photography of Sea To Sky Air pilot David while on an aerial photography shoot with Dan Carr

19 Ways To Take Better Aerial Photography

In Homepage Feature, Squamish Things To Do by Vicky Farrand

Shooting from a birds-eye-view is a photographer’s dream and it will certainly get your Instagram feed a lot of attention. But besides your annual vacation flight (where you can’t really see much landscape anyway), it’s a perspective not many of us get to experience.

If you’ve ever thought about taking a sightseeing tour or aerial photography tour you’re probably familiar with the expensive nature of helicopters. They look awesome in the movies and on documentaries, but in reality a simple 30 minute flight is out of reach for most people.

If you’re looking for a more affordable way to spend more time in the air, our Coast Mountain Photo Epic flight is what you need. We had the pleasure of taking up one of the Sea To Sky Corridor’s best landscape and wildlife photographers and we think you’ll agree he enjoyed it!

Pro photographer Dan Carr on aerial photography from a plane

When BC-based landscape and wildlife photographer Dan Carr heard about our 75 minute photography flight over Squamish and the coast mountains he instantly wanted to try it out.

As someone very familiar to shooting aerial photography from helicopters, Dan was excited to see that our aerial photography flight has more than 1 hours worth of flight time and comes with a pre-flight planning session where you create a custom route with your pilot depending on what you want to capture.

“The Sea To Sky corridor has been my home for over ten years and it was an incredible experience to see it from this unique vantage point” – Dan Carr

Because the mountain tops were still covered in snow, Dan chose to take his flight just before sunset to make the most of the incredible alpenglow we get in Squamish and Whistler. He planned his route with our pilot David so that he could spend some time circling the local stratovolcano, Black Tusk, and getting close-ups of Skypilot and Copilot mountains.

Dan Carr’s 19 awesome aerial photography tips

After his flight, Dan put together a detailed blog post with a run-down of everything you need to know about shooting aerial photography from a plane. Below is a sneak peak of our three favourite Dan Carr aerial photography tips, but we highly recommend reading the full post at his site shuttermuse.com.

photography of Sea To Sky Air pilot David while on an aerial photography shoot with Dan Carr

photo kindly provided by Dan Carr / Shuttermuse.com

  1. Think about time of day

    “When you book your flight you’ll want to take some time to consider the time of day and angle of the sun. Just like regular landscape photography at ground level, the light is going to be softer, and create more contrast at the beginning and end of the day. Avoid midday flights at all costs! Thankfully for my flight, Sea To Sky Air let me choose the perfect time in the late afternoon.” – snippet from Dan Carr’s shuttermuse.com/aerial-photography-tips

  2. Use a safety tether for your camera

    “It’s very important that nothing can fall from the aircraft so whenever you’re sticking camera equipment out of an open aircraft door or window, it needs to be securely attached to you.  A neck strap is the obvious first precaution but it can limit your movement.” – snippet from shuttermuse.com/aerial-photography-tips

  3. Shoot your pilot and passengers

    “This might be a once in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you so I’d always recommend taking a few additional photos of the other people that were involved in the experience. When you look back on your flight in a few years time you’ll be glad that you took a little time to do this because it will help you remember the adventure as a whole, and not just a series of photos. I always approach every photographic experience as if I was shooting for one of my editorial clients, and I try and get a series of photos that tell the full story. One of these dramatic landscape photos on its own might be nice, but it’s hard to get the full picture of your experience from it. When you combine it with these extra images, I think you’ll agree that you start to get a real feel for my experience on this flight!” – snippet from Dan Carr’s shuttermuse.com/aerial-photography-tips

Here’s the deal. These snippets barely scratch the surface of the amount if knowledge Dan shares in his blog post and it’s an excellent introduction to aerial photography for beginners. It’s not often you get to pick the brains of an international wildlife and landscape photographer for free, so we recommend you soak it all up now.

Get the full breadth of Dan’s knowledge at shuttermuse.com/aerial-photography-tips