If you’re a photographer by passion or profession who hasn’t tried aerial photography, then you’re missing out on something. And if you are into it, then you know how amazing it can be. While there are many aerial views to capture in your camera, in this article we will be particularly talking about aerial pictures of the New York City taken from a plane or a helicopter.
#1:Start With the Light
Light is an important factor when it comes to aerial photography, so that’s where you start. What effect are you looking for? If you choose to shoot at noon (on a bright day) then you will have fewer shadows to play with. On the other hand, you will have a softer light if you choose to go for an overcast day.
Depending on your subject’s orientation, your chosen side could be in shadow, which is naturally not appealing. So assuming that you pick a sunny day to shoot, make sure you the right time for flying during the day so that the light is optimal. Since New York has great weather, this can be achieved with a little bit of planning.
#2: Shoot on a Clear Day
When it comes to beautiful photography, misty mornings can give you great results. However, due to the moisture in the air, a long distance shot can get spoiled. You will be hundreds of feet up in the air and since you’ll be shooting at an angle, there could be up to 3,000 feet of atmosphere between your subject and you.
It j makes more sense to shoot on day with clear air. This is exactly why those images shot in Arizona or National Parks of Utah come out so amazing. The clear and dry air lets the landscape shine bright with clarity. The same can said about the Big Apple – you just have to see to it that the day is clear enough before moving ahead.
#3: Get the Settings Right
Adjusting the settings on your camera the right way is important to make your aerial photography successful. It’s recommended that you either go for shutter priority or manual. The fact remains that your camera will bounce a lot when you’re traveling in a plane, even if the flight is smooth (since it’s moving in 3 dimensions). This will lead to blurry images.
The solution to this problem is to be “smooth” in your approach when shooting, and shoot lots of pictures. It’s a good idea to set your camera at continuous high speed. For example, if you want to take pictures of the Statue of Liberty when you pass by it, take 20-25 images in the span of 6 to 8 seconds. Once you get back home, you can pick out the sharpest images of all, and leave out the blurry ones.
A very important thing that you need to consider before you begin your aerial photography adventure is if you’re comfortable flying. If you’ve got a fear of heights or acrophobia or don’t feel comfortable for some reason, you should take advantage of a quality flight simulation system such as the Saitek Flight Simulator to get an idea on what flying would be like. If you’re seriously considering aerial photography, you cannot afford to be afraid of heights.
By Liz Becker
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