An airline pilots thought on aerial photography

An airline pilots thought on aerial photography.


We here at Atlas images, asked some of our aerial photographers what issues they face when asked to provide a collection of stock aerial photos, and what their favorite images or formations photographed, have been to date.


Most of our aerial stock photos have come from international airline pilots, who have the best opportunity to obtain these amazing portrayals of the upper edges of our atmosphere. Here are some of their comments.


“The greatest part of taking aerial images as an airline pilot, is the fact we have the best office, with large windows, we can gaze down upon the world, and with this view, we are able to take great photos, which collectively make up the aerial stock images on the atlas images web site, hopefully to also be attractive and useful to others who peruse the site.”


“One of the downsides is the thickness of the windows, this prevents us using high zoom lenses, we have found there is too much distortion in the images if you have a zoom above 100mm. The optimum lens that I have found is in the 24 – 105mm region, this provides a crisp image, while allowing zooming in quite well onto cloud formations, sunsets, sunrises, landscapes plus water views from the flight deck.”


“One issue we have, is taking images in low light, such as just before sunrise or just after sunset. The pitch and yaw of the aircraft, travelling around 800 to 1000km per hour, as you would appreciate, exacerbates any slight movements in long exposure shots.”


“We could possibly take up to 100 photos on a flight, the team at atlas images then go through every one, to ensure they are in focus, and have outstanding merit photographically. This guarantees the high quality demanded by post production and advertising companies around the world.

The upside of this vetting, is that the quality is high and consistent, a key factor why the customers of returning.

The downside for the photographer, that though, some of the images we’ve taken may look great through the viewfinder, and indeed through the windows of the flight deck, during the critiquing, a large number of them end up on the cutting room floor. They let us down gently though.”


“Sunset photos are generally my favorite images. One of the best was travelling over the water, with low clouds during a sunset. There was a reflection on the water from the clouds, and the image was amazing. We are very fortunate to have the job we do, and this is a way for us to share some of what we see, with everyone.”