The first aerial photographs were created in 1858 by “Nadar” (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) and documented the rooflines of the French village of Petit-Bicêtre. These images were shot from a balloon tethered at a height of 80m (260ft) and were precursors to other aerial works by Nadar, including his iconic views of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in 1868. Since these early experiments, aerial photography has evolved, always with the aim of “putting together the pieces,” of presenting all-encompassing views of the environments we inhabit, with ever increasing clarity and detail.
These vistas, all the time seeking to provide new visual perspectives, show not only the grandeur of our urban and natural habitats but also highlight our responsibility to preserve them. Aerial photography used to be expensive and exclusive. It involved having sophisticated and costly equipment and a wide range of professional skills aimed at documenting the unknown, the exotic. Today, however, the increasing democratization of image technology has opened up the sky to just about everyone. The drone photography revolution is a game changer, with an ever growing and diverse range of users now having access to this technology and the new perspectives of the world that it offers.