Ground and aerial photography can both be effective tools for everything from land surveying to real estate marketing. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and that can literally be true. Photos can often tell you much more about a property, a section of land or a luxury object like a car or yacht than a simple verbal or written description.

While both have their place in the world of marketing, there are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to each that should be taken into consideration before you choose which one to use for your particular project.

The common misconception is that one type of photography is just as good as another, but that’s not actually the case. Your specific needs will dictate which type of photography will be most effective, so it’s important to consider all the possibilities.




Ground Photography

As the name suggests, ground photography is taken from a vantage point somewhere at ground level. It can produce close up, detailed images or wider angle shots, but within a much more limited scope than aerial photographs.

This is the kind of photography most of us are familiar with and have probably engaged in at one time or another. For family occasions, travel and other personal needs, ground photography is the logical choice, but it isn’t necessarily ideal for other purposes, including marketing and land surveying.

Let’s take a look at some of the specific reasons for this difference.


·      Ground photographs generally provide much more detail. At ground level it’s possible to get much closer to an object and highlight specific parts of it, something that aerial photography doesn’t allow for.

·      Because it doesn’t require special equipment such as a drone, plane or helicopter, ground photography can be much more affordable. For the average consumer, it can be a much more cost effective way of capturing a moment.

·      Ground photography can be a useful tool in the process of field sketching. Often, the first step in sketching is capturing the spot in real time from your own eye’s perspective so that you have something to base the sketch on.

·      With the ability to capture close up shots, ground photography can be helpful in geographical studies, allowing a detailed look at various climate effects and other specific natural areas.


·      Because ground photographs are taken at a close up angle, it can be difficult to judge the scale of items that are photographed unless you have specific measurements.

·      It can be more difficult to zero in on a specific subject and exclude any extraneous detail in the final shot.

·      Objects in the foreground can obscure those in the middle or the background of a shot.

·      Some objects may appear out of focus when you try to zero in on one item.

·      Ground photographs generally cover a very small amount of area as they are limited to what is within the photographer’s immediate physical line of vision.




Aerial Photography

Aerial photographs are taken from a vantage point above the ground, usually using a platform such as a plane, helicopter or drone. These photos are much wider in scope than ground photos, covering entire sections of landscape or capturing an item like a yacht or car in its surroundings to give you a broader concept of the subject.

Aerial photographs can be used to create comprehensive maps, to aid in building inspections and to enhance marketing campaigns for everything from real estate to luxury items. It may not necessarily be the ideal choice for every need but a look at some of the specific advantages and disadvantages can help to make that decision.


·      Aerial photography can provide an up to the minute view of an area that may reveal specific geographical conditions a traditional map doesn’t include and can allow for ready identification of potential problems with a property or piece of land.

·      Current technology allows for rapid turnaround with aerial photography, which can make a huge difference in marketing where timeliness is extremely important.

·      Aerial photographs can encompass a much larger area than is possible in a ground photograph and it is generally easier to determine the exact scale of objects, making them much more effective as a mapping tool.

·      With aerial photography it may be possible to access areas such as rooftops, power lines and other spots that would otherwise be impossible or dangerous to view.

·      Because aerial photographs are taken from above there is little likelihood of the view being obscured.

·      Aerial photographs can give a much more complete view of a piece of property, real estate holding or luxury item, increasing the draw for potential buyers.


·      Weather conditions can hamper the ability to take aerial photographs. Cloud cover, storms and high winds can all make it impossible to fly or at the very least affect the final product.

·      Seasonal conditions such as snow cover can prevent accurate aerial photographs from being taken, limiting the timing for such photos.

·      There may be restrictions put on the use of drones in certain locales, particularly populated areas, for privacy purposes.

·      Because it requires the use of equipment such as drones or planes as well as hiring a qualified photographer, aerial photography can be much more expensive, putting it out of the range of the average customer.

Bottom Line

While a picture can say so much more than words, not all photography is the same. While there are legitimate uses for ground photography there are certainly times where nothing can capture a moment quite like an aerial photograph.

Whether you’re trying to map out a plot of land or want to highlight a property or a luxury item for sale, nothing speaks louder than a beautiful aerial shot. At JR Resolutions we understand the effect quality aerial photography can have and with our expertise and skill, we’ll make sure your images are speaking loud and clear.

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