Viewing the landscape from the air is a fascinating experience for most of us, whether it be from a commercial airline or a chartered tour company. Seeing familiar landmarks we all can identify take on a whole new perspective when viewed from a birds-eye position. However, for the majority of photographer’s, engagement with the landscape is generally at ground level, or from hills and summits of mountains. Shooting aerial landscapes is something that the vast majority of landscape photographers do not normally undertake.
Aerial landscape photography is generally thought by most people to be expensive and financially unaffordable for most photographers unless the assignment is commissioned, which is true to a point. Many of the images photographed for the 'Natural History of Ulster', which I co-authored with John Faulkner were aerial landscapes photographed from a commercial helicopter. Since then, I have undertaken quite a few other flights to capture many of Ulster's iconic locations from the air photographed with high-resolution cameras.
Since the introduction of drones for both video and stills photography, there has been less demand to photograph from the air using conventional methods. Today's current drones are capable of capturing high-quality imagery and are extremely popular among photographers and aerial enthusiasts, which has reduced the need for conventional aerial photography. However, there are certain situations and challenges, where drone photography cannot be utilised for various reasons and shooting from a helicopter, is a better option.
The photographs below are a small example from a larger collection of aerial imagery from different parts of Ireland photographed using Nikon camera equipment. They were all photographed from a commercial helicopter with the doors removed and a safety harness attached to ensure my safety at all times.
Thompson FRPS FIPF award winning natural history photographer, author, freelance writer, conservationist and entomologist. Specialising in macro, travel, aerial and conventional landscapes nature & wildlife photography. Frequent contributor to the photographic press and other natural history publications. Photography seminars, lectures workshops. Specialist interest in insects especially butterflies, moths, saturniidae, dragonflies, seashore, plants, orchids., fungi and lichens.