Aerial photography, often known as airborne imaging, is the practise of shooting images from the perspective of an aeroplane or other flying platform. When done from above, this kind of filmmaking is sometimes referred to as aerial videography.
Aerial photography may be accomplished from a variety of platforms, such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (also known as "drones"), balloons, blimps, and dirigibles; rockets; pigeons; kites; or by employing action cameras while skydiving or wingsuiting. The photographer may choose to handle a handheld camera manually, while mounted cameras are often controlled remotely or triggered automatically.
It is important not to confuse aerial photography with air-to-air photography, which is a type of photography in which one or more aircraft are used as chase planes to "chase" and photograph other aircraft while they are in flight. Aerial photography most commonly refers to images taken from a bird's-eye view that focus on landscapes and surface objects. Elevated photography can also produce bird's-eye images that closely resemble aerial photography (despite not actually being aerial shots). This can happen when telephotoing from a high vantage structure, suspended on cables (such as Skycam), or on top of very tall poles that are either handheld (such as monopods and selfie sticks), fixed firmly to ground (such as surveillance cameras and crane shots), or mounted above vehicles.
In 1858, a French photographer and balloonist named Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, also known as "Nadar," was the first person to experiment with aerial photography above the city of Paris in France.