Frequently Asked Questions...
Q:What sort of aircraft do you use?
A:We mostly use our own fully type certified (Grumman) fixed-wing light aircraft. It provides a stable photography platform for pin-sharp images, and is fast enough for efficient cost-effective operation further away from base. It can operate in suboptimal weather conditions where necessary, and (unlike microlights or non-type certified aircraft) may legally be operated over congested urban areas. Robinson R22 or R44 helicopters are also available, especially for low level shoots in Class C controlled airspace.
Q:What photographic equipment do you use?
A:We have converted exclusively to high-resolution digital format. Camera bodies are professional Canon digital SLR, and we only use top-of-the-line Canon L-series lenses. The images speak for themselves.
Q:Can you take passengers along during photoshoots?
A:Unfortunately not. This is primarily for legal liability reasons, as we are not licensed to take paying passengers, since this would require an additional charter license. You do however have the option of chartering an aircraft and pilot from a licensed charter company, and I will go along to take your photos. (We can arrange this if you prefer - just contact us). Our fee would then only be for the photography portion. In total, it will almost certainly cost you more, because of the additional charter and pilot costs, and the likely use of a larger aircraft.
Q:How much prior notice do you need / how long does it take before I receive my photos?
A:For urgent shoots (accident scenes, for example), we can often be in the air within 45 minutes of receiving a call, and you can have your images on your desk / PC within a few hours! More typical, however, is that we would wait a day or two for optimal weather conditions before doing a shoot, in order to ensure better image clarity.
Q:Do you guarantee excellent image quality for a large, framed print for my company boardroom?
A:The professional photographic and printing equipment we use ensures superb image resolution for very large, sharp enlargements to be produced. What is critical for display prints are suitable atmospheric conditions at the time of shooting. To obtain those vivid, sharp, high contrast display prints requires a crystal-clear day with no clouds and excellent atmospheric visibility (minimal haze).
Q:Can you fly very low and get a really close-up view of my property?
A:The Civil Aviation Regulations limit overflying of built up areas to a minimum altitude of 1000 feet (About 300 metres) above the ground. Where close-up views are required, we do use longer focal length lenses to give additional magnification. The final result often really does look like we were flying at 100 feet!
Q:Do you require a deposit / up-front payment?
A:In general, no. The only time we will usually expect a down-payment is where we are required to reposition our aircraft a considerable distance for a shoot outside our local area. We typically do not release any high resolution image files or enlargements until payment has been received from the client. If required, we do email proof images for your approval prior to payment.
Q:How do you locate my property from the air?
A:We use various techniques. Probably the most reliable is for you to locate your property on GoogleEarth, save a copy of the image file on your computer, mark the exact location on the image using a graphics package, and email us the file. Hand-drawn sketches are often also fine. Unusual features or landmarks nearby can also be very useful.
If you have any other queries, please feel free to email us and we will be happy to address them.