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Neal Rantoul shares his aerial photography with Luminous Landscape
Aerial photographer Neal Rantoul has written an article for The Luminous Landscape, explaining how he got started in air-to-ground photography, and sharing some interesting advice.
In the article, Rantoul describes his first trip in a light aircraft, pointing his camera through an open hatch in the floor of the plane - 'the pilot had removed the back seat of the Cessna for me so that when we got set and took off I was lying on my stomach looking straight down through the 4 inch hole. As there were about 6 inches of plane between the inside and the outside of the hole I quickly found I could either look through the hole or shove the camera down through the hole to take a picture, but not both at the same time'.
Neal shot 16 rolls of medium-format film on that trip, but these days he prefers to shoot from up front, in the seat next to the pilot, with a Nikon D800E and Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 lens.
|Unlike many aerial photographers, Neal isn't trying to capture buildings or property boundaries. He explains 'I prefer to let the subject be more abstract in the aerial work I do. I don't need to reference the photographs with buildings or highways'.|
He prefers small, light high-wing aircraft like the Cessna 172 and 182, and recommends shooting from relatively low, explaining 'for what I want and tend to shoot, I find 800 to 1300 feet above my subject is about right. Too high and I am zooming in all the way so quality drops and too low everything moves by too fast'.
Explaining his approach, Rantoul says 'Most aerial photographers are flying on a mission. They have a client, or are making survey pictures, or real estate pictures and so on. I am not. I just go up to make art, pure and simple. If it looks good, I shoot it'.
You can see more of Neal's work on his site.