5 Characteristics of Aerial Photographs

Aerial photographs are images of a given landscape or geographical feature taken from aircrafts in the air, or sensors pointing down to the earth from a given distance above the ground. Depending on what time of the day they were taken, and the angle of capture, they easily make for some of the most beautiful pictures you can ever see. Often times, aerial photographs are taken to from various angles to help to facilitate the building of accurate maps.

Who Uses Aerial Photograph?

Mapmakers (also known as cartographers) are some of the most popular users of aerial photographs. This is majorly because the images of geographical features as seen from several feet above the ground provide more detailed information that they use to create more accurate maps. And while these photographs can also be taken for fun as in the case of camera drone enthusiasts; they have found commercial use in the hands of insurance companies during damage (claim) assessment following a natural disaster such as Katrina.

Aerial photography is also very useful to the movie industry as there are angles and distances which human photography cannot deal with. In the military, aerial  photographs are used to monitor enemy lines and espionage, while astrologers rely on it for taking photos of the earth and related bodies.

Characteristics of Aerial Photographs

Aerial photographs are often very beautiful and this is because of a number of characteristics which will be briefly discussed in this article.

Synoptic Viewpoint

What this means is that aerial photographs allow you to see a much wider field of view than regular photographs would let you see. When you look at an aerial photograph, view the world from the eyes of a bird. Think of yourself as a bird perching on a very high loft on the Empire State Building, looking at the great expanse of land and city a far as the horizon. This allows you to see several features of varying sizes at the same time; hence compare their spatial arrangements in the given context, and more.

Time Freezing Ability

No. They don’t have the ability to freeze minutes and hours into snowballs, but they can capture a moment that will last for a long time. Simply put, they give you an idea of what earthly conditions looked like at the time they were taken. As a result, they are referenced by cartographers, historians, archaeologists, astrologers and some other professionals, in studies and other activities.

3D Viewing

A simple photograph or passport shows features of the given object in just two dimensions (2D). With aerial photographs, however, a stereoscopic view is obtainable. This means in looking into an aerial photo, you will have an idea of all its three dimensions: length, width and height. The implication of this advanced view is that it becomes possible to estimate the geometrical dimensions of a given feature on the earth’s surface by looking at the photograph.

Spectral and Spatial Resolution

This is one of the main characteristic of photographs taken from several. While the human eye has a limited resolution when looking at a given object, aerial cameras don’t. They are sensitive to more light waves and radiations than the human eye; hence allow us appreciate the relative spacing and distance between various objects

Ability to Stop Action:

Aerial photographs – when properly taken – bring dynamic features such as a very fast-flowing stream, road traffic or forest fires, to a ‘halt’. The great distances from which the shots are taken is mostly responsible for the ‘stop’ effect. And the advantage of the ability of aerial photographs to stop action makes it possible to observe certain concepts that would otherwise be near impossible to study.