Aerial Perspective

Aerial view over Johanna Beach, Great Ocean Road, Australia

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L USM lens

I made the above image during a wonderful morning helicopter flight that took in many of the most iconic locations along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. The image features Johanna Beach,a wild and windswept beach along the south east coast of Australia.

A short drive, through rolling green hills, off the Great Ocean Road takes you to a small campground. From there it's only a few minutes walk to the beach. The area also offers a range of secluded cabins, catering to the needs of couples and families alike. Despite its location and suitable amenities the rugged beauty of the beach remains a relative secret to most folk rushing down to The Twelve Apostles. So, with the exception of fishermen, couples and the old family the beach is yours to enjoy and photograph.

Johanna Beach was originally named Joanna Beach after the 22-ton schooner-rigged Joanna, itself named after the daughter of its owner. Sadly the Joanna floundered off shore on its 1843 maiden voyage between Launceston in northern Tasmania and Port Fairy on Victoria's south west coast.

Aerial photos like the one above provide the viewer with a unique perspective. Normally familiar scenes are photographed from a viewpoint and distance quite different from what we would normally expect. While most aerial photography is done at an angle of around 45º, sometimes opportunities call for shooting almost straight down onto the scene. Such an extreme viewpoint, in this case achieved with the door removed from the helicopter and me leaning out and shooting almost straight downward, is referred to as a Birdseye Viewpoint.

Such an extreme viewpoint challenges our sense of scale and perspective producing a very 2D view of the world. With space and depth effectively flattened, other design elements such as texture, color, line, balance and repetition are utilized to produce a dramatic result.

The photo was made with a Canon 5D camera and a Canon 85mm f1.2 Aspherical L series lens.Processing was conducted in Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop.

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru