High impact marketing photography

We fly where drones can’t go to get the hero shot.

Drones can only go to 500 feet; our operating altitude is from 500 feet to 5000 feet. We are renowned for our “hero shots” used in marketing and promotion; these are usually taken from an altitude of 3000 feet as this is the best height to feature a location in the foreground and show surrounding infrastructure as well as the horizon for that artistic touch. Mostly we fly from a Cessna 172, a beautiful and common little aircraft, very stable and in the right hands fast and maneuverable. 2 pins and the door comes off for a wide-angle view, can be a bit scary up there with nothing between you and a very long fall but your seat belt. I know of many professional photographers who have had such a fright they refuse to fly again. I can’t get life insurance as this occupation is classed in the most dangerous category.

How do we produce such consistent, high-quality aerial photographs? 54 years ago, colour photography was difficult, complicated and expensive. Most colour photographs were hand coloured with oil paints. Many years of printing black & white, mostly 10 x 8 glossy was defiantly the best way to learn tonal quality, brightness and contrast, using Kodak and Ilford photo papers. Colour printing was another story, start with an educated guess as to what colour filters to dial into the enlarger, do a test strip and correct, took 3 to 5 test strips to get the colour right. That was a great background and in 1980 opened one of Australia’s first and best mini labs churning out around 2000 prints a day.