Aerial photography, as the name suggests, is the process of capturing images from the air. Ever since the invention of cameras, photographers have developed numerous creative and ingenuous methods to capture breath-taking images few others would get to see. Whilst in the past this has involved the use of balloons, rockets, and even pigeons, nowadays most aerial photography is carried out either from manned aircraft or more recently, by drones.
Whilst using a drone for aerial photography is (currently) not a replacement for a manned aircraft, recent advancements and the overall growing popularity of drones means that, depending on the context, using a drone for aerial photography can be much more practical. As well as oftentimes being a quicker, safer, and more cost-effective option than using a manned aircraft.
Nevertheless, aircraft such as planes and helicopters still hold a number of advantages over unmanned drones.
As the maximum altitude a drone can fly is restricted both by commercially available technology and by law, one of the main advantages of a manned aircraft is that a photographer can take aerial photographs from a much higher vantage. When considered in addition to the greater flight times and payload, it becomes clear that using manned aircraft for photography will continue to have a place for the foreseeable future.
Types of Aerial Photography
No matter the vehicle used, the basic types of image captured in aerial photography remain the same.
Near Vertical ‘bird’s eye view’ shots are perhaps those most commonly imagined when one thinks of aerial photography.
Pictures taken from this angle are useful for the purpose of planning and can be used for people on the ground to get a general idea of the layout and scale of a large area. Near Vertical pictures differ from True Vertical images that require special equipment to make sure the image is taken at a true 90˚ to the ground. These images can then be processed to remove its topographical distortions for use in scaled map making.
Oblique images of the subject are another common sort of aerial photograph. Obliques are typically divided into two forms, High and Low depending on whether the image includes the horizon or not.
Further variation in aerial photographs can be described depending on the role of the subject within the frame. If the subject fills the frame, then the image is described as being a close up. However, if the subject is shown within the context of its surroundings then the image may instead be called a Wide shot.
Drones for Aerial Photography
For the majority of commercial and private requirements, using a drone for your aerial photography is likely to be the most practical and cost-effective means for getting the images you require.
If you are considering commissioning aerial photography as part of an ongoing project, Aerial Image Masters can offer a low-cost expert service that is tailored to meet your unique requirements. With aerial photography from £250 per day and aerial filming at only £800 per day, Aerial Image Masters provide a cost-effective way to get the images and footage you require.