The Australian Outback's Largest Cattle Stations

Agricultural & Outback Drone (U.A.V.) Photography

Aerial photography can be spectacular - whether taken with a drone camera or from a helicopter.

But quality isn't cheap to create.

So to avoid wasting your valuable time and money it's vital to ensure the job is done right - the first time.

Engage a professional photographer with the experience to reliably and efficiently deliver exactly what you need.

I have been taking agricultural photographs from the air since 1988 & have a Remote Pilot Licence (a licence to operate a drone, issued by CASA).

If you want the best quality & most effective photography:

  • Choose someone who is a photographer first and foremost and technician second, not the other way round. 
  • Most drone photographers have set up businesses to get paid to do what they love - which is flying drones - not photography. Many have excellent UAV technical skills - but little or no photography, livestock or farming management experience. 

How do you choose a good professional photographer?

  • The best professional photographers are too busy to be obsessive award-enterers but most have made the time to enter professional standard awards occasionally, and have won specific industry, national or international awards.  The first award I received for an aerial photo was in 1997 - from Betty Churcher AO, esteemed Director of the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra).
  • Scrutinise a range of previous work & think about the professionalism of the website.  Compare the quality of the images and is the information provided comprehensive?
  • Are they a professional photographer first and foremost, who clearly loves photography; or someone who loves flying a drone who wants to get paid for a hobby?
  • Do they specialise? To obtain the best result in any field, choose someone who specialises in a subject they love.
  • Check their track record - how experienced & knowledgeable are they? Do they know much about rural marketing, agriculture and photography? Do they have relevant interests other than flying UAV's?
  • Explain what you're after and listen carefully to the response. A good professional agricultural photographer will listen to exactly what you want, ask thought-provoking questions and offer advice and options tailored specifically to suit you. 

A good photographer will raise other considerations and tell you if an idea is unlikely to get the results you need. 

This may not be what you'd initially like to hear, but it ensures the best result possible (and saves you time and money otherwise wasted chasing the unobtainable or the unsuitable).

Ask:

  • If the photographer has professional indemnity & liability insurance, as well as specific drone/UAV insurance.
  • Why are they a photographer and how long they have been in business? (If not obvious from their website.)

I launched into aerial photography nearly 30 years ago, so have long-term experience:

The best aerial mustering pilots all obtained solid on-ground experience before getting airborne.

The same applies to aerial photography - excellence can only be achieved by obtaining thorough experience on the ground first.

I have many years of experience:

1.  Capturing cattle station action and other rural work from the air. 

  • A thorough understanding of the people, work and livestock behaviour is essential, to anticipate the best photos and videos. 
  • Plus good rapport with others involved in agriculture.
  • And if a photographer can't discern between good plants and weeds, well bred livestock from culls, and safe from risky working practices, they can't be relied upon to capture best-practice photos.  Results might look pretty, but be sending a deleterious message.

2.  Obtaining the best aerial photography results despite the particularly strong light and bare landscapes typical of outback Australia

  • It's very, very easy to stuff up aerial photography. 
  • Experience plus a scrupulous eye for detail is essential, as from the air, every flaw is on show.

3.  I can also provide objective advice on whether photos from a helicopter or a drone will deliver the results you need. 

  • In order to obtain fantastic results for you, we have a confidential discussion regarding exactly what you want the photographs to do for you.
  • Every project is different and it's essential to acquire independent advice on whether helicopters or drones will deliver the best aerial photography for you. Most helicopter pilots will tell you choppers are still the best option for aerial photography and unsurprisingly, drone operators will tell you drones are now the best.  Too often self-interest can get in the way of the client's interests; or simply a lack of broad experience. The truth is that there are pros and cons involved in both piloted and unmanned aircraft.  I can explain these advantages and disadvantages, so you are able to make an informed decision.

Before & after photos, above & below: Above - Eyre Creek spilling out into flood-out country on OBE's Adria Downs Station, Birdsville.  Below - the same area, six months later.

Visit the rural Advertising and Editorial Images page for general information on obtaining rural marketing photos via commission, or my archive.

Several examples of my aerial photographs are included in the website header above and many of the 800+ photos included in my books were taken from planes and helicopters. More examples of drone (U.A.V. / RPA) photos and videos are available for prospective customers.  (Most photographs on my social media pages and website have been taken on mobile phones, for illustrative purposes only. Images taken with professional camera equipment are used in books and available for marketing & editorial purposes. Few are put online, because they're often copied without permission.)

Contact me if you have a project you would like to discuss and books can be purchased below: 

Questions I'm frequently asked about drone photography are answered on this blog page.

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