March 17, 2023

Capturing Life from Up High: Aerial Photography Techniques and Tips

By Morkven

Capturing Life from Up High: Aerial Photography Techniques and Tips

Aerial photography has always been fascinating to photographers and audiences alike, offering a unique perspective that we rarely get to see. The advancement in technology is making aerial photography more accessible to everyone, and with the popularity of drones, capturing stunning aerial shots has never been easier.

Whether you’re shooting for fun or taking aerial photographs for a client, mastering aerial photography is a valuable addition to your skill set. Here are some aerial photography techniques and tips to help you capture breathtaking aerial shots.

Plan Your Shoot

Before you take off, research the location you want to photograph and plan your shoot. Check the weather forecast for sunny or cloudy conditions, and consider the time of day for the best lighting. You can use Google Maps and other mapping software to identify any obstacles or restricted flying areas. In addition, decide what type of aerial shots you want, such as vertical or oblique, and choose the appropriate camera settings.

Get the Right Equipment

Most aerial photographers use drones to capture stunning aerial shots, but there are other options available, such as helicopters or planes. Depending on your budget, you can choose a drone with a high-resolution camera that can capture photos up to 48MP. Choose a drone that offers manual camera control, as this will allow you to adjust the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture according to your photography needs.

Use ND Filters

After taking your gear into account, be sure to use neutral density filters on your camera lens. ND filters are essential for aerial photography as they can help reduce the amount of light entering the camera, allowing you to adjust the camera settings to obtain a better exposure. ND filters are essential if you’re capturing videos with a drone, as they provide a smoother, more cinematic look.

Pay Attention to Composition

When shooting aerial photographs, pay close attention to composition. Use leading lines to draw the viewer’s eye to your subject, and use the rule of thirds to guide you. Also, consider the background and foreground elements in your shot, and keep the composition simple and balanced. Experiment with different angles and perspectives; for instance, shoot straight down from above or diagonally from the side – take full advantage of the aerial perspective that you have available.

Consider Safety Guidelines

Safety is essential when it comes to aerial photography. Make sure you are familiar with the drone flying regulations in your area, check the weather conditions before flying and carefully plan your shooting locations. Always keep your drone within sight and maintain a safe distance from people and buildings. In addition, take steps to protect yourself and your gear, such as taking out insurance for your equipment, packing a first aid kit, and using a landing pad to help protect your drone from landing damage.

Edit Your Photos

Like with any other photography, editing is a crucial element to create stunning aerial photographs. Editing tools such as Adobe Lightroom or Google Snapseed can help you enhance the colors, sharpen details, and improve exposure as required. For example, you can increase the vibrancy in your images to make it look more appealing or reduce highlights and shadows to bring contrast to your photos. Experiment with the editing tools to get the desired effect.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Aerial photography requires skill and practice to get it right. Take the time to practice different techniques and experiment with different camera settings to find out what works best for you to perfect your skills. Use online resources and tutorials to guide you, but also explore local areas and capture aerial photos from a variety of locations to build your portfolio.


Aerial photography can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding for those who take the time to master it. With the right equipment, planning, and practice, anyone can perfect their aerial photography skills and capture stunning aerial shots that captivate audiences. Remember to pay attention to safety guidelines, be creative with your composition, and edit your photos to bring out the best in your aerial shots. So next time you take off, take a look below, and capture a bird’s eye view of the world around you.