Aerial photography in the Okavango is highly recommended as it gives you a new perspective of this amazing landscape.
Tips for photography
We suggest that you do your flights first thing in the morning when the light is flat. Ideally the group should have no more than 3 people or someone will be in the middle seat. It is possible to stop and switch people mid flight. Your flight routing should take into account the landscapes and water in the area. Flying over dryland areas are less exciting that flying over channels and delta.
Etiquette of photography
It is also important not to disturb animals during the flight although sometimes this is unavoidable. During your flight you will wear a headset which will enable you to communicate with the pilot. Therefore he can give you more information. You can advise if you would like to fly over a particular area.
Flying with the doors off the helicopter is highly recommended. Therefore you will not be shooting through glass. You will also have wider views in all directions.
How much time and how high
You will need at least one hour and possibly more. Time goes very quickly in the air. Make sure you plan your route with the pilot and tell him what are your interests. Rather spend longer time in the dramatic areas and avoid flying too low as it generally makes photography difficult. Stay at least 400 meters off the ground to have a chance of getting your subject in focus.
Gear for aerial photography in the Okavango
We suggest two cameras. Have one with a wide angle for capturing landscapes and another with a telephoto zoom for focusing on animals. Be careful of straps as they can become tangled. Take off all lens caps before the flight. Do not try to change lenses during the flight.
Settings for aerial photography in the Okavango
A very high shutter speed of 1/2000 or more will freeze the movement of the rotors which is not always required. Using a slower shutter speed of 1/500 and it is likely to begin to blur and will be less distracting. The shutter speed you require should be no less than 1/60 second. A telephoto lens requires a longer shutter speed. A polariser is a good option for photography from the air.
Enjoy your aerial photography in the Okavango