Aerial photography tips
If you are a photographer and planning to explore your first aerial photography mission, you should be aware that aerial photography is a bit tricky as compared to ordinary ground photography.
There are a lot of little tricks that you can learn to ensure you capture the best and most amazing aerial shots.
The following aerial photography tricks and tips will help you to master the art of aerial photography and ensure you capture stunning photos from above.
Choose the right weather
It is very important to observe the weather forecast prior to the day you are planning to embark on your aerial photography mission. Often at times, especially with smaller aircraft, they will struggle as you try to maintain a steady shot.
Components such as fog and mist may also hinder you from capturing the best shots and therefore you may have to look for such conditions to avoid disappointments. Choose a clear day that is not windy if you don’t want to fight against the elements when trying to take a perfect shot.
Wings with struts and wheels can be an obstruction
You should be able to notice that there is a challenge of shooting around the wheels and the strutted wings of the aircraft. It is important for the pilot to have a clear mental picture of this obstruction since he has full control of putting a clear shooting space directly in line with your target object.
Another option you can opt for is to use aircraft with high wings or without struts as this will present you with an un-obscured view of your target.
Use the right lenses
One of the first things to consider is the type of lenses you are going to use during your entire aerial photography session. The vibration of the aircraft turbulence and the confined space may not allow you to change lenses during the flight.
Therefore, the choice of lenses will depend on your preferences whether you want close-up pictures or panoramic views. The zoom lens is great for aerial photography as this will allow you to try different compositions during the flight.
Using the sky in aerial photography
One of the elements we don’t ever capture appropriately in ground photography is the sky. The sky can contribute to the beauty of an aerial image immensely. If the sky has cloud formations, this can be included in the picture to improve its overall look.
If the sky has interesting colors and formations, this can be included in your picture composition too. Note that a clear sky does not contribute much to the image.
Leveraging time: sunrise and sunset
One of the best moments to take a colorful aerial photograph is during sunrise or at sunset. The red and gold color of the sun as it spreads over the sky during this hours presents an opportune moment for most photographers as this gives great shots.
When taken above city skylines, the composition may be epic considering the city lights down below.
The lighting conditions are one of the major factors that also contribute to the quality of a photograph. Light can differ in tone and color depending on the time of day the picture is to be taken, early morning light usually tends to take a cool blue tint as compared to the warm golden glow of sunset.
The weather changes can as well bring various changes in the lighting condition for example; overcast conditions can diffuse the harsh afternoon light. This will usually take some time to learn and judge the best time to shoot the object and get best to your satisfaction.
Using drones for aerial photography
With the advent of technology, drones have recently become useful vehicles that can be utilized in aerial photography as well as aerial videography.
If you want high-quality photographs, it is better to spend a bit more and acquire good drone cameras for your drone.
Shoot from different angles
You will always want to capture an image from various angles, aerial photography offers this chance. As a result, you are in a position to find an angle that best suits your needs.
You can try an above angle or take a shot from a side angle and see which one comes out best. Note that trying different angles will give you very beautiful views.
Open the window!
If possible always avoid taking aerial photos through closed windows. Even if the window glass is sparkling clean, you can run the risk of having reflections on your images that you may not have seen while in the air.
It is a good idea to communicate with your pilot before the flight and let him attend to this need.
GPS controlled shots
Using a GPS-enabled drone is a terrific way of planning and taking photographs. When flying a drone, for example, you fly it to your location of choice and once there you let go of the controls.
The drone will hover over the place and stabilize itself, giving you a great chance to take a photo shot that is still and without any vibrations.
Shoot moving objects
Although drones allow you to take pictures of both stationary and objects in motion, shooting high-quality pictures of objects in motion requires that you adjust the shutter speed of your camera, the faster it is the better.
Also, a higher ISO setting enables faster shutter speeds in less than brilliant sunshine.
Good focal point
Any great photo has a focal point; this refers to the main object the photography was intending to focus on.
This is what catches the attention of the viewer and can be virtually anything ranging from a human being, building, mountain etc. the more interesting the focal point, the better the outcome of your aerial photography.
DSLR vs. Compact cameras
Although both DSLR and compact cameras can be used for aerial photography, DSLR is considered better if you are considering a camera for professional purpose.
Due to the large image sensor, DSLRs can be used to take photographs that are rich in detail. They also have the ability to change the shutter speed, white balance, set ISO levels and much more.