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I recently had the pleasure of taking an aerial photography flight with Sea To Sky Air above Whistler and Squamish in British Columbia. The Sea To Sky hall has been my home for over ten years and it was an incredible experience to see it from this unique vantage level. Since I took their Coast Mountain Photo Epic flight which is designed with photographers in mind, I was in a position to plan my preferred route for the seventy five minute flight to verify I coated some specific areas at the right time.
Whenever I do these sorts of fascinating photograph tasks I like to make use of the chance to create some new content material for this website, so right now I’ve obtained all the information you have to get epic aerial pictures if you fly. Perhaps it’ll even encourage you to stand up in a sky in your very first aerial photograph shoot!
1/1000, f/10, ISO1600 @57mmIn this information, you’re going to learn every little thing you have to know about capturing great aerial photographs from both an airplane or a helicopter. I’ll train you what kind of settings you’ll require to get sharp pictures, which lenses will work the most effective and even focus on the relative merits of utilizing either a plane or a helicopter.
When I set out to do this aerial shoot I knew I was going to be making a tutorial for the location so I wished to do one thing somewhat totally different to make this the good tutorial of its sort on the web! Throughout this publish you’ll see a number of the pictures I took throughout my flight, but I’ve also put together this timelapse of the flight that exhibits me shooting the images. If you’ve obtained the internet bandwidth, I’d advocate opening it up on YouTube and watching it full screen in 4K resolution! Please give it a share and thumbs up should you prefer it 🙂
To pre-empt the query, the timelapse was shot using a GoPro Hero four Black, with the timelapse mode set to take one photo every second. The battery just lasted the entire seventy five minute period of the flight. The 4,500 photographs have been then mixed collectively into the timelapse utilizing the GoPro Studio software and exported within the highest decision possible with GoPro’s CineForm codec. I then took that plain timelapse and threw it into Final Cut Pro X, the place I added the extra slideshow photographs and set it to music which was licensed from Triple Scoop Music.
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! Now, on with the the rest of the tutorial and my aerial pictures tips for you.
1/1000, f/9, ISO1250 @59mmUsing the Photopills app to plan the proper timing.
When you e-book your flight you’ll want to take a while to think about the time of day and angle of the solar. Just like regular landscape photography at floor degree, the sunshine is going to be softer, and create more contrast firstly and end of the day. Avoid noon flights at all costs! Thankfully for my flight, Sea To Sky Air let me choose the right time within the late afternoon. Most sightseeing operations will have to have their planes again on the ground a sure number of minutes before sundown so as to adjust to laws. If your chosen operator has indicated you could pick a selected time in your flight, you’ll wish to find out that further information as nicely to help your planning.
Of course the time of day doesn’t simply impact the softness of the light, it also modifications the direction. To precisely plan a photograph flight you should have some idea of precisely what topics you wish to photograph so as to work out which sun angle will make them look one of the best. I use the iOS app Photopills, to see the course of sunlight at any location on any date and any time. For this particualr flight over Whistler and Squamish, my major targets had been two outstanding peaks: Black Tusk and Sky Pilot. Whilst an early morning flight can also produce great light for images, utilizing the app and my present data of these two locations, I decided that an evening flight would produce essentially the most desirable outcomes. Andorid users can get an analogous expertise from an app calledThe Photographers Ephemeris.
Working with my pilot to plan the route for the flight (Photo: Victoria Wood)
2 – Use a Safety Tether for Your Camera
This is another tip that is related to both pictures from an airplane and a helicopter. It’s essential that nothing can fall from the plane so each time you’re sticking digital camera gear out of an open plane door or window, it needs to be securely hooked up to you. A neck strap is the apparent first precaution however it can limit your movement. Whilst it’s all the time greatest to have a clear view by way of your camera’s viewfinder to properly compose your shot, there are specific angles you might need to achieve where there isn’t attainable, significantly if you are carrying a restrictive seatbelt, or full harness if you are “doors off” in a heli. You would possibly end up wanting to make use of a rotating LCD display screen in your camera to compose a shot at arms size, and this is the place a daily neck strap can cause problems.
The quick-release Anchor system permits for lots of completely different mounting choices.
My favourite resolution to this problem is to use somewhat strap referred to as the Leash, from Peak Design. It’s really one thing I carry around in my digital camera bag on a daily basis, and I typically tether my digicam to me when I’m leaning over the edge of a cliff, bridge, waterfall or chairlift. The Leash is a designed to be an ultralight shoulder strap, however it additionally has the added capacity to create a closed safety loop around something. You can strap it spherical your wrist, by way of a belt loop in your pants, to the shoulder strap of a backpack or on this case, to one thing contained in the plane. It uses the tried and examined Peak Design fast release system so you can take away it in a flash, and I truly use it as my day-today camera strap as a end result of I love it’s multipurpose design. (Check out a full evaluation of the Peak Design Leash here)
Obviously you’d nonetheless do some severe injury to your camera when you dropped it, because the wind speed is high and would whip your camera in opposition to the aspect of the aircraft pretty exhausting, but no less than it wouldn’t fall. For added safety, I team my Leash strap with the Clutch hand strap from Peak Design – they make the proper paring. The Clutch is a straightforward hand strap that makes it onerous to drop your digicam within the first place, so hopefully the Leash is just there as a backup. With the Clutch carried out up tightly, you can actually release your finger grip on the camera and it’ll keep firmly glued to your hand. It’s also nice as a result of it means you won’t drop your digital camera on any of the aircraft controls in case you are in a decent front seat. I love this stuff, and I have one on all my DSLRs.
If you may be doing lots of aerial work and need an much more sturdy tethering solution then you can try my guide to creating the ultimate word digital camera tether using climbing gear.
Here’s the Clutch in motion throughout an aerial helicopter flight in the Canadian Rockies
3 – Ditch the Lens Hood
You’ll find that many aerial tour companies will ask you to do that anyway, but even when they don’t, I think it’s a good suggestion. Lens hoods may be insecure and also you don’t need it flying off your digital camera and probably inflicting harm to the plane, or hurting someone on the ground. If you’re shooting from a excessive wing plane, you’ve got yourself a reasonably good shade anyway! If you do end up with a lens flare concern then a nicely positioned hand can normally solve the problem in a pinch.
4 – Don’t Forget Your Gloves
There are many kinds of photography gloves in the marketplace these days.You may need observed in the photo at the top of the post that I am sporting gloves whereas I’m shooting. Whether that is absolutely necessary will depend on your location, however air temperatures might be dramatically lower at altitude and even in heat climates most individuals will discover it more comfy to guard their hands from the chilly air that’s rushing previous.
I even have previously written an intensive information to one of the best images gloves on this web site so that you would possibly want to check it out to see all of the options. For aerial photography in most areas, a liner fashion glove is going to be enough, and the various variations from The Heat Company would be my choose.
Heat Tube linerPolartec Wind Pro linerDurable linerPolartec linerThe only time once I would additionally convey a thicker pair of gloves is if I am capturing from a helicopter with the whole door eliminated. In a heli this can make for a fantastic photography platform, however it’s removed from a cushty expertise as you’re uncovered to the chilly, speeding air for the duration of the flight. In this case, I may opt for a thicker glove just like the Shell Mitt from The Heat Company, which I would then mix with certainly one of their thinner liner. Simply zip open the mitt when it’s time to shoot!
The Shell Mitt from The Heat CompanyIn this “doors off” helicopter situation, I additionally extremely advocate bringing a face mask or balaclava to guard your face.
5 – Choosing the Right Lens
This is a fairly significant part because it may possibly actually make and break the sort of pictures you get from your flight. I’m going to discuss the lenses that I even have discovered helpful over the years, and also the precise ones that I used for the pictures on this particular flight with Sea To Sky Air. If you don’t have the exact lens that I point out, don’t panic! The necessary thing is to have something shut, in terms of focal vary, but in addition keep in mind that you could rent lenses for a fraction of the price of your flight. If you’re spending hundreds of dollars on the flight, it may also be a great alternative to hire the right lens for the job from somebody like Borrowlenses.com or LensRentals.com.
My first suggestion is to use a zoom lens so that you can cover a number of focal lengths very quickly. When you’re flying previous your subject and the light is good, issues occur fairly rapidly. That capability to get a quantity of different wanting photos inside a second, through the use of a zoom lens, is absolutely key to maximizing your flight time. The word “zoom” was once a dirty word in terms of high quality, however that’s not the case today. There are some really great zoom lenses on the market and I make use of them each day for my images work.
Not only will a zoom lens give you different images in a single cross, however it’s additionally a much safer option as it’ll stop you from dropping a lens within the confined space of the cockpit. On helicopter flights with the doorways off, you won’t wish to change a lens at all! If that’s the type of flight you’re on, you’ll must convey multiple cameras if you wish to use a number of lenses. Again, you possibly can at all times rent an extra camera for a very small value compared to the value of your flight.
For common aerial panorama images, a zoom lens that roughly covers the mm focal range is the ideal lens. I say “roughly”, as a end result of a 24-70mm may even be an excellent possibility. On this specific flight that I took, my Canon f/2.eight L II was used for 90% of the pictures. I used a Canon 8-15mm f/4 L Fisheye for the interior shots that include the pilot, I used the Canon f/4 L for a couple of photographs that included the exterior of the airplane, and I also used my Canon f/4.5-5.6 L IS II for the picture of the fiery orange sky on the horizon.
The 24-70mm did the majority of the work, and I would have nonetheless been very proud of my images had this been the one lens I had available to me. That said, if you personal further lenses as I do, it makes sense to convey a pair along for particular circumstances. If you’ve a 16-35mm lens then this is nice for interior images, as is a fisheye lens.
Sigma f/4 DG OSCanon f/4 L IS(345) Add to Compare Nikon AF-S NIKKOR mm f/4G ED VRThe Peak Design Everyday Sling
6 – Choosing the Right Camera
1/1250, f/9, ISO1250 @49mmWhen it comes to digicam selection for a flight like this, there’s two main things to contemplate: Resolution, and excessive ISO performance. There isn’t really a minimal variety of megapixels you must have, but in terms of aerial photography I say the extra the merrier. More megapixels will give you should more fine detail which both great for big prints, but additionally gives you “spare” decision that lets you crop your picture and still preserve an excellent ultimate image size. With the movements of the airplane and the continually changing orientation, it can be tough to nail the proper composition if it’s your first time in the air. Things simply seem to happen so fast! If you might have a lots of megapixels, you’ll have the ability to afford to shoot your compositions somewhat bit looser, and then rotate and crop the slightly as needed when you get them onto your pc.
The second necessary consideration is the camera’s excessive ISO performance. In fact, I’d most likely price this asmore essential than the megapixel count! Light ranges are going to be pretty low if you’re capturing at either extremity of the day. When you mix this with a necessity for an honest depth of subject in your landscape shot, and the requirement for a fast sufficient shutter speed to stop the plane’s motion from blurring your photo, you rapidly end up pushing your camera’s ISO fairly high. When you push a camera’s ISO larger and higher, the images will get softer and softer, and extra noise will begin to creep into them. Full frame cameras always have less noise (i.e. higher excessive ISO performance) than their crop sensor equivalent from a similar time interval, so you’d do well to get your arms on a lately released full body digicam if you really need to maximize your results. Confidence within the excessive ISO functionality of your digicam will let you shoot with a pleasant safety buffer in your shutter pace to be certain to don’t see any blurring, even when zooming in to make use of longer focal lengths. If you can confidently set your camera to one thing like ISO2000 and nonetheless get great looking photographs, you’ll in all probability be fantastic, however there’s no harm in with the flexibility to go even greater.
If you’re hoping to use a pocket-sized level and shoot digital camera then I suppose you could be disappointed with the outcomes. Photos would doubtless be nice for small 4×6 prints and digital utilization on someplace like Facebook, however I can’t help considering that if you’re the sort of one who has already made it this far down my rather lengthly list of aerial pictures ideas, you’re probably someone who’s probably on the lookout for one thing a little bit better than simply passable. Point and shoot cameras have very small sensors and which means their high ISO efficiency is horrible compared to even a cheap DSLR. In some conditions it won’t be so noticeable to you, however I’m telling you right now than low gentle aerial pictures is a state of affairs that might actually reveal the weaknesses of those kinds of cameras. A DSLR or a mirrorless digital camera with a sensor of a minimum of APS-C dimension ought to be thought of mandatory if you’re actually seeking to get one of the best out of your picture flight.
Additional reading: Understanding ISOand Understanding the Exposure Triangle.
7 – Selecting the Best Camera Settings
1/640, f/9, ISO1250With aerial images, your primary priority in the exposure triangle (shutter pace, aperture, ISO) goes to be shutter pace unless you might be in a helicopter in a hover. When you’re in ahead flight in a helicopter, or a plane, you want to select a shutter pace that is going to freeze the movement and deliver a nice sharp picture. From my experience, I can inform you that you have to be using a minimal of 1/640 second and ideally 1/1000 or greater for longer focal lengths. Remember that the longer your focal length, the quicker the shutter speed will have to be to get a pointy image. So a photograph at 24mm would possibly work at 1/640, but when you zoom in to 100mm or extra, it’s going to be a bit blurry. You’ll notice within the photograph below that as I zoomed to 70mm for that shot, I went up to 1/1600 of a second to be protected. Further down the page I used my mm zoom at about 250mm and for that shot I went up to 1/2000 of a second.
With shutter pace being so essential on this state of affairs, I don’t advocate using absolutely automatic publicity in your camera as a result of you’ll don’t have any control over what the digital camera is selecting in shutter speed phrases. If you’re not snug with guide exposure, then you’re most suitable choice is to make use of shutter velocity priority mode, indicated by a TV on Canon cameras and an S on Nikon and different manufacturers. In shutter velocity precedence, you’ll dictate the shutter pace, and your digital camera will decide which aperture might be needed to go with that and nonetheless achieve an accurate publicity.
Whilst you hand off the choice of the aperture to your digicam on this situation, you proceed to wish to pay close attention to what it is choosing, as a outcome of this will decide the depth of field in your photographs. My recommendation is to have an aperture of between f/5 and f/11. If you see that together with your shutter speed set to something like 1/1000, your camera is choosing an aperture that’s wider than this, like f/2.eight, then you need to improve your ISO to compensate and this can enable your digicam to stop the aperture down a bit extra and achieve a deeper depth of subject.
As properly as setting your shutter pace, you should also set your autofocus to “one shot” mode. There’s no must perform any sort of steady AF monitoring whereas your’re capturing because your subject will be remaining roughly the identical distance from the digital camera.
Additional Reading: Understanding Aperture and Understanding Shutter Speed.
8 – Minimizing Vibrations
1/1600, f/9, ISO1250 @70mmLight plane and helicopters vibrate so much when they’re flying, and it might possibly trigger your photos to be blurry even if you have chosen the best settings after studying section #7 above. If you’re utilizing a lens that has image stabilization, by all means use it – this undoubtedly helps a lot! The key to minimizing the issue is to isolate yourself from the aircraft as much as potential. If you’re capturing by way of an open window, don’t be tempted to relaxation your digital camera on the window sill, or even lean on it with your forearms. Poke your lens via the window without touching any part of the side of the airplane. This retains your primary contact point with the plane proper where you may be sitting, and any vibrations can then be dampened by your torso and arms earlier than they attain your camera. If you may be capturing although a closed window, make sure the entrance of the lens doesn’t touch it in any respect.
9 – What to Do with Windows
Ideally you’re going to need to discover a sightseeing service provider that has an plane with a window that opens broad sufficient so that you just can shoot from. Take one other have a look at the highest picture on this publish and you’ll see how wide the window was on the Cessna that I used. Most light plane and helicopters have perspex home windows, not glass, and this plastic will cause a color solid in your photographs if you must shoot via it. I personally wouldn’t take a flight for images specific purposes that compelled me to shoot via a window, I know I’m just not going to get correct colors or the sharpest photographs. Having said that, I actually have taken several flights the place the primary objective was transportation, but I nonetheless wished to get a quantity of photographs on the way. These sorts of flights aren’t quite so geared up for photography so they could not have windows that open. In this example the first thing to recollect is that you simply want to put the lens as near parallel with the window pane as attainable, when you shoot at an angle via perspex, it’ll cause major distortion and softening of the image. Also attempt to keep away from bulbous dome-shaped windows which will also distort heavily.
A LenskirtThe subsequent factor you have to do is decrease reflections on the window. The number one thing that’s going to be reflected within the window is you! If you put on a bright pink t-shirt, you’re going to have a foul time of it and there shall be a red color cast on all of your photographs. Try and wear impartial dark gray or black. You can additional lower reflections on the window by cupping your hand around the entrance of the lens in an identical fashion to a lens hood. Then press your hand up towards the window to stop stray light getting in between the lens and the window. If you need to get actually serious about it, there’s a product referred to as the Lenskirt, which is designed precisely for this function. It makes use of suction cups on the window to create a black curtain in your lens to poke via. I even have one myself and have used it for taking photographs via the window of airliners.
Like I said, for great pictures you’re going to wish to find an airplane or helicopter firm that may allow you to shoot by way of an open window, but if all else fails, or you simply occur to search out your self on an airplane for another purpose, hold these tips in mind.
10 – Shoot Your Pilot and Passengers!
1/200, ISO1250, f/14 with the Canon 8-15mm fisheye.Ok, that sounds dangerous. What I imply is that there’ll undoubtedly be momentsbetween capturing fascinating things outside the window. This might be a as soon as in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you so I’d all the time advocate taking a couple of extra pictures of the other people who had been involved in the expertise. When you look again on your flight in a few years time you’ll be glad that you just took a little time to do that as a result of it’s going to help you keep in mind the journey as an entire, and never only a collection of photos. I always method every photographic experience as if I was capturing for considered one of my editorial clients, and I attempt to get a collection of pictures that inform the full story. One of these dramatic landscape photographs by itself may be good, but it’s hard to get the full image of your experience from it. When you combine it with these additional images, I think you’ll agree that you just begin to get a real really feel for my expertise on this flight!
Now that I’ve said that, I also needs to mention that using a flash may be essential to get some photographs of this type. When it’s very bright exterior, and comparatively darkish inside the plane, it’s onerous to pick out the small print of the plane’s instrumentation except you gentle them with a flash. If you have been to expose your shot so as to see the inside of the airplane, you’d usually blow out the highlights within the landscape outdoors the airplane. The flash lets you accurately expose for the brightness outside, after which fill within the darkness contained in the aircraft with the flash burst – this method is recognized as fill flash.
With such vastly differing lighting ranges between the interior and the outside of the aircraft, it can additionally be a difficult situation for your camera’s computerized flash meter to gauge the settings accurately. Some practice with either guide flash utilization, or utilizing the flash exposure compensation dial (FE) will be beneficial in this scenario so as to dial in the appropriate brightness for the plane’s inside. If that stuff is new to your however you’re planning a flight a while prematurely, I would undoubtedly advocate training this method before you get within the air. You can always recreate a similar state of affairs by using a car’s inside for practice!
1/1250, f/5, ISO1600 @26mm with the Canon f/2.8 L II
11 – Adjust Your Altitude
Pass #1Pass #2 – A little higher, discover the change in background.When you first get up in the air, every little thing is going to look wonderful to you, but there are a number of ways you presumably can change the look of your final pictures. The biggest one of these is to ask your pilot to regulate your altitude. Just changing things a thousand toes can have a dramatic impact on the composition of your pictures if you are flying near protruding landscapes and not just taking pictures ground-level patterns. If you climb higher, rather more might be revealed within the background of your photographs. If you might have a topic in your foreground that you want to isolate from a surrounding landscape, a decrease altitude is best for this.
To show this point, I requested my pilot to fly two similar headings alongside a ridge line with the stunning Sky Pilot mountain in Squamish as my subject. Sky Pilot has its peak at 2,031 m (6,663 ft). The first cross was carried out at roughly the same heigh because the mountain, and the second pass on the very same heading was carried out a couple of hundred feet greater that the height. Look on the distinction this made to the composition of this shot! The decrease altitude does a better job of isolating the mountain as a singular subject, whilst the second puts it rather more in its place inside the Coast Mountain vary since you’ll be able to see extra of the mountains past it. I wouldn’t not necessarily say that one shot is healthier than the other, they key’s just to keep in mind that a comparatively small altitude adjustment could make a big difference. Make certain you discuss this through together with your pilot before you’re taking off, and be aware that comfortably gaining and dropping altitude in small unpressurized aircraft can take a few minutes so issue this into your flight plan.
12 – Yaw and Roll Control
I wanted to incorporate this diagram as a result of I think it’s a good suggestion to know tips on how to accurately communicate with your pilot. In a excessive winged aircraft like a Cessna, it might seem like a real drawback to have the wing and the wing strut right outside your window, however really this is a drawback that’s solved relatively easy when you’ve good communication together with your pilot. As you strategy your meant photographic subject, the pilot can yaw the airplane to the left (assuming you’re on the right), and this will transfer the strut out of your method. You can also roll it slightly to the left which will bring the wing tip up and normally offer you loads of viewing house to get a clear shot. Until I went on this explicit flight, I’d truly solely shot from a helicopter earlier than, but I was pleasantly stunned how straightforward it was to get a transparent view from the side of the Cessna as properly.
Make certain you focus on this with the pilot before you’re taking off, and bear in mind that these adjustments to the plane will finally result in a change of path if they’re held for a very lengthy time so any request to perform them ought to be left proper until the most effective shot is approaching.
The view at 11mm on the the Canon 11-24mm f/4 L
13 – Don’t Forget the Plane!
1/160, f/10, ISO500 @24mm utilizing a Canon 600EX RT flashThis tip is one thing of an extension to #10 the place I underlined the importance of capturing the whole expertise of your journey. Even if you’re buzzing with pleasure before your flight, or pumped up on adrenaline afterwards, don’t neglect to grab a couple of photos of the great machine that took you up there!
14 – Shoot In Portrait and Landscape Orientations
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement whereas you’re flying and overlook to rotate your digital camera to shoot some photographs in a portrait (vertical) orientation. Many landscapes do lend themselves better to the landscape (horizontal) orientation, but there’s usually great pictures available when the digital camera is rotated ninety levels. By having some variation in your ensuing photographs, you’ll give yourself much more alternative if you need to create some prints from the pictures, and the identical factor applies should you submit your pictures to a inventory photograph company. Heck, portrait orientation images even look better on Instagram than panorama orientation so even if it’s only for that reason, it’s value mixing issues up a little! When i’m flying into the perfect photo spot and lining up a shot, I’m often considering two or three seconds ahead of myself in order that I have already pictured the proper portrait composition for a shot that I’m at present taking pictures in landscape. I’ll try to capture every thing twice to provide myself as many choices as potential in phrases of satisfying my needs, and people of my clients.
15 – Check Your Cards and Batteries
The evening earlier than you head out on your flight, ensure you put your batteries on cost so you can start your flight at 100%. You should also ensure you have an empty memory card in your camera, and be sure that its measurement goes to find a way to greater than fit your needs. There’s nothing worse than lacking the shot since you are too busy fumbling with changing out a battery or a reminiscence card! If you’re on a decent schedule, it won’t be possible to fly round once more and take one other have a glance at things!
sixteen – Don’t Pray For Great Weather
1/2000, f/9, ISO1250 @ 271mm utilizing Canon f/4.5-5.6 L IS II. Using this longer focal size necessitated the utilization of the sooner 1/2000 second shutter pace.Contrary to popular belief, it’s truly best to not have excellent climate on a flightseeing picture tour. If you probably can afford to be flexible in if you book your flight, it’s finest to maintain an in depth eye on the forecast and attempt to get a day that’s partly cloudy. Clouds add so much drama to a scene, and once they block sunlight from hitting the ground, or other areas of the panorama, they create contrast and distinction is the key to compelling imagery. Clouds create contrast for us on the ground, and also in the sky the place you can see darker and lighter ares of cloud cowl because the layers overlap. For this flight over Whistler and Squamish I studied the forecast and even referred to as the shoot off on in the future when the weather was too good. In the end my endurance was rewarded with what I would contemplate to be excellent climate for this sort of pictures.
The different advantage of various cloud cowl is that it will create something totally distinctive. On a bluebird day, the landscape is going to look just the identical as any other bluebird day, however on a day with some clouds brewing, you’ll get distinction and dappled light across the panorama that’s almost guaranteed to never be the actual same once more. If you propose on taking multiple flights in one location that is perfect as a result of they’ll all be slightly different.
17 – Shoot in RAW
Does your digicam shoot RAW photographs but you haven’t gotten round to attempting it yet? Now isn’t really the time to enter an excellent RAW Vs. JPEG debate, both of them have their advantages and suit sure needs. Personally I’m all the time trying to extract absolutely the highest quality pictures from my digital camera, and that’s what RAW photos are designed for therefore I use my cameras in this method daily. One of the most effective reasons to shoot RAW is that it provides you rather more latitude for adjustment of your photographs on the computer, earlier than the file begins to interrupt down and reveal digital noise and artifacting. It’s at all times greatest to get your exposure appropriate whenever you shoot the picture, BUT, if you do occur to get one thing wrong (or your digicam does), then a RAW photograph is going to offer you a better probability of rescuing a useable picture from the the error.
The cause I specifically point out this in relation to aerial images is that publicity could be pretty difficult to take care of when you’re flying on a continually various heading in a small aircraft. One second you’ve obtained the solar behind you and every thing looks great, then the following moment the solar is coming proper at you and your camera is underexposing every little thing. As you’re happily clicking away and searching by way of the viewfinder, you may not discover that the publicity isn’t fairly right anymore. We’re all human! Mistakes occur, and I can let you know from expertise that this is precisely the sort of situation the place it’s attainable to get so caught up within the majesty of the second, that you simply forget to check the results you’re getting. It could be a horrible factor to spend the cash of a flight after which mess up the exposure on an excellent shot that might doubtlessly have been rescued if yo’d been shooting in RAW.
Be conscious, RAW photos are larger in their file sizes so you’ll want a bigger capacity reminiscence card than you would possibly do if you normally shoot JPEGs. Keep tip #15 in mind!
18 – Use a Polarizer (Advanced)
A circular polarizer is, in my opinion, the only strongest filter that a photographer can have in their equipment. When used correctly, it cuts out reflected mild and can have a dramatic effect on the colours within an image. If you’re shooting through a window, it can help to scale back glare on the glass or perspex, and if you’re capturing over water it’s going to permit you to see proper via the water in some cases, by neutralizing the sky’s reflection from the floor. As this side-by-side comparison reveals you, they will produce dramatically totally different results, however they also have some downsides that are compounded in an aerial images scenario.
The first draw back to a polarizer is that it cuts anyplace between 1 and a pair of stops of light from getting into the camera because of the darkness of the glass. If you’re already taking pictures within the low light of early morning or late evening, then light is precious, and you’ll should compensate for that gentle loss ultimately. We’ve mentioned minimum shutter speeds within the earlier section so adjusting that isn’t actually an choice. You’re going to want to preserve an honest depth of area in your landscape shots, in order that additionally implies that opening up the aperture isn’t a perfect solution, either as this would result in decreased depth of area. That leaves us with adjusting ISO. For this purpose, I solely suggest using a polarizer in case you are capturing in very shiny conditions, or you’re utilizing a digital camera that gives you great confidence in its image quality within the ISO range which is the place I assume you’ll end up. A full body camera is a benefit due to their inherent higher excessive ISO performance.
The second problem with polarizers is that they usually tend to confuse the auto exposure sensors in cameras, inflicting them to either under, or over expose images when utilized in auto or semi-auto modes. For this reason, you either need to keep a very close eye on your ensuing photographs while you’re capturing them, or you need to shoot in handbook exposure mode. I advocate the later choice.
The third issue with these filters is that to get the optimum outcome, the filter needs to be rotated to the proper position to chop out the mirrored mild. This place is totally different depending on what your angle is to the sun. On the ground, this isn’t much of an issue as you presumably can simply flip the filter ring to the right spot and take your shot. Whilst you’re flying although, your angle to the solar is constantly altering, and that signifies that you want to constantly re-adjust the filter to find the perfect position once more. If you’re also flipping your digital camera backwards and forwards between horizontal and portrait orientation, that may require a further 90 diploma rotation of the filter each time you try this. Now, imagine doing this in a fast fly-by of your topic while manually exposing, attempting to keep the digital camera regular without leaning on the plane, battling a buffeting cold wind and still composing the shot correctly… You can see why I labelled this tip as advanced!
Whilst there aren’t any adverse effects to the colours of your image when you don’t regulate the polarizer all the time, you will still be losing that 1 to 2 stops of light which in flip will drive you to select an unnecessarily high ISO. In different words, only use a polarizer if you’ll commit to working with it correctly and continually adjusting it to achieve the desired impact, in any other case you’ll be getting noisier images with none of the filter’s benefits.
I select to work with Formatt Hitech Firecrest filters.
19 – Airplane or Helicopter for Aerial Photography?
As I mentioned earlier, this was really my first aerial photo shoot from a plane somewhat than a helicopter, so I’m joyful that I can now touch upon this question from experience. I must admit that earlier than taking this flight, I had assumed that it would be mush simpler to shoot from a helicopter, however it turns out that’s probably not the case.
I suppose the belief is that with a helicopter, you probably can just hover in the best place and take a ton of photos to get the shot, but that’s not really the case. Helicopters use an unlimited quantity of gasoline when they’re hovering and unless you are paying on your flight by the amount of gasoline used, the operator will virtually certainly not let you simply hover in a single spot in your photos. This implies that usually talking, your flight path is going to be fairly comparable whether or not you’re flying in a helicopter or an airplane. One possible difference is the time it takes to vary altitudes. I have discovered that you can increase and decrease altitude a lot faster in a helicopter in order that may be a consideration for you should you have been trying to photograph one space from a number of heights in a brief area of time.
Before talking to Sea to Sky Air I was additionally mistakenly underneath the impression that taking the door utterly off could be much tougher on a plane than a helicopter. I’ve often flown with the door off on a helicopter as a outcome of they arrive off quite simply and it provides an uninterrupted view, albeit a very chilly one. It seems that you could take the door off a Cessna quite simply, but the profit is considerably negated by the touchdown gear that protrudes from the side of the plane. On a helicopter, you subsequently have a clearer view wanting straight down in contrast with a Cessna. If your photographic goal is to capture the patterns on the ground by looking straight down on them, it would show simpler from a helicopter, though also not impossible in a plane when you and your pilot are keen to roll the plane a bit more dramatically.
The greatest distinction between these two modes of transport is probably the cost. It is significantly cheaper to fly in most small aircraft than it’s in a helicopter. In my local space, a 20-minute helicopter tour prices $260 per individual, however for only a few dollars extra ($284/person) I may go on the 75-minute lengthy Coat Mountain Photo Epic tour with Sea to Sky Air again. That’s a massive difference! The extra flight time was what allowed me to target two particular locations that had been far aside, and take multiple photo passes at them.
If you’ll find a helicopter pilot with a smaller heli like a Robinson R22/R44 you possibly can bring the fee down a bit in contrast with someone working a Bell Jetranger or Eurocopter AS355 “Twin Squirrel”, however it’s still not going to compete with someone flying you in a small plane like a Cessna.
Incidentally, when you get into choosing particular helicopters, the larger Jetrangers and Eurocopters can deliver the price down on a per individual basis for avid photographers as a result of you’ll find a way to sit 3 people on one aspect with the doors off. One in the front, one sitting on the floor in the back and one sitting on the seat in the again. With a Robinson R44 the again is too small to have two folks sit sideways on one facet, so while the hourly price is less, it may be extra value environment friendly in the larger helis when you have three individuals. Note that local air rules could forestall any of these setups, so you should always talk about this earlier than booking.
One more thing to remember is that the rear seat in a Cessna doubtless won’t have an opening window, so this makes it a lot less useable for an avid photographer, whereas many helicopters will have the flexibility to accommodate two photographers on one side with each home windows in the front and back seats. It may go some method to offsetting the vast plane/heli value difference when you have a buddy who needs equal photographic alternatives, however it’s nonetheless going to be costlier.
Hopefully these thoughts make your decision a bit clearer. I, for one, was very impressed by the effectiveness and the cost-efficiency of using a small plane, and I’ll definitely be looking to make use of one again sooner or later wherever I can!
FREE Preflight Checklist!
1. Things to recollect to take with you earlier than you go to the airport.
2. Things to recollect throughout your flight.
Run via the first section earlier than you allow your personal home to make sure you’ve received every little thing, and run through the second section just before you are taking off, whereas the pilot is doing his checks! That way you’ll have everything prepared, and have your digital camera all arrange and ready to go.
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