Radha C Singh has been fascinated by aerial photography most of her life. She joins, in that, French photographers from the start of the 19th century, who wanted to find better ways to take photographs from high up. During the First World War, the need for this type of photography increased, with it being used to provide a bird’s eye view of the land below. Innovative tools have long been used for this, including planes, satellites, rockets, pigeons, kites, and more. To this day, it is hugely important in the world of warfare, helping to guide land-based invasions, and being vital to naval warfare as well. Of course, aerial photography isn’t solely about military applications. It is also important as part of geology, international boundaries, disaster management, real estate, agriculture, and simple pleasure.
Radha C Singh on the Legality of Aerial Photography
One of the key issues with aerial photography is that of legality. Technically, it is perfectly legal, because you do not, generally, have to trespass in order to take a photograph from high up, the exception being on protected airspace such as above airports. However, there is an element of people feeling their privacy is violated by people potentially taking photographs of their homes and even themselves in this manner.
The Advantages of Aerial Photography
For Singh, one of the greatest benefits of this type of photography is that it can study geographical features. Terrains, river systems, valleys, and mountains can easily be photographer, producing not just interesting results for the scientific community, but beautiful ones as well. It also helps in infrastructure, enabling constructions companies to determine where they can place irrigation channels or hydroelectric power plants, for instance. Similarly, real estate developers extensively use it, photographing the many miles of terrain on which they aim to develop new properties. Plus, they can use these photographs to promote properties they have available.
Interestingly, the United States Geological Survey uses aerial photography as well. They have categorized zones of the country based on resources such as vegetation, sub-soil nature, terrain type, altitude, and more. Additionally, GIS uses it in order to develop charts and maps. Global state and federal governments benefit from aerial photography when relocating, planning, or restructuring satellite townships.
Aerial Photography Is Necessary
While Singh is interested in aerial photography for the beautiful pictures it can take, she also focuses on the fact that it is a necessary tool for the protection of people. After volcanic eruptions, wildfires, tornados, floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes, it enables emergency managers to assess how bad the damage is. Not just that, it has even enabled the mapping of other planets. Things humans have ever only been able to imagine are now suddenly possible.
At the same time, she acknowledges that there are some issues to be addressed. Aerial photography should never be used to invade on people’s privacy. Unfortunately, this is something that the paparazzi have started to do.