Flying with

True South Flights

Aerial Photography for Beginners

Our South Island scenic flights are an amazing way to take in the very best of New Zealand’s phenomenal scenery, showcasing glaciers, mountains, rivers and more. While there is no comparison to the thrill of a scenic flight first-hand, sharing incredible pictures with friends and family can help paint a clear picture of what you experienced and let you relive special memories. Whether you are a photography novice or you’re already handy with a camera and keen to add aerial photography to your repertoire, here are some tips to consider before we take off on your flight.

Choose the right aircraft

In the world of aerial photography, not all aircraft are created equal! If there is one thing you need to snag a great photo from the air, it’s a clear, uninterrupted view. All True South aircraft that embark on scenic flights have been carefully selected with exactly this in mind, with large windows and guaranteed window seats for all passengers. Our Airvans have bubble windows and can also be flown with the doors open, and our Piper PA32R Lance can have its rear doors fully removed, making both aircraft ideal for aerial photography.

Know your scenic flight highlights

A solid understanding of the main landmarks you’ll see will help you to be as prepared as possible. Taking a scenic flight over Milford Sound? Great! A spot of research will tell you that there is a high chance of cloud and perhaps some rain—but this can make for magnificently moody pictures with the right equipment and well-prepared photographer at the helm!

Experiment with settings beforehand

There are plenty of variables with flying: light, weather and altitude among others. We recommend experimenting with your camera (or phone) settings before taking your flight so you can understand which settings will get you the best result. A fast shutter speed is a must; one thing we can guarantee is that will be travelling at pace, so this is the best way to make sure you don’t end up with a blurry shot!

Bring more than one lens

If getting the perfect picture is a priority and you have a good camera at your disposal, you’ll want to bring a couple of different lenses along for a variety of different landscapes. A wide-angle lens is great for capturing a vast landscape, while a telephoto lens will allow you to zoom and capture your subject in more detail.

Communicate with the pilot

It can be tricky to juggle equipment, adjust your settings and get your timing right too. If you need another attempt at getting your shot, simply let our pilot know and we will do our best to help. If you book a flight specifically for the purpose of aerial photography, we can customise our altitude and distance from your subject and circle as many times as you like!

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