Aerial photography refers to the photographs of the ground from an elevated/direct-down position. Aerial Photography is very common in the fields of Adventure Sports, maps, etc.
Aerial photographs can be taken using any of the following:
- Fixed-wing aircraft
- Balloon, blimp or dirigible
- Drones (becoming the most popular medium)
Drone Photography needs a special mention. With advancement of technology, Drones are becoming more and more popular. Drones are used in Photojournalism, Travel Photography, Mapping Purposes, etc. Drones save time and money and are used for images that would otherwise require a helicopter or a manned aircraft, saving money and reducing risk for pilot and crew.
For the serious or professional photographer, there are some issues to address and skills to acquire, including:
· Getting the right perspective: Many aerial photos are taken at an angle other than straight down, so the perspective will depict closer objects being larger than distant ones. This is not desirable. The problem can be addressed by editing the photo with perspective-correcting tools.
· Stitching: It is a very common requirement to stitch multiple aerial photographs together, especially for any type of mapping work.
· Photographs taken early or late in the day provide more shadows which can make it easier to distinguish objects and contours.
To minimize vibration:
· High ISO setting and fast shutter speed.
· Wide lens (telephoto lenses magnify vibration).
Amateur photographers may find the aerial environment unfamiliar, so it's a good idea to use a digital camera with lots of memory. Preview and review photos, especially the first few, to make sure things are working as expected. If necessary, concentrate on framing and adjust exposure later using editing software.
Airplane vs Helicopter
The advantage of a plane is likely to be that it's easier to find one, and perhaps cheaper as well. The main disadvantage is the wings which get in the way. If you do use a plane, high-wing Cessnas are considered a good option due to their slow speed and large windows.
Helicopters have a number of advantages including the ability to hover and move slowly, fly at low altitudes, and remove the door for better movement and clearer photographs.
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