Trying Aerial Photography Yourself

So you have a professional DSLR camera and you want to try doing some aerial photography yourself?

There is much more involved with capturing pristine aerial images than what is discussed in this short blog.  Without the proper training and practice, you will certainly spent a ton of money and you probably will not be happy with the results.  This is why it is important to consult with a professional aerial photography company who will deliver exactly what you are looking for.  However, if you are not looking for professional photos and you just want to have fun doing your own aerials, these tips will be sure to help.

Do your research beforehand and get a good idea about what you want to photograph and how you will accomplish it. What side of the aircraft will you be shooting from? What altitude or different altitudes are required? When will the light be the best? Always have an extra memory card and battery for your camera.  The last thing you want to do is get airborne and have your battery run dead or your memory card fill up.

Once you have done your homework, it’s time to find your aircraft. Your budget is likely the biggest decision here, as well as the type of aircraft available.  As a general rule of thumb, the rental rate for a four seat Cessna 172 (high wing airplane) is about $145.00 per plus the rate for the pilot of about $45.00 per hour (NJ prices).  It’s important to hire a good pilot, preferably one that has experience working with photographers! Pilots do vary and some are better when it comes to understanding the requirements of aerial photography.  You would be surprised at how many aerials of local landmarks you can shoot on a one hour flight.

The most important rule is NEVER SHOOT AN IMAGE FROM BEHIND THE GLASS WINDOW OF THE AIRPLANE.  There should be no obstruction between your camera lens and the object you are attempting to take a picture of.   A good pilot will be able to make that happen for you.



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