Aerial photography isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around for decades. It was used widely during WWII, and in many applications since then.
However, the technology wasn’t the greatest, and getting a camera onto a plane or helicopter has been very costly. This has limited aerial pictures and aerial videos to professionals, hired by large organizations with deep pockets.
But with the advent of small, lightweight, affordable drone technology, anyone that wants to take aerial photos can do so. Of course, there are rules about flying drones in different places.
But in general, drones allow anyone with the ambition to become an aerial photographer, which opens up a world of photography options. Wondering where you should go to get some incredible aerial footage? These are just five of the best countries to visit once you have your drone in hand.
Indonesia is one of the most diverse countries in the world. And the archipelago nation is made up of over 17,000 islands, only 6,000 of which are inhabited.
And if you’ve seen any aerial photography, you know that islands, large or small, are extremely photogenic. But it’s not just small, tropical islands filled with palm trees and beautiful beaches that make this an amazing place to take photos.
Indonesia has almost 150 volcanos, meaning there is plenty of tall hills and mountains to mix into your tropical photography. Oh, and did we mention that there are tons of beautiful, remote waterfalls hiding in the jungle? And the sunsets are mind-blowing.
The landscapes across Indonesia are so varied that you can spend many months exploring this nation with your drone and still miss most of what it has to offer.
On top of the photogenic landscapes, Indonesia is a very affordable destination, as is most of Southeast Asia. It’s easy for budget-minded travelers to stay for as long as they want, particularly if they can work remotely.
Most travelers, photographers included, start their Indonesian journey in Bali, the most visited island in the country. But make sure not to miss other locations such as Lombok, the Gili Islands, Komodo, Java, and Sumatra.
2. New Zealand
New Zealand is a nature lovers paradise. This country offers two main islands with massive mountain ranges, long beaches, and vast expanses of wilderness. Much of the country is remote and void of human settlement. As such, it offers plenty of opportunities for landscape photography with your drone.
From snowy mountain peaks to rushing rivers, thick jungles, and pristine beaches, it will be hard to ever leave. Plus, there’s so much wildlife, In fact, New Zealand has far more sheep on its two islands than it does people. Taking photos of the large herds is always fun as well.
Mount Everest, anyone? For the mountain-loving adventures junkies around the world, Nepal is at the top of the bucket list. This country is made up of some of the tallest mountains in the world.
You can find high alpine lakes, beautiful valleys, incredible stretches of hillside farmland, and historic cities. Villages dot the mountainsides and prayer flags and temples are scattered about, adding a touch of culture and beauty everywhere you look.
Hiring porters and guides for hiking in the mountains is affordable and easy. Plus, you don’t even need to camp. Hiking from village to village and staying in local homestays provides a soft bed and a hot meal throughout your entire journey.
And if you need a break from the mountains near Kathmandu, you can head to Pohkara where a huge lake awaits, near low elevation jungles that make you wonder what country you are actually in.
Aerial photographers love mountains. And for good reason. Unless you are an extreme alpinist, it can be very difficult to ever get a good few of the mountains. But a drone can be used to see things that most people have never seen before.
And Switzerland, though it’s a tiny country, is full of some of the most beautiful mountains in the world; the Swiss Alps. Along with big mountain landscapes and beautiful, bright, blue lakes, Switzerland is full of small mountain villages filled with ancient European charm.
Although the country is one of the most expensive destinations to travel to, the opportunity for incredible photography is worth it.
Mongolia is one of the largest countries in the world, yet has a tiny population. That means that most of the landscape you encounter will be free from human impact.
The great plains of Mongolia are absolutely beautiful, and large rivers and rolling hillsides, along with nomadic tribes and wild horses, make this an endlessly enjoyable destination.
Best Aerial Photography Gear
Ready to scratch your travel itch? Before heading out into the world, you need to ensure you have all the gear you’re going to need in order to get all the photographs and footage you are hoping for.
The most important piece of gear is obviously the drone itself. There are tons of options for every budget. And even the cheaper, consumer-grade models are getting better and better every year.
The Diji FPV is one of the best options for those wanting a truly immersive experience. When you buy the combo pack, you’ll get first-person goggles along with your drone, so that you can see everything your drone is seeing, even at high speeds.
Along with the drone itself, you’ll want to bring spare batteries. And if you plan to try reaching a truly remote destination, you’ll want quite a few, along with a portable battery charger.
Invest in a durable travel case so that your gear stays safe on flights and bumpy bus rides. Bring some spare propellers and a drone and lens cleaning kit. Once you have all that, start booking some flights!
Be a Responsible Photographer
The life of a traveling photographer is an exciting one, whether you do it as a career or as a hobby. And it’s even better with aerial photography, as you can capture truly unique imagery.
Just make sure to research local drone laws and regulations in every country and area you plan to visit, as these vary everywhere you go.
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