Aerial Photography – Styles

Choosing the right style for aerial photography can often make a difference in how well the story is understood.  The basic styles for aerials are OBLIQUE photography and VERTICAL photography.  Simply described, oblique photography is taken from the window of the airplane or helicopter looking out, with a foreground and background.  Vertical photography is taken with the camera pointing straight down thus giving a photo that looks somewhat like a map.  Each style has its special uses and helps to tell a story a different manner.

Oblique photography is subjective in nature and has a point of view.  It can be used to eliminate undesirable elements from a picture or relate subjects that might not automatically be related.


For example in real estate, location is very important.  All properties want to right next to the most desirable features – The oblique can often accomplish this thru selective framing.   


Vertical Photography is objective in nature and presents subjects in their real relationships.  The vertical looks straight down and treats everything is its field of view equally.  Depending upon the technical quality of the vertical, much information about size and distance can be obtained.  Vertical photography can be manipulated to correct for the distortion inherent in the aerial platform.  Once corrected. these images are used to measure distance and area.  Corrected verticals with overlapping information can also be spliced together to show larger areas –  Google earth is a great example of this technique.