It may seem that aerial photography is very easy to define, which is taking a photograph from the air. This is true; however, there are several categories that are very important for you to understand. Also, there is a growing variety of photographic methods that are not obvious.
Oblique – Oblique aerial images are taken from some type of aircraft, be it a fixed-wing aircraft, a balloon, or a helicopter. The subject is viewed at an angle, and therefore the human eye perceives images as having definition and depth. This branch is often used to promote work, aerial construction progress reports, archeology, produce an extraordinary photograph for display, in the sale of residential or commercial property, or in legal disputes.
Vertical – This is sometimes called “overhead”. Vertical aerial photographs are taken directly from above looking down vertically. Therefore, they produce a flat image like a map. These photographs are generally used for land use, mapping projects, flood risk assessment, farm assessment, and scientific studies.
However, keep in mind that both methods were developed primarily for military purposes.
Today, many alternative photography techniques consider themselves aerial photography when, in fact, they can correctly be called “elevated photography.” These techniques make use of different equipment to lift a camera off the ground to raise the position. Some of the methods used to lift the camera will include the use of telescopic poles or poles and a portable elevated platform that the photographer will stand on.
Uses of aerial photography
Forestry – Photographs taken with color film and filters will help identify tree densities and varieties in remote forest areas.
Archaeological exploration – They give information about objects that are not visible to the terrestrial observer.
geology – Geologists can explore wide land areas from the air and use the information obtained to analyze the earth’s surface. Different locations for the right-of-way and soil excavation can be identified for various highway engineering projects.
Meteorologists – At high altitudes, cameras mounted on rocket-powered vehicles can produce meteorological data.
Military – This has been by far the biggest user of aerial photography. The need for military intelligence and targeting data has been responsible for the advances in the strategies of this form of photography.
The main objective of this form of photography is to obtain images with the maximum detail allowed by the combination of film and lens, not ruined by the movement of the vehicle.