Aerial photography is a delight for many though it can be a very challenging task for both amateur and professional photographers. The majority of aerial photographs are shot by amateurs in small aircrafts since there are many advantages in small planes such as lower altitude, slower flight, and the ability to open a window. The chances of discovering subjects, events, lighting or perspectives are greater at low altitudes.
The UK mapping companies create UK maps with aerial photographs and photogrammetry which is the science of making measurements from photographs. Lately, 3D mapping, NEXTMap, provides high-resolution accurate and affordable elevation data and images of the UK. The leading business directory searchme4 provides a list of the UK aerial photography and surveys companies.
There are some important tips and tricks that should be considered for producing good digital aerial photos besides possessing basic skills of photography. First and foremost be prepared for equipment failure and always carry an extra camera loaded and ready for use. Set your zoom to infinity, in manual mode and set your exposure to a fast shutter speed. Vertical objects like edges of buildings, trees, flag-poles must be properly composed or cropped so that they appear vertical in the final product.
Weather plays a huge role in photography humidity can ruin your shoot, while haze and mist can obscure your subject. Use a polarizing filter to increase colour saturation, reflection from windows, and to penetrate through atmospheric haze. Never shoot with the sun directly behind you as it makes photos look flat, and avoid shooting at noon.
Pictures taken at noon produce hotspots, high contrast, and stark shadows. For perfect pictures shoot at a 90 degree angle to the sun and you can also utilize shadows to add contrast and depth to the photo. When shooting soft portraits or subtle colour scales early morning hours produce the best results.
One of the challenges of digital aerial photography is tackling movement and vibration of your camera which could produce blurry photos. Open windows especially create higher vibration levels, often photographers prefer shooting with open windows to eliminate reflections created by closed windows. However, extreme care should be taken with open windows and always ask your pilot for permission before opening the window. The best way to tackle the movements and vibrations is to use a gyroscope-based stabilizer or for more economical options use your camera strap.
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