Photograph by James Dies

Aerial Photography

According to Wikipedia, an aerial photograph is any photograph taken from the air. Commonly, such photos are taken vertically from a piloted aircraft using a highly sophisticated camera. In recent years, however, photography from unpiloted aircraft—from drones controlled by someone on the ground—has boomed in popularity.   After much thought about possible names for this SIG, I have settled on Aerial Photography rather than Drone Photography. I looked around at different drone schools and people who fly drones for a living—people who use drones to sell real estate, for example—and found that more and more of them are calling what they do aerial photography. Aerial photography has a more positive tone than drone photography. Drones carry negative connotations arising from their use in the war in Ukraine where they are used to blow up tanks. They are also associated with invasion of privacy issues, corporate spying, and the like. Aerial Photography carries no such baggage. We, as a club, can promote the positive aspects of the hobby, and help reduce the stigma and make it a legitimate art form. The long view is that if enough people become involved, we could be incorporated into the club as a proper SIG and reap the benefits of the club’s resources. No other organization on Vancouver Island represents aerial photography. A VCC SIG could become the go-to group for people interested in this fascinating hobby. It could draw to our club new members who are interested in learning more and getting guidance. It might encourage other club members to take it up. SIG members could even help people get their drone pilot certificate and registration (needed for larger size drones), give them practice exercises to improve their flying skills and photography, and maybe even enter competitions with other drone flying organizations (see note below). What I love about drone flying is the skills one needs to master it. You need to be able to fly competently and skillfully and you need photography skills. Drones are really just flying cameras—  except they are cameras that can get hung up in a tree or crash into something. If you think aerial photography might be of interest to you, contact me here——and we will get started in the spring. It’s hard to fly when it’s raining and snowing. Note re competitions:  Here are some competitions that you might enjoy looking at: Drone Photo Awards 2022, Drone Photography Awards, and Sienna Awards. Some competitions have awards of up to €500.00. Go to the March issue of online Close-Up on our website ( to view the images (the web addresses are too long to print here). As you will see, some aerial photography is truly mesmerizing and utterly amazing. Competitions will help you get a feel for the level of photography we would be joining. I’m sure we have the talent in our club to compete.

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