Galin Vasilev Unveils the Textures of Bulgaria Through Aerial Photography

All photos by Galin Vasilev. Used with Creative Commons permission. 

We often turn to aerial photography to marvel at perspectives that are typically hidden from us. Today’s featured body of work is yet another beautiful example. In his series titled Symbiosis, Bulgarian photographer Galin Vasilev showcases a stunning collection of textures from his country, as revealed by his aerial snaps. If you’re a big fan of abstract approaches to photography, we think you should definitely check this out.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Tips for Aerial Photography Using Drones

Thinking of venturing into drone photography? Today’s photography cheat sheet has some useful tips to help you get started.

The advent of drone photography was a blessing for aerial photography enthusiasts and professionals and continues to be a popular approach to capturing sweeping vistas and stunning scenery. Since there are budget and pro drone cameras available today, it’s easy to see why more and more photographers have been picking it up. if you’re set to get your own drone camera soon, you may find today’s photography cheat sheet useful for your practice.

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Marco Grassi’s Aerial Photography Reveals Earth’s Most Otherworldly Textures

Marco Grassi shows us more of nature’s wonders that aerial photography opens our eyes to.

With the advent of drone photography came greater accessibility to the art (and technicality) of aerial photography, and it’s been truly amazing to see what photographers have been creating with it. Tom Hegen‘s minimalist-inspired projects are great examples, and we definitely are keen on adding more to the pile. The latest in our roster of favorites is the stunning, otherworldly series of Italian photographer Marco Grassi. If you’re interested in aerial photography or drone photography, we’re sure this series will give you the inspiration and further push that you need.

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Quarries Resemble Abstract Artworks in Tom Hegen’s Aerial Photography

All images by Tom Hegen. Used with Creative Commons permission.

We see “from farm to table” documentary photography all the time, but how many of us have thought about “from quarry to city”? In a nutshell, this is what the brilliant set of aerial photographs by Munich-based photographer and designer Tom Hegen tell us about. In The Quarry Series, he shows us what the building blocks of our cities look like from above, revealing the surprising abstract beauty of open pit mining quarries in the process.

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Color Film Photography Was Such a Big Headache for the CIA

Declassified is an original Phoblographer series that digs deep into historical documents to examine how the government used photography.

We previously reported on how aerial color film photography was a headache for the CIA. But the problem wasn’t just with aerial photography. One document in the late 1960s tells about all the checks and concerns there were about color film. Today, you’d easily think it was standard fare. The transition from black and white was a slow one, though. Color didn’t really become the norm until they started to move to digital. One would think that slide film would have done the trick, but that’s not the case. It seemed like everyone wanted it. But the labs, the treasury, and the higher-ups all thought it would make things too complicated. The CIA had many concerns. Let’s put this into perspective.

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In the 1960s, High-Resolution Color Photography Pained the CIA

The Declassified Series is a Phoblographer original series that digs deep into historical government documents to examine how they used photography.

To say that Color Photography was a big headache for the Central Intelligence Agency is an understatement. Considering their use of Kodak Aerochrome, it was a huge priority for them. Aerochrome was an infrared film that turned greens into reddish-purples. Ultimately, it let the government find well-camouflaged guerilla fighters in the Congo. But before that, the US had some major frustrations with the format. Depending on who you ask, color photography processes properly began in 1907 with the Lumière Autochrome process. Still, most of the world’s iconic photographs were shot on Black and White after color processes were developed. In the 1960s, the CIA needed high-resolution color photography: Black and white photography wasn’t cutting it. So they went to Kodak–the American film brand the entire country trusted.

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Gustav Willeit Crafts Mood Through Painterly Landscape Photography

All photos by Gustav Willeit. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Ever felt like trying something new with your landscape photography? How about creating something more moody and mysterious out of it? Why not experiment with creative techniques to achieve a unique look? These are just a few ideas that you may be inspired to try after checking out the impressive landscape series by Corvara, Italy-based Gustav Willeit. Challenging the usual expectations we have with landscape photography, the series instead appeals to our notions about memory and the passing of time.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Capturing the City from Above

Been wanting to get into aerial photography but aren’t sure where to begin? We have a quick photography cheat sheet just for you.

Aerial photography has become one of the most popular photography genres as of late, thanks to the widespread availability of drone cameras. With the latest innovations in drone photography, aspiring aerial photographers and videographers can now create stunning, pro-quality photos and footage. But, as with all kinds of photography, it can be confusing for beginners to figure out what camera settings to use. Today’s photography cheat sheet addresses just that.

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This Cool Zeiss Jena Aerial Survey System Uses Film

This Zeiss Jena LMK-2000 aerial survey camera is up for grabs for anyone with a serious passion for everything aerial photography.

Today’s vintage find is quite an unusual package, but we’re sure it’s something aerial photographers will appreciate. Drones have now replaced dedicated aerial camera systems that use analog imaging. But for those who still want to give analog a try, this Zeiss Jena LMK-2000 Aerial Survey Mapping Camera system up for grabs is an available option, provided they have the budget for it as it’s not exactly cheap even if it’s old technology!

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Mitch Rouse: Stunning Aerial Photos in Glorious Medium Format

All photos by Mitch Rouse. Used with Creative Commons permission.

If the unique abstract quality of aerial photography is your cup of tea, you must have been on the lookout for our next featured body of work. To inspire you today, we bring the stunning work of Wyoming-based Mitch Rouse, showcasing a variety of landscapes and terrains that look otherworldly when viewed from above. As latest additions to our favorite aerial snaps, they make perfect examples of how changes in perspective can reveal nature’s artistry and penchant for abstract imagery.

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Kevin Krautgartner Plays with Light and Shadow in Aerial Photos of Dunes

All photos by Kevin Krautgartner. Used with Creative Commons permission.

We’ve been following a lot of outstanding aerial photography lately for the abstract imagery they offer to intrepid photographers. It’s exciting to see them uncover nature’s breath-taking art that stays hidden from most of us. It’s also interesting how each shot is a testament to the impact of perspective on perception. Case in point is the expanse of sand dunes that German photographer Kevin Krautgartner captured to present a mesmerizing dance of light and shadows.

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Brush Up on Your Fireworks Photography Skills with These Tutorials

With fireworks season coming soon, it’s time to learn how to get stunning snaps of these aerial light shows or brush up on your skills if you already have an idea how it’s done. Cover photo by Andrew Harnik.

Whether you’re already planning to shoot fireworks during the upcoming Independence Day celebrations or will soon be attending events with fireworks displays, it’s always worth preparing to photograph the big day. We have loads of tips and tutorials you can use to learn how to shoot fireworks, whether you’re a total novice or someone who needs a refresher. Don’t know where to begin? We’ve picked a bunch for you to check out first!

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7 Super Telephoto Lenses Perfect For Stunning Airshow Photography

airshow photpgraphy

These telephoto, and super telephoto lenses will help you excel at airshow photography.

Airshows are going on all around the country right now, and if you want to be able to capture these electrifying aerial displays with ease, you’re going to need a super telephoto lens that will let you get up close and personal with those incredibly fast metal birds. All of the super telephoto lenses listed here offer incredible image quality, ridiculously fast autofocus performance (perfect for locking on to planes flying 700mph), they produce colors that will make your jaw drop, and they are all easy to use despite being on the heavier side of things. Regardless of which lens you choose, you will absolutely love the results you get. Check out our favorite lenses for airshow photography below.

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How to Shoot Fireworks with Film: An Analog Photography Tutorial

Photographing fireworks on film surely does require more work than when shooting digital.

With pyrotechnics, the stars of the show are quite literally shooting stars (“stars” being the fireworks industry’s term for those bits of flying sparkly fire). As in any performance, stars need a stage, and in a photograph the stage is everything else in the frame: the dark sky, buildings, or monuments, even your fellow audience members watching the show.

Although shooting on film eliminates digital photography’s near immediate feedback loop, it has other advantages. If you use color transparency film, you give up dynamic range with film and the ability to easily manipulate color in exchange for sensationally saturated color against a very dark background. The challenge is to get the exposure right while shooting without resorting to post-shoot processing manipulations. On the other hand, ISO 100 to 400 color negative films have an inherently large highlight range and lower contrast which is great for recording the color and details of the bright but short-lived streaks.

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Michael Schauer Shares a Whale Watching Story with Gorgeous Aerial Photos

All images by Michael Schauer. Used with Creative Commons permission.

In our previous features on Michael Schauer, the Munich-based landscape photographer shared his love for cold northern landscapes, and his passion in searching for new ways to interpret places and stories. He definitely has a knack for turning both personal travel stories and fictional narratives into stunning and often surreal landscape photographs. Today, we focus the spotlight on a body of work that once again showcases this expertise, this time telling the story of his whale watching experience as seen from above.

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Matt Lief Anderson’s Affinity for Travel and Landscape Photography

All images and words by Matt Lief Anderson. Used with permission.

I’m Matt Lief Anderson, a music photographer based in Austin, Texas. I work mostly for Pitchfork and Vice and travel the world shooting bands on tour and music festivals. I like to shoot landscapes and travel photos when I’m not on assignment. I don’t see myself tied to any specific photographic genre and mostly take inspiration from films. I love shooting portraits of musicians in studio and on location and I feel very lucky to make my living that way, but I also have a need to retreat to nature as much as possible. I have a deep connection with travel stemming from my time living and working as a teacher in Asia and Europe for several years as well as my day job of music photography which sends me to some incredible corners of the world.

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Andrei Duman: Travel Photography and Forming Connections With Your Subjects

All images by Andrei Duman. Used with permission.

Photographer Andrei Duman has been shooting photos since he was very young. He started out with travel and was always fascinated by the fact that one could go from place to place within a few hours. Along the way, he studied the works of different photographers and the ways they went about getting their photos. Perhaps this has helped influence the way Andrei approaches his subjects and the way he gets his images. For Andrei, it's always been about human connection and ensuring it's there even before he picks up the camera to his eye.

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How to Get Your Urban Geometry Street Photography Photo Portfolio Published (Premium)

The goal of many street photographers and Urban Geometry photographers is to find venues to publish and share their work. Publishing leads to influence, sponsorships, galleries, sales, licensing, etc. It’s how Urban Geometry and street photographers really can make money–by selling their art. Like anything in the art world, gaining traction in the industry is more about who you know more than what you know. But luckily for the internet, networking has become simpler. So when you want to network, there are easier ways to do it providing that you’ve got yourself all lined up.

Putting Together a Portfolio

Considering that this is a premium article on La Noir Image, I’m going to take the liberty of assuming that you’ve started to put together some sort of portfolio of body of work. But let’s talk about putting it together and refining it. A portfolio as it relates to Urban Geometry should contain a body of your best work. Not your second best, not your “maybe this is my best” your best. You’ll be able to figure this out simply by looking at it.

Part of this has to do with one of the foundations upon which I founded this website. Let’s pretend for a moment, that you are in a meeting with a millionaire. They have decided to give you a one in a million chance to have one of your images purchased and they’ll give you a million dollars for it. But they only have time for you to show them 10 images. So what 10 images from your portfolio would you share with them?

Now seriously, get into that mentality. Stress over it. Every time you pitch yourself you’ve got a one in a million shot at being featured. Let’s go over a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Is this photo strong?
  • Does it elicit an emotion out of someone?
  • Is it a genuinely wonderful moment?
  • Can it be edited to become a genuinely wonderful moment?
  • Does this have enough resolution to be made into a good print or displayed well on the web? If not, can I upres it to do so?
  • How does this look on a screen such as a mobile phone or a tablet?

Now that you’ve done that with 10 images, do it with 20. When you’ve got that 20, repeat the process with those 20. These images should be unique and should represent who you are as a photographer. There should be a common theme holding them altogether and defining who you are as an Urban Geometry photographer.

Putting Together a Profile

Now that you’ve got that nice portfolio set up, you need to find a way to put the product together–which is You. Think of it as a cover letter but instead consider it a bundle statement of some sort about you. Let’s call it your artist statement about you, not necessarily about the portfolio that you’re presenting, that’s going to need it’s own statement. So let’s have you answer some questions. Answer them thoroughly:

  • Who are you as a photographer?
  • What shaped you as a photographer? Or Who shaped you as a photographer?
  • How long have you been shooting?
  • How long have you been serious about shooting?
  • Why did you get into photography?
  • Why did you get into your genre of photography?
  • What has recently been inspiring you as a photographer and how have you seen it shape your portfolio?

Does all this sound crazy? In some ways it is, but if you put all this information together, you start to get a better sense of self with your photographic identity. On top of that, you’ll find other ways to make this have mass appeal to others.

Pro tip: Don’t make stuff up. It’s fairly simple to spot that stuff.


Your Instagram and Facebook pages are cool, but more often than not editors will want to see not only the numbers of followers that you’ve got but also your actual website. No one can put a concrete number on your actual website, and so the numbers are removed and you can focus instead on just the photography. The layout is also much more inclined and designed to work as a photographic portfolio.

Oh yeah, and if you’re doing this on Tumblr, find a way to remove all sorts of interactions. That’s going to be a dead giveaway sometimes. Instead, we recommend using Squarespace or Format for website building and production.

Kodak Tri-X 400


Here’s an example of a terrible pitch email:

A Different Dubai

Dubai, the ultimate playground of excess, a land of the endless rich. Artificial, but not artistic, built out of nothing. A construct of a luxurious sand metropolis, almost a mistake of nature, excessive material fatigue, a contrasting fascination. A slightly dystopian feeling, the city looks like a sci-fi movie, often empty, too clean and isolated. But in spite of all the madness, somewhere between innumerable sand dunes and monuments, one can find kind, intimate moments and rare scenes of humanity.

Photos (5 attached below)

About me:

Blank works as freelance photographer and designer in Vienna, Austria. He studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins School of Art in London and digital photography in Vienna. His work is focused on timeless visual art. His projects got published in several magazines, blogs and news sites, including The Guardian, the Jewish Museum Vienna, The Nepali Times, and more. Blank was born in 1994 in Austria.

So why is that terrible? Well, you have to think about it from the standpoint of an editor or a journalist, how can they make a story out of such a small amount of information. There’s almost nothing about the project and not a whole lot about the photographer. It’s sort of all over the place. He could have listed some more of the publications where he’s been published before. Plus, why would anyone really want to see a story about Dubai?Here’s an example of a great pitch email:

I’m writing to share with you some information about myself and an some details about black and white portrait project that I’ve been working on for last few months.

First a bit about myself:

My mother managed a camera store when I was young. My parents gave me a camera when I was 13. Since 1985 I’ve worked as a black and white and digital photographic lab technician; starting as a teenager in the darkroom of my home town newspaper. For nearly 30 years, I’ve collaborated with my wife; we met in college while studying photography together. Together we run a studio in Vancouver Canada, specializing in commercial portraiture. For the last 8 years I’ve been teaching photography in the professional photography program at The Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts). In class I show the work of Elliot Erwitt. He’s able to blend humour into street photography in a way unlike anyone else. This past year I was working through survivors guilt and decided to express myself with this series of portraits. Portraits that I’m not sure are mine given how they were executed.

This past April 1st I had an open studio and invited the public to make large format selfies of themselves. The project was an event for the 2017 Capture Photography Festival in Vancouver called “Photographer Assisted Selfies”. I set up a Cambo SC large format 4×5 camera that was fitted with an 8 inch (203mm) f2.9 WWII era British aerial reconnaissance lens. The portraits were lit with a bank of fluorescent lamps that was diffused with a 2 meter x 3 meter tarpaulin. Often with large format lenses, the shutter is built into the lens. In this case, there wasn’t a shutter so I constructed a gravity powered guillotine shutter using plywood, aluminum, a sheet of black polystyrene and a bit of electrical tape. The shutter was held in place with a pin that was connected to a string. The subject was on the other end of the line and was given the control of the timing of the image; the pin could be pulled at the will of the sitter. All other aspects of the project; lighting, film choice and ownership, loading and unloading, film processing, scanning and printing were controlled by myself. Depending on the perspective and interpretation of intent, the copyright of the images could mine or the subjects. I wanted to look at the tasks that we delegate and how that delegation can effect an outcome. If a photographer was unable to activate a trigger due to a physical inability and delegates that task to another, does that other party assume copyright? Is the image no longer a work by the photographer?

I used an opened box of HP5 film that was given to me by a friend. It had been fogged; some sheets worse than others. It could have been up to 40 years old, but I can’t say for sure because the label that had the date on it had been removed from the box.

I processed the film in a homemade developer that I mixed from scratch using a blend of beer, water, vitamin C, washing soda and instant coffee.

On the surface, this project looks at the idea of authorship and copyright. On a deeper level I used the project as a metaphorical look at life; at how the choices and intents that we have are influenced by the acts and choices of others. This project was inspired by the events that revolved around the passing of my father, just over a year ago.

My blog post on it is here: …

The reason why this is a great pitch is because it creates a story. You can do a lot with this as a journalist and if you have follow up questions, you can simply ask. I’ve used similar techniques to pitch CreativeBoom.That’s it; that’s everything that you need to make a better pitch for a photo project like yours. Now get to it.

Phase One Industrial Launches iXU-RS Aerial Camera Series Featuring Innovative Central Lens Shutter

Today, Phase One Industrial introduced the iXU-RS aerial camera series. Providing aerial photographers with a versatile new tool, the series features a breakthrough central lens shutter design based on an innovative direct drive concept with electronic charging that enhances exposure speed to as fast as 1/2500s. The new design also guarantees half a million exposures, an unprecedented shutter life span.

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On Being an Aerial Photographer

Praying Monk, Phoenix, AZ

All images by Sherry Eklund. Used with permission.

Aerial photography is an incredibly rewarding profession, but one that intimidates many photographers. While barriers to entry are higher than some other photographic niches, they are lower than you might think. If you’re considering new options for your photographic talents with the new year, here’s everything you need to decide if aerial photography is something you should truly consider.

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Jakub Polomski: Creating Aerial Images of Iceland


All images by Jakub Polomski. Used with permission.

Photographer Jakub Polomski was born in 1985 in Poland. In 2005, he started out with photography and was originally inspired to work in the industry by National Geographic Magazine. Since then, he’s gone on to win many awards as a photographer.

“I borrowed a DSLR from a friend and then it began,” Jakub said. He grew as a photographer by posting images in online communities and getting feedback from others. Years later, he would get more into landscape photography and as the industry changed and grew, he got into drone photography.

We talked to him about photography and creating landscape images that captivate a viewer.

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