hotography Tips and Tricks

Compared to other forms, aerial photography has its own unique set of challenges. Not only must one shoot from a high elevation, one also has to consider the creative/artistic aspect of each shot to prevent the effect from being plain.

General Tips for Aerial Photography

DSLR vs. Compact

Both DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras can work fine for aerial shots. However, DSLRs allow more options for adjusting shutter speed, aperture, white balance, etc. A zoom lens will ofter more versatility and quality in the pictures. To get the best images when using a point-and-shoot, be sure to use only optical zoom and not digital to prevent shakiness caused by the buzzing aircraft.

Check for good lighting Conditions

Look for sunlight depending on the time and the kind of effect you need. Overcast skies will give you soft light and shadows, while clear skies at noon will give you brighter light with lesser shadows. This usually takes some practice before you can judge when the daylight will be optimal to shoot the object in the way you like.

Get the weather forecast before every shoot

Weather is important for all aerial shots, as all aircraft and drones are vulnerable to bad weather. Also, you may have to look for weather components such as fog and mist, which can either add or detract from your image. For most images, however, a clear dry sky is preferred.

Choosing an approriate camera lens

Filters are rarely needed for aerial photos as they just tend to reduce picture sharpness. Use a fast shutter speed (1/1000 to 1/500 sec) to minimize the effects of the aircraft vibrations. A wide angle fast lens (f/11 to f/2.8) will help keep the ISO to 100 or 200, thereby increasing the quality of even those photographs which have movement.

Wings with struts can obstruct photographs

If you plan to use airplanes, your best option would be a craft with high wings, without struts, as you will get an unobstructed view. However, helicopters are slower, and give you more time to observe any object before you take the shot. Also, your pilot will be able to help you plan your excursion, and can advise you about the atmospheric conditions to expect.

Choose a good focal point

Most good photos have a focal point, i.e., any object which will attract the eye of the viewer. It could be anything from geological formation, animals, plants, buildings, etc. It will take a few tries before you get a hang of selecting the object, and picture position of the focal point.

Use the sky in an aerial photograph

Most good photos have a focal point, i.e., any object which will attract the eye of the viewer. It could be anything from geological formation, animals, plants, buildings, etc. It will take a few tries before you get a hang of selecting the object, and picture position of the focal point.