Aerial photography is the taking of photographs of the
ground from an elevated position. The term usually refers to images in which
the camera is not supported by a ground-based structure. Platforms for aerial
photography include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, multirotor Unmanned
Aircraft Systems (UAS), balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites,
parachutes, stand-alone telescoping and vehicle mounted poles. Mounted cameras
may be triggered remotely or automatically; hand-held photographs may be taken
by a photographer.
Aerial photography should not be confused with Air-to-Air Photography, where
one-or-more aircraft are used as Chase planes that "chase" and
photograph other aircraft in flight.
Aerial photography was first practiced by the French
photographer and balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, known as
"Nadar", in 1858 over Paris, France. However, the photographs he
produced no longer exist and therefore the earliest surviving aerial photograph
is titled 'Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It.' Taken by James
Wallace Black and Samuel Archer King on October 13, 1860, it depicts Boston
from a height of 630m.
During World War
The use of aerial photography rapidly matured during the
war, as reconnaissance aircraft were equipped with cameras to record enemy
movements and defenses. At the start of the conflict, the usefulness of aerial
photography was not fully appreciated, with reconnaissance being accomplished
with map sketching from the air.
Germany adopted the first aerial camera, a Görz, in 1913. The French began the
war with several squadrons of Blériot observation aircraft equipped with
cameras for reconnaissance. The French Army developed procedures for getting
prints into the hands of field commanders in record time.
Pigeon Arial Photography
We’re all familiar with the use of carrier pigeons to
deliver messages and small parcels, but in the early 20th century pigeons were
also used for aerial photography. Initially this was just a hobby for Julius
Neubronner, who developed the technique of attaching a lightweight camera to a
harness worn by a pigeon, but soon the potential military applications became
apparent, and pigeons were used in both World Wars for aerial reconnaissance.
Even today, though, birds are still a popular vehicle for recording images.
Scientists can now attach tiny digital cameras to birds to record their
movements for the purposes of research, and documentarists have even used video
cameras attached to birds and other animals to help create more interesting and