Aerial photography is an Orchard Photo specialty. The photographer is conveniently located to take aerial photos in the areas of Columbus, OH and Lancaster, OH. He also frequently flies to Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Please consider the following when requesting an aerial photography shoot.
The photographer will need detailed directions to the photo shoot area. The relationship of the object to prominent roads, malls or other unique landmarks is helpful. GPS coordinates are especially helpful and in cases with no prominent landmarks are essential. GPS coordinates (i.e., latitude and longitude) can be read off of many types of maps but the easiest way to get them is from a handheld GPS receiver. The best help would be the photo site marked on a satellite photo from, for instance, Google Maps.
- The photographer has no control of the weather. If you want the photographs taken in particular weather conditions, the more advance notice the better. Bright sunny days are good for showing contrast in buildings and for illuminating objects that face the sun. Some objects never face the sun at any time of day and will therefore be in a prominent shadow on a bright day. Cloudy days are better for more even lighting and less shadows but are also more likely to have associated mist and haze.
- Some buildings and objects are not as attractive from the air as others. The views of some buildings are blocked by trees, etc. Sometimes trailers, dumpsters, etc. should be moved before a photo shoot.
The cost of aerial photography is dependent on various factors such as the particular type of aircraft used, distance to be flown, etc. If there is an urgent need for the photos, there will be a rush processing charge. Ordinarily, photos will be available within 30 days.
A retainer in the amount of the estimated flight time will be payable before the photos will be taken. Once the flight has been made, this retainer is not refundable. Also, if working with a company requires that I sign some extensive work order that it would require a New York attorney to read and interpret, then please get another photographer.
There are also potential customers that seem shocked that aerial photography costs so much. Keep in mind that aviation fuel generally costs at least a couple dollars more per gallon than premium car gasoline and that that the airplanes I use consume at least 9 gallons per hour of it. All maintainance work on an airplane must be done by a licensed aviation mechanic, annual inspections are required and engine overhauls and parts arenŐt anywhere close to cheap. If the cost seems too much, hire a pilot, rent an airplane, take your camera and take all the photos you want and do anything with them you want to do.
Once the photographs have been taken, prints to be purchased can be selected after reviewing the previews. The photographer retains ownership of the negatives and copyright. The photographer retains all rights of reproduction and the photographs may not be reproduced for any reason without a license.
In general, the photographer uses fixed wing aircraft though at a significantly higher cost a helicopter could be used. A helicopter would be needed in situations where the photographer needed to be closer to the object to be photographed than aviation laws and safety permit fixed wing aircraft to operate.
Cameras used are digital unless a very large reproduction is needed in which case a medium format film camera would be used. When enlargements are to be made, medium format cameras with their larger film size provide better print quality than 35 mm and most digital cameras.
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© Martin J. Lohne 2009. Revised 11/3/09.