Many have heard about commercial photography, but what exactly is commercial aerial photography? If you've ever seen a a brochure or any sort advertisement with a shot of the business or property from an aerial (from the sky pointing downwards and towards), then you've just witnessed the product of commercial aerial photography service. This service allows business owners to give their clients and other networks (ie; other businesses or services) a view of the companies grounds from an aerial point of view.
So who can use these services?
Commercial aerial photography companies offer their services to a huge variety of businesses. Below are just a few types of businesses that can benefit from commercial aerial photography:
Amusement and Theme Parks
Hotels and Motels
Parks and Recreation
... just to name a few
In addition, this type of service also often take part in large-scale functions like County fairs, city and other public events. The interesting part of it all is that many people never think of the fact that to get these photos, a unique method is used to bring the camera up in the sky to take the shot.
So How Are They Photographed?
Well, there are a variety of mediums commercial aerial photography companies use to take photographs from the sky. In addition, all of them have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Below are some of the main ways a commercial aerial photographer takes these photos:
Balloon aerial photography - This method, as the name suggests, uses large balloons to bring their camera to the sky to take photos. The downside to this method is that there are some control disadvantages when taking the pictures. This can be limiting if you are wanting to take the perfect shot. In addition, you are also restricted by the height of the shot.
Kite aerial photography - This method uses kites to mount their cameras. This is a very common and affordable means of photography. The downside is that kite aerial photography relies quite a bit on the wind. When there is no wind, there is no business... However, they do quite well on the beach. Again, like the balloon method, you still have height restrictions as well as some control restrictions.
Manned helicopter aerial photography - This method uses helicopters which are operated by a human within within the cockpit and often partnered with a photographer. This allows great control over the camera and its functions. The disadvantage to this is that helicopters can be quite noisy and high impact when in residential neighborhoods. In addition, helicopters, for various safety reasons, can't get too close to the ground.
Radio controlled helicopter aerial photography or "RCAP" - This method uses remote controlled helicopters with a camera mount which sends a live feed to the controller of the camera. This allows both control and the helicopters are small enough that they can get where full-sized helicopters can't. In addition, they may also go higher than balloons or kites without losing accuracy.
In addition to commercial services, aerial photography can be used for a number of other applications like weddings, private events, among many other uses. Plus, most aerial photographers also provide regular professional photography services on the ground. From the beautiful buildings of Portland, Oregon to the Dry desert like environment of Arizona, to the sunny beaches of California, these photographs can portray almost every kind of look and feel which strikes a very different emotion in every shot.
Aerial Photography in the Future:
This kind of unique service is far from becoming obsolete. Today, new innovations are taking place for aerial photographers including cameras with much higher technology and options, full high definition shots, multi-camera systems which allow full viewing capabilities from all sides at one time. Plus many of these photographers also offer a service known as aerial videography. Like photography, aerial videographers use video cameras instead of still cameras to provide a very different kind of product.
Commercial aerial photography companies provide a service that many do not even know exist. It can be a very fun and exciting field to be in and have limitless applications. The next time you see a brochure or a poster of the grounds of a vineyard, take special note of how that photo was created.