking pictures from well above the ground, and there are numerous applications from them, going from tourism to art and research. Aerial photography is not only a great way to capture amazing pictures, but it is one of the most relevant techniques used to discover, map, and interpret the world. Despite the fact that technology has made the whole process so much easier, aerial photography has been done for many years, beginning with Gaspard Felix Tournachon.
A Brief History of Aerial Photography
A French photographer and balloonist named Gaspard Felix Tourachon was the one who patented the concept of aerial photography during the late 19th century. Tournachon photographed a small village in France and found it much easier to map the area than the ground survey. It was in 1858 back then, and he tethered his camera to a balloon to capture those pictures.
However, those first pictures don’t exist anymore, and the earliest images that survived were taken two years after that in 1860. These were taken by different photographers, however, named James Wallace Black and Samuel Archer King. The pictures are titled Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It”. The photographs captured Boston in about 2,000 feet above the ground.
In 1888, Arthur Batut developed a different technique where he attached his camera to a kite, which is called Kite Aerial Photography. Over the years, the military discovered how important aerial photography was to them and an English Aviation Pioneer, John Moore Brazhazon created the first ‘purpose-built’ aerial camera, which was attached to the floor of an aircraft and triggered by the pilot. From 1919, people started using aerial photography commercially.
Fast Forward to Today
Aerial photography has advanced drastically since then with now the drone technology being used. Drones take aerial photography to a completely new level as photographers have more control over what they capture. However, even with the ubiquitousness of drone tech, photographers still need to be creative in order to capture the top of the line photographers. Here we share with you some tips and tricks to get the perfect aerial photographs.
Top Tips and Tricks of Taking Great Aerial Photos
Always check the UAV forecast
Checking your UAV forecast is the first thing you should do before you start shooting. There are so many things to consider like the weather, the number of GPS satellites active in the area, what areas are off limits, the buildings in that vicinity and many more.
RAW Format is the way to go
When you shoot in raw format, you have more versatility in post-processing. You will have uncompressed, and lossless data from the sensors. You can improve the exposure and make color adjustments without making your images look unnatural or posterized.
Go with low ISO
Usually, unless you need to shoot during the night, you don’t necessarily need high ISO with bright light. If you set your ISO too high, you might experience noise and unwanted grain. Try to stay as low as you can, even when you have to adjust your camera manually. When shooting in shady or windy areas, you could open your aperture or use a slow shutter speed in order to allow in more light.
Always have a backup plan
Sometimes, even the most careful planning will not prepare you for unexpected shooting situations. The weather could change, for instance, so always try to make do with what you have at that moment. When the skies get gloomy, take advantage of that and alter the intended mood of the photos. With unexpected direct sunlight, you can capture very interesting shadows. Sometimes, unexpected situations produce the most amazing photographs.
Panoramic shots go a long way
When you need to have large images with precise details, the panorama technique can give you that. You can find some drones with a panorama mode, but if yours doesn’t come with it, you can stitch your shots while editing.
Play with shadows, light, and patterns
Light is the main element of a photo, and it plays a very huge role in determining the outcome. Play with shadows just after sunrise and sunset and see how they completely change the images. To make your images more interesting, look for patterns and unique lines.
Some Top Aerial Photographers of Today
• Karolis Janulis
• Kacper Kowalski
• Andy Yeung
• Calin Stan
• Amos Chappie
• Francesco Cattuto
With aerial photography, you can create some of the most breathtaking photos, and who knows, you might leave your mark as well.