Florida Sunshine...and Rain
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Saturday, August 09, 2014
By Dave


Aerial view of the Sarasota shopping center with Siesta Beach and the Gulf of Mexico in the background.

This summer has been a busy time for us at Aerial Outfitters, shooting everything from fireworks, car accidents, construction projects, and a lot of retail properties.

For the past year we've been privileged to work for a retail management company that owns many large retail centers across the US. They're a great group to work with and they expect and appreciate quality work. Their requirements for images, both ground and aerial, require a fair amount of research and planning to ensure that we shoot with the right combination of sun angle, weather conditions, signage visibility, eliminating distractions, landscaping, and much more. They're fun projects, though I'll admit, the ever changing weather conditions can be a bit stressful!

The summer started with a host of a dozen sites scattered between Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Plano, Grapevine, and Flower Mound (Texas). Being based in Texas, we had the luxury of knowing well the weather patters and being within easy driving distance of the sites to mobilize on moments notice to shoot.

Upon completion of Texas, we received a list of sites in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. While exciting to travel out of the State, the primary challenge & stress was to working with the weather & sun conditions 1,200 miles away while making the trip as efficient as possible to keep travel expenses down for our client. That said, summer in the south isn't without its challenges!

Thankfully, we were blessed with overall good and fast moving weather which helped reduce delays and make the trip more efficient. However, I quickly found that weather in Central Florida is quite wild, with strong convective activity that would pop up in an instant...then disappear. Patience was a must!


One of the ground shots in the Sarasota shopping center.

To add to the challenge, the Florida sites required both ground and aerial photos, which meant finding a reputable helicopter company and scheduling. I ran across HQ Aviation in Orlando and Heli Aviation in Sarasota. Both companies did a phenomenal job at getting me in the air at the last minute and operated very efficiently which saved my client considerable money!

Aerial view of the Ocoee, FL center. Notice the cloud cover and pending rain. When we took off, just 10 minutes prior, it was sunny!

Of note, for all of the work done in Florida, we used a circular polarizer to enhance the skies & color, reduce glare, and add contrast. A CPL is a must for folks shooting outdoors. In particular, when shooting the Sarasota site, a small rain shower hit the site about 5 minutes prior to our arrival. This of course, left a lot of water on the roof and parking lot, which created a lot of glare. Thankfully, the CPL did a great job at cutting through the glare to give us nice shots.

While we usually stay within about 150-200 miles of Ft. Worth, traveling out of state is both exciting and stressful. If you have need for ground or aerial photography, give us a shout and we'll be happy to see if we're a good match. Call Dave at 817-458-8565 or send him an email at dave@aerialoutfitters.com

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