Sydney is not only Australia’s largest city but also its largest economy. In addition to retail and manufacturing, tourism is one of its largest industries. The city hosts millions of visitors every year, including a large number of Australians from other parts of the country. While Sydney itself is filled with attractions, it also is home to 100 beaches, including its most famous, Bondi Beach, and the world’s largest natural harbor, with an opening that spans 11 miles. It has legendary examples of architecture in the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, affectionately known by locals as “The Coat Hanger,” which is one of the longest steel arch bridges in the world. With many attractions so massive in size, aerial photography in Sydney goes hand-in-hand with promoting tourism. Consider the kind of photographer best to shoot the nearby Blue Mountains, which appear blue at a distance due to oils released by its eucalyptus trees, or the SS Ayrfield, a shipwreck that has become perhaps the world’s most famous floating forest. Between these natural wonders, its unique architecture, and events within the city including the lights festival Vivid Sydney, an aerial photographer in Sydney could have a hard time finding a better place to capture.
At Wonderful Machine, we define Aerial photography as anything shot from a high vantage point, usually from a drone or piloted aircraft. So let’s fasten our seatbelts, we’re going up to see the best professionals in aerial photography in Sydney.
Zahn Pithers grew up in a creative household wherein his father was a founding member and photographer of the surf magazine “Tracks,” using his own house as the office to put the publication together. Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Newcastle University, Zahn gained the technical skills to apply to his career in photography. He spent his first 7 years shooting products and furniture for catalogs, during which he perfected his techniques in lighting. Now working in tandem with Coffs Harbour, Zahn has taken his work to the next level and shoots aerial photography, capturing many of the area’s local wonders in stunning detail.
What we offer is so much more than photography or video from a drone. We use our years of experience as visual professionals to take images from the correct angles and when the sun is in the correct position.
Whether operating out of his own studio or high above the ground through a drone, Zahn Pithers is as versatile a photographer as one could ask for, yet his aerial work is truly out of this world.
Andrew D. Richardson is the principal photographer of Crossfire Photography, operating from his Rushcutters Bay studio since 1992. Beginning with an education in finance, Andrew found his love for photography working for the local media company Fairfax Papers and, while there, gained his photography qualifications from TAFE NSW. Now working with a multitude of cameras, drones, and even a converted whaler “photo boat,” Andrew has been shooting locally and worldwide. Adept in several specialties including product, corporate, and portraiture, Andrew also gives a lot of his time to covering local events, such as regattas, and is a dedicated marine photographer. Taking this love of documenting Sydney and its many sides, Andrew’s aerial work is dynamic in its angles and subjects, showing an affinity for bringing out the inherent geometry in buildings and landscapes as viewed from above.
Working professionally since 2014, Gary Compton began his journey by assisting some of Australia’s top photographers. Transitioning to his own professional career came naturally, and Gary made a name for himself in commercial and advertising photography. Yet his inner voice also kept him moving toward innovation.
I love what I do and love producing work that exceeds my client’s expectations, I enjoy the challenge of bringing an idea to life and love the results achieved by the collaborative process. I’m keen to collaborate with creative minds on big ideas.
More recently becoming immersed in cinematography and aerial photography, Gary’s team has expanded to include drone and film services. Some things make for a perfect match, and in this case, it would be Gary’s aerial photography in Sydney. Taking a special fascination with night photography from above, his aerial work stands out as futuristic and often dazzling in its celebration of the lights in Australia’s largest city by night.
Establishing himself as a corporate and industrial photographer, Aran Anderson has built a name on being able to work in any environment. Dedicating his time to pursuing the training and credentials to capture the many construction projects he has documented, Aran has an impressive list of certifications in the field of aerial photography.
Drones are very popular right now. Once you launch your camera 100m in the air, you quickly realize why… Whilst a valuable tool to have, there is a large amount of responsibility and regulations involved in operating safely for all involved, both people and assets.
Often photographing structures as they evolve from dangerous construction sites to finished buildings, Aran’s work for the architecture sector is valued and recognized. As a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, he was honored with a Master of Photography AIPP. Updating his expertise with every shift in his industry, aerial work was a natural fit for Aran.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Drones as they are commonly known as, offer a unique and distinct advantage to on-the-ground photography work. The field of view is unlike we all see most of the time, and this offers a greater sense of scale, location and perspective.
Brad Walls began by studying science, but found early on that art was his true calling. Perhaps embracing the technical side that the sciences can foster, it was through aerial photography that he truly found his voice. Brad stands out in that he creates fine art in his aerial work. Experimenting with minimalism and sharp use of color, one could say that Brad explores portraiture from above. He’ll play with shadows that human bodies create across a flat beach, especially through the dynamic expressions of ballet dancers and gymnasts. He’ll present a counterpart to this in shooting synchronized swimmers in creative formations. Taking his interest in water to new heights (literally) Brad garnered international acclaim for his “Pools From Above” series. He has also had features in the Washington Post, Guardian, and CNN, as well as a recent cover for Signature Luxury Travel. With the awards to prove it, Brad Walls is not just a top aerial photographer in Sydney, but an artist deeply at work to continually redefine his medium.
With a background in design and an education in fine arts, Irenaeus Herok would seem almost as much a painter as he is a photographer when you view his stunning work. Yet it is his technical know-how matched with his creativity is that causes this. Focusing on portraiture, landscape, and aerial photography, Irenaeus works worldwide and often in very remote areas to capture his vision. Taking inspiration from cinema and classic paintings, his work has an otherworldly quality that can seem dreamlike. His aerial work shooting the ocean shows a masterful focus on detail as well as the tension between waves as they interact before reaching land. Irenaeus also manages to truly recreate the realism of a bright, vibrant day, a solemn night, or a hazy, foggy afternoon to a point of making one feel right there, yet somehow from so many feet above. His lauded work speaks for itself, as does his international clientele, including Lufthansa, Smithsonian Magazine, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Vice, and Wired Magazine. A true artist.
Chris Searl is a photographer as well as a director who has been working professionally for 15 years. With a focus on youth culture, lifestyle, and travel, Chris often involves aerial work to explore the scenes he captures. The result is a very exciting spectacle, often showing his subjects interacting with water and shadows, as well as taking the viewer on a trip to see a different angle of things we might take for granted. A windy road through the wooded area can look like it was designed by a child with a crayon, yet the details in his imagery reveal a dynamic landscape that required such a design. This brings an exhilarating shift in context, which is the fun of aerial photography. Often working outside and within natural light across all of his specialties, Chris is a hit with his clients for the “realness” aspect he brings to everything he shoots. So involved is he with youth culture photography, he has developed and runs Monster Children Magazine, which specializes in lifestyle and the arts. It is not only published in his native Australia but also now in the United States.
With its many lush coasts and vibrant social cultures paired with its own lights and attractions, it is hard to find a better combination of specialty and city than aerial photography in Sydney. And with these diverse creatives, who each show their own mastery in its various sides ranging from the commercial to fine art, the possibilities are sky high.
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