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Aerial Photography – Your Escape To The Clouds!

Are you fascinated with aerial photographs? Like many people you are probably enthralled with the perspective – especially if it is of an area you know personally or you spot a well-known landmark.

The interest in aerial photography has a long history. Even before men could take photographs high above the earth they were drawing images as they imagined the land to appear from above.


The first person to take a picture from above the earth was the French author and artist Felix Tournachon, also known as Nadar. He took his first picture from a balloon which was tethered to the earth over the Bievre Valley in 1858.

Aerial photography played an important part in creating accurate maps and planning military movements. In 1902 the French army used both regular kites and an air-filled balloon to obtain shots of enemy standings.


Manned and unmanned balloons, kites, and eventually gliders were the first transporters to take pictures from on high.

Arthur Batut used kites to take aerial photographs in the 1880s and the use of kites in aerial photography has continued virtually unchanged over the course of time – of course, the equipment has improved, but the basic principles continue to draw interest from hobbyists and aerial photography enthusiasts.

With advances in technology, the ability to use remote-controlled aircraft was added to the group. Associations for aerial photography – whether kite, glider, or remote-controlled – can be found all over North America and other parts of the world.

These forms of taking aerial photography are also used by Universities and others for scientific research in Earth Sciences.

Obviously the advances continued with the creation of satellite imaging, however, hobbyists and scientists continue to make use of, and enjoy, the art of taking aerial photographs with their own equipment.


The concept is quite basic. A camera is attached to a kite, balloon, glider, or remote-controlled aircraft. It is then set on a timer to take photographs at regular intervals.

Photos can also be taken with a remote-controlled operation that is used by the operator or ground crew.

It is important to know that there are guidelines you are required to follow when taking aerial photographs. In particular, there are restrictions on using kites or other items that are tethered to the ground after sunset unless the object and its line are properly lighted.

If you are interested in trying aerial photography try to find information on local groups through the internet or from local hobby shops. Your view of the world will change!

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