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Timing & Weather

'Perfect Weather' chart

Timing and Weather


Aerial photography can be arranged very quickly sometimes (eg in a couple of days if everything is on our side), but usually it takes a week or two, or even longer, depending on the specific requirements.

Timing can sometimes also affect cost. When we receive a commission in good time, where there is no particularly tight deadline to meet, some work can be scheduled in with other planned work near the same location. Costs of flights and other expenses in these cases can be shared, especially in urban areas where more photography tends to take place.

In respect of aircraft and helicopter photography, a 'shared' flight will nearly always be less expensive than a 'solo' flight (a flight specifically to do one job). Most parts of the planning process can often be achieved quickly, but the weather is often the limiting factor.


Apart from the safety issues of flying in bad weather, most aerial photography needs to be undertaken in good weather with good light and visibility. Photography needed for marketing purposes usually requires 'ideal' weather conditions, eg blue sky, fluffy white clouds and good sunlight to produce vibrant colours and good modelling (3-dimensional effect produced by subtle shadows).

With sufficient notice and no tight deadlines, these good photography conditions usually occur within approximately 2 - 3 weeks, depending on the time of the year, although long periods of unsettled weather are becoming more frequent nowadays. If, however, time is a factor, then a client may have to compromise and either settle for less than ideal conditions, if meeting the deadline is paramount, or perhaps re-evaluating the importance of the deadline compared with getting the 'ideal shots'.

In some situations, sunny weather is not needed (eg construction progress shots or record shots). Sometimes sunny weather is actually not wanted. For instance, when the objective is to record as much detail as possible (eg fine architectural features), then bright, overcast conditions produced by thin, high cloud, is often preferable to bright sun which can cause exposure difficulties, causing light coloured building materials to be slightly 'burnt out', while also causing harsh, unwanted shadows elsewhere.

Planning ahead can save money

Please let us as soon as you know you may need some work done. Then, the planning and organisation can be done properly and not rushed. There is also a good chance that the cost will be less expensive if two or more jobs can be photographed on a shared flight.

Even though a project may still be in its earliest planning stages, the golden rule is that is never too early to contact us.


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