June 27, 2022

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Everything You Must Know About Aerial Cinematography


It is the photographs or videos shot from a flying object like a drone or a helicopter. As such, the primary demand for aerial comes from the cinema industry, which needs establishing shots, follow shots and action shots/war scenes. Many businesses are also investing in it for marketing their products. Likewise, the unique feature of aerial cinematography is the high vantage point, which allows to “capture the uncaptured” and gives a new experience to the audience.

Different Cinematic Techniques

The 180-Degree Rule

The term “180-degree rule” (sometimes called the “90-degree rule”) is used to describe the rule of thumb that an aerial cinematographer can use to move a camera efficiently. The rule is based on the assumption that the top and bottom edges of the frame are the same distance from the camera. The rule also assumes that the camera is stationary relative to the ground unless otherwise specified. As such, aerial cinematographers use the rule to determine the effective aperture of the camera.

Bird’s-Eye View

It is used in various fields where remote sensing is required. For instance, terrain mapping, topographical mapping, etc., need a bird’s eye view. It is also used in mega-scale construction for inspecting the progression where in-person site inspection does not help.

Bridging Shot

A bridging shot is a shot that crosses a panorama or action shot and goes across the film on the same level. It is spaced between two or more photographs, allowing you to have two or more shots of a larger scene. The shot is usually placed from a different point or angle, and when it is, the second shot is often placed between them.

An example of this would be when a helicopter flies over a village or area and make a left-hand turn to enter an area of a town. Here, the aircraft would be positioned on the left-hand side of the city to tie up with the first shot of the scene. Thus, it connects the two images and brings a sense of transition between shots.


Unique Perspective

Perspectives, more commonly knowns as angles, are critical in a shot. And a ground-level video or picture is entirely different from an aerial view. So many businesses are trying to gain an advantage using this unique and creative perspective. For instance, the real estate industry is booming, utilising this technology for presenting different properties to their target audience.


When aerial photography entered the market, it seemed to be a big deal, and the main reason was the need for high-end equipment. A business or a film-making unit has to hire helicopters and cranes to execute an aerial shot. But now, new technologies like drones have brought down the cost of aerial photography. As such, the hiring cost of human-crewed helicopters and fuel costs have been eliminated with drones.


Initially, aerial photography was not considered due to safety issues. The safety of human-crewed aviation in unprecedented situations was always in question. Meanwhile, satellite imagery was spotted as an alternative, but it was poor in giving the details required. But, drones came to the rescue and eliminated the risks. So by following the safety guidelines, perfect shots can be easily achieved.


Accurate size and proportion are other added advantages of aerial photography, and real estate businesses are the biggest beneficiaries of this. It helps in the creative marketing of products, and it is also used to compare the physical features of the terrain effortlessly.

Finally, the importance of aerial cinematography is highlighted by the challenges encountered by the cinema industry, rescue operations, and many other businesses. It rightly gives the required ability to observe and experience the world from above and provides the fundamentals to learn anything and respond accordingly.