Aerial Photography Tips and Tricks

The photography trip up to the Kimberley of Western Australia has been all about colour and texture. One of the best ways of capturing these features has been above with a drone. However, we wanted to take things to the next level and shoot some Aerial Photography.

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Matt Fields –
Jarrad Parker –

Previous Videos in this Kimberley series: 
Video 1 –
Video 2 –

After discussing our flight plan with Hilary from KAS Helicopters, we boarded one of the choppers for a 1.5-hour flight along the coast south of Broome to explore the bay under a 0.4-meter tide, one of the lowest for the year. This trip with Matt and Jarrad was all based around being up here during the spring tides. So the fact we had perfect conditions was not a fluke. It was down to planning.

We cruised over creeks, mangroves, and sandbanks. Each of us had one camera with one lens. We’d organised to remove the helicopter’s doors to give us the best access to shoot down the ground. With this setup, we didn’t want to be messing around with changing lenses. I had the 24-70 f4 for the Nikon Z7, with the other lads had 24-105mm lenses.

Hanging out of a helicopter isn’t for the faint-hearted. It was my first time with the doors off. I thought I was going to be nervous. However, 1-2 minutes into the flight, we were madly shooting photos, too busy to give our situation another thought.

We were shooting in shutter speed priority with the auto ISO, limited up to about 400, Aperture was wide to bring in light, plus the ground was pretty much in the same focal plane. These settings allowed us to have a quick shutter speed of 1/1250 or faster. This setup meant we could concentrate on looking for composition and nailing the shot. There were no second chances.

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