Professional Aerial Photography – Showcasing Your Business From A Different Perspective

Professional Aerial Photography – Showcasing Your Business From A Different Perspective

Aerial photography (or videography) via the use of drones, also known as sUAVs or small unmanned aerial vehicle systems, has landed, and love it or loathe it, it is most definitely here to stay. Over the last few years there has been some bad press for this extremely useful and innovative technology. Usually, when examined in detail the stories of aircraft near misses, property trespass or even public injury can be traced back to ignorant drone “pilots” with no training, displaying total disregard for the detailed rules, regulations and guidelines that have been issued by the Civil Aviation Authority to avoid incidents like these. At Peter Alvey Photography we have been working with our drones for many years now and they have become an invaluable part of our equipment that enable us to offer our clients literally another dimension to their images.

WHO NEEDS AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY?

Professional elevated or aerial photography is not a new thing, and has been employed by many different industry sectors to showcase their products or services over the years including the construction industry, property developers, domestic and commercial estate agents, telecommunications companies and outdoor leisure and hospitality providers to name just a very few.

Drones can be used for both stills photography and videography to supply images and footage for all sorts of uses including promotion and advertising, progress work, inspections and site analysis, even weddings.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING A SUAV?

So what are the benefits of photography and videography shot from a sUAV? Well, traditionally there have been three main options for aerial work, either the use of a fixed mast system, or employment of an aeroplane or helicopter to send your photographer up in.

The benefit of a drone over a fixed mast system is all in it’s versatility. Basically with a drone there are no angle limits, your stills photographs or video footage can be shot from whatever angle you require. Also the fixed mast system for elevated photography is generally limited to a height of around 90 feet, whereas an sUAV can be flown by a qualified operative to the CAA’s specified limit of up to 400 feet. Usually a fixed mast system is operated from a van which has to be driven onto site, this isn’t always practical for some terrains and again a drone wins out here as it can be operated over all terrains (provided they have been approved following an initial online site survey).

The main benefit of a drone over an aeroplane or helicopter is pretty obvious … it’s more economical, it will also be able to fly at lower heights to secure more detailed shots than you would achieve from an aircraft.

LET’S GO – WHEN CAN YOU CARRY OUT MY COMMISSION?

Okay, you’ve decided you need some aerial photography, and you’ve identified where and when you’d like it doing. This is the point at which it is vital that you employ the services of a professional photographer who is a recognised, qualified sUAV operative. There is no cutting corners here, it is a legal requirement in the UK and Europe that your chosen photographer has completed the necessary CAA courses, has a CAA Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) certificate, carries adequate public liability insurance (and can prove this) and is working under the CAA’s RPQ-S license. If they do not meet any of these criteria, and something goes wrong they will not be insured.

You’ll need to send your chosen photographer a brief outlining the type of photography or video work you would like doing, and (and this is really important), the exact location details of where you would like the flight to take place. Before your aerial commission can be agreed your drone pilot will need to carry out a series of checks to confirm that the area is suitable to be flown over, and whether any additional permissions need seeking before the flight can take place.

Restrictions on a flight can be in force for a whole range of reasons including flying over populated areas, flying near airports, around military zones, or near police or air ambulance helicopter bases. In the East Midlands for example we have East Midlands Airport to consider, and in the West Midlands there is Birmingham Airport. As well as these larger factors that need consideration, there are also smaller more localised ones including trees, power lines, tall buildings etc. Whether it’s in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Northants or Nottinghamshire there will always be some extensive pre-flight survey work to do before a flight can be agreed.

FLIGHT DATE AND TIME AGREED – WHAT NEXT?

On the run up to your aerial photography date your photographer will be keeping a very close eye on the weather. If the chosen date proves windy or rainy you should expect your shoot to be postponed, professional photographers will not fly if the weather conditions are not suitable. At best the photographic results will not be as good as they would be on a calmer, dry day, and at worst there may be safety implications.

And so you see, when you commission some professional aerial photography or videography, there is a great deal of pre-flight ground work that is necessary before your shoot can take place. All of that work though will ensure that your aerial photoshoot achieves the very best results for you and your business, and will allow your potential customers to view your services or products from a whole new angle.

Professional Night Photography In London, Derbyshire And Northamptonshire

Professional Night Photography In London, Derbyshire And Northamptonshire

Photography is often assumed to be a seasonal industry, and depending on what your product or service is you may well assume that professional photographers go into some kind of hibernation state once winter is upon us, emerging only as spring starts to creep over the horizon. However for some of our clients winter is the very best time of the year to get as much photography done as possible. Dusk and night photoshoots are much in demand at this time of year, sometimes because of their aesthetic nature, and sometimes simply because that’s the only time that the activity being photographed actually happens.

If any of you have tried to take photographs at night time you will know how difficult it can be, low light levels and slow shutter speeds are not for the faint hearted! Professional photographers bring not only the necessary equipment to a shoot, but also the benefit of detailed knowledge and years of experience in how to tackle photography at night and achieve the very best results.

In the last few months we have been kept very busy covering night photoshoots. Early February found us on location airside at Gatwick Airport. The shoot started in the late afternoon, and then continued through dusk and into the night. Our brief was to show the lighting in the area in it’s best … well … light if you’ll  excuse the pun. This assignment took a great deal of time and effort to organise, but when everything came to fruition on the night the resulting images were stunning.

A little closer to home, in Ilkeston Derbyshire, we were asked to photograph the newly refurbished railway station. On the run up to the shoot the weather forecast was dubious and rain looked like a possibility, so a dusk shoot was suggested. Rain obviously isn’t generally the photographer’s friend, but combined with nightfall and effective lighting it can be used to really enhance a photograph and provide dramatic effect.

Another benefit of a winter timed night shoot is that night falls a whole lot earlier than in the summer. Whilst many of us are bemoaning the short days and long winter nights the professional photographer is welcoming the chance to get started at 5pm, instead of 11.30pm later in the year.

Sometimes though, there  is no choice. Many industries carry out their activities overnight to ensure minimal disruption during the day, e.g. road and rail repairs are frequently undertaken in the early hours of the morning. Because Peter is well known for his transport photography, and carries a Personal Track Safety Certificate for his rail industry work he is often commissioned to photograph these projects as they are happening overnight. It’s a real privilege and absolutely fascinating to be asked to document this world of busy industry which many of us are totally unaware even exists.

Of course the clocks will be changing soon, and the days will start to draw out again. Hopefully spring and summer will bring us some sunshine and bright blue skies for our daytime location shoots, but we’ll still be carrying out our night assignments, just starting them a little later than at the moment!

CSCS Construction Photography – Piling

CSCS Construction Photography – Piling

The pile foundation process starts off much the same as any other foundation work. Firstly the site will be properly excavated; this involves removing around 150mm of soil and debris. The area is then deepened and removed of any contaminates to leave a good working base before the ground is marked to clearly show where the piles need to be placed.

Some Piles are driven piles, this involves the use of a large machine which acts very much like a hammer. The machine forces the piles into the ground to the depth needed. The piles are normally 3m lengths and these were made of steel.

Sometimes piles are drilled into the ground, this is a general all purpose application for new and refurbishment projects.

Tubular steel piles can go down to 50M deep!