Frequently Asked Questions
The 20x30 inch print of our home base in Lake Village, Indiana, custom framed under glass makes a very impressive presentation.
This print was mounted and framed by The Great Frame Up, Munster, IN.
They will give our local clients 15% off materials. Ask for Adele. 219-836-0007
1. How are you different from other aerial photographers?
Traditionally, professional photographers sell you prints only, or sell you the right to use or reproduce the images. That's not the way we do it. When you purchase images from us you receive the original digital files which include all rights to reproduce the image.
You receive all rights to reproduce your images in any media. Once your own the originals you can buy prints in any size or quantity at low cost. You can put the images in your advertising, company publications, annual corporate reports, use them for training new employees, trade show presentations, etc. The bottom line is you can use the images any way you want at very low cost forever.
2. I just want a few prints, and I don't have a computer. How can you help me?
When you purchase images from us you receive a data disk with your photographs on it. If you don't have a computer you can go to any public library that has computers and insert your photo DVD into the computer. In this way you can see your photos on a computer monitor.
For a small fee most libraries will allow you to print your photos. If there is not a library nearby or you want photo prints most Walgreen drug stores in the USA have a machine called the "Kodak picture machine". You can insert your photo DVD into the machine and make color prints while you wait. Easy and inexpensive. You have many choices and all commercial photofinishers can make prints from the digital files you purchase from us. Easy and inexpensive! If you want the very best display prints to frame and hang on your wall order our custom enlargements.
You have many options when you buy from Artist in the Sky LLC
3. Where can I get prints made?
Thousands of photofinishers can make prints from your digital films. Walmart, Sam's Club, Ritz Photo, hundreds of different mail order places. Digital files are the film of the 21st century.
4. What computer software is best for modifying my digital files?
To simply view your photographs you don't need special software. Simply insert your DVD into your computer and click on the "jpg" files. They can be viewed immediately on your monitor. (We include some jpg files on your DVD specifically designed for easy viewing on your computer monitor.) For highest quality prints we also include higher quality "tiff" files. If you have a color printer hooked to your computer just hit "print" and you can start printing your photos immediately.
If you want to modify the images you've purchased any photo manipulation software can be used. There are many photo manipulation softwares available. Go to google.com and do a search on "Digital Photography Software".
Many programs are "freeware" and can be used free of charge. We recommend Adobe Photoshop if you want to do retouching, or add text to your photos --- You can download the free trial version of Photoshop here.
You can probably do everything you need with the free trial version of Photoshop which is good for 30 days.
5. How often do you photograph an area?
We won't be back for at least 5 years. If you want aerial photos now, and you want the very best quality available, submit your request right now
6. Can you photograph another business we own in New Jersey?
Perhaps, if we have a team working in New Jersey. Contact us with your request.
7. Can you fly lower, to get a different view?
We must fly at safe altitudes when using either airplanes or helicopters. There are certain FAA regulations that our
pilots must adhere to. FAA regulations permit helicopters to fly lower than airplanes. Our pricing is for airplane work.
Helicopter work will approximately triple-quadruple the price. If you need lower than a helicopter then we probably can't
help you. There is some work that we will refuse due to safety considerations, and the pilot will make that decision.
8. There is some debris in our back lot that I don't want in the shot. How can I retouch the photograph?
No problem, use Adobe photoshop or equivalent to clean it up. This is the beauty of working with high quality digital files.
Clean up the stains on your roof, crop the image a certain way, make your brown grass greener, etc.
9. I don't want my neighbor's property in my photograph. How do I remove it?
Simply crop it out...easy as pie.
10. Do you sell framed prints?
No. Big framed prints are difficult to ship without damage, and usually you will want to get your images matted and
framed to suit the decor of your office, lobby, or home. mounting and framing tips click here
11. How do I mount the photos?
mounting and framing tips click here
12. I want to hang the framed picture on my lobby wall. What's the best way?
mounting and framing tips click here
13. Why are your photos so much clearer than other aerial photos we've seen?
Well, we are image quality nuts, and this requires a complicated answer, so I'll just give you the gist of it. For years we used Pentax 67 camera systems attached to a Ken Lab gyro stabilizer and Fuji NHG color negative film (60x70cm film originals.) This was state-of-the-art for high quality oblique aerial photography (medium format film). For large format we used the Linhof aero technica. In late 2003 very high quality digital equipment was finally available that gave the quality of medium format film but with more lens choices so we could more efficiently capture different views (Kodak 14n series camera bodies with Nikon lenses). In late 2005 we switched to Canon bodies and image stabilized Canon lenses and currently we shoot with the Canon EOS-5D Mark III camera bodies which are about 22 megapixal cameras. These are the cameras the photographer holds that make YOUR pictures. Canon recently announced the new 50 megapixal camera body and we plan to upgrade to these bodies as soon as they are
available. This is not amateur equipment.
No job done without it --- the Ken-Lab ks-6 gyro stabilizer is attached to the digital camera, a must-have for quality aerials.
14. I'm a pretty good photographer, and I know a pilot and I can get all the pictures I want for nothing. Why should I buy from you?
Give it a try. Then buy one of ours, and compare the results. At the prices we charge for this quality level, you
will see with your own eyes that we are a bargain. Our enlargements are not just good. They are the very best that you will see in your lifetime.
15. Our buildings don't seem to be exactly straight coming out of the ground. Can that be fixed?
Sure. Most image manipulation programs (notably Adobe Photoshop) allow arbitrary rotation. Usually 1 to 2 degrees
either clockwise or counter clockwise will correct verticals, align horizons, etc. Easy to do.
16. I see part of your aircraft in the shot. Can it be removed?
Sure crop it out. Easy with your image manipulation software (Adobe Photoshop, etc.)
17. Every few years someone bangs on our door and shows us an aerial photograph of this place. Why should I buy from you?
Well, maybe a few years ago speculation aerial photography was more commonplace, but today it is not. Most of these
guys are now out of business. The cost of pilots, fuel, keeping aircraft airworthy, photo technology is all going
up. Think back now. How long ago did someone actually bring a print to your door and ask you to buy it? Five years
ago, ten years ago? If you see an aerial that you like (from any source) buy it right now when you have the chance.
It is a moment in time that can never be recreated exactly this way, and it will not be available forever.
Many times the best use for the photography is not apparent right now.
Buy it. You won't regret it. These images become more valuable over time.
Think of owning the original digital files as a business investment, not an expense.
We make a complete image portfolio of your location.
That's one thing the traveling salesman won't be offering you. This is a unique opportunity for you.
18. Can I save my photos to my hard drive?
Yes, we recommend that you save all of the digital images you purchase from us to your hard drive, and then put your photo DVD away in a safe place. This makes modifying your photos faster and easier.
19. What's this digital file stuff? I want a photograph, not a digital file.
Digital files are analogous to film. When you buy from us you receive the original digital files, plus some additional files for various uses. Usually the same photo processor that processes your camera film can process the digital files you purchase from us. In this way you can get all the small printed photographs you want at low cost or get high quality enlargements to hang on your wall directly from us. Think of owning the digital file as being the same as you owning the negative.
20. How long do digital files last? How long will the photo disk last?
The digital files will last forever, without degrading. You can make a million copies of your photograph and the last one will look identical to the first one. We suggest immediately making a backup copy of the photo DVD you purchase from us, and use that backup copy to send to your photo finishers to make prints, or design a brochure, or put the images on your website, etc. Store your photo DVDs in a cool dark place and handle them carefully. Do not drop or scratch them. They should last many years, but to be safe I would backup all data disks at least every two years. Easy to do with your computer
21. Can we use the photos on our website, and in our brochures? Can we use the photographs in our advertising?
Yes! One of the main advantages of purchasing from us is that we give you the original files and all rights to reproduce your images any way you want in any media...FOREVER! No usage fees. Buy from us one time, and your image costs are basically at wholesale or lower, FOREVER!
22. Exactly when was my photograph taken?
Once you receive your digital files you can look at the EXIF info on the file. It will tell you the exact date and minute your photo was taken.
23. How can you fly a plane and take pictures at the same time?
We don't do this. A commercial pilot flies the plane (usually a certified flight instructor or CFI) and we take the photographs.
24. Do you use helicopters
Yes, we do lots of helicopter work. (When shooting at very low altitude is required or when the client needs shots very close in, or when we are working in urban areas or close to major airports.) Pricing on helicopter work is by quotation, and is higher than airplane pricing due to higher operating cost of helicopter.
25. After I order, how fast can I get my pictures?
Once your photography is completed we usually ship overnight if you are ordering digital files only. Your custom enlargement order ships in 7-10 working days.
26. What states do you work in?
Since 1993 we have photographed in every state east of the Mississippi except Maine. In the west we have photographed in California, Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona.
27. What camera do you use to take these photos?
Artist in the Sky LLC is proud to use Canon camera bodies and Canon L professional series lenses
Currently we use the Canon EOS-5DMark II and Canon EOS-5d bodies with image stabilized lenses. These are the very best high resolution digital cameras money can buy (presently). We upgrade cameras approx every 12-18 months. The Canon has 21.1 megapixal and superb color quality. The Canon 5D is used when we need higher ISO capability. When something better comes along we will use it.
But there's more to it than just the camera. Special high quality lenses and gyro stabilization play a big part in giving your photographs unusual clarity and detail. And there's some other secrets that are hard to explain, little techniques like flying into the prevailing wind to lower ground movement, panning the target to lower ground movement, shooting either "forward" or "back" to minimize ground movement, polarizing and haze filters, slipping the aircraft...tricky stuff that's part science, and lots of art.
The goal is to give you sharp, highly detailed photographs that can be made into very big prints and still retain clarity and sharpness. Getting this type of photograph from an aircraft with an open window that is being tossed around by some turbulence is very challenging work. Not so easy. Wait until you see your photographs enlarged. You've never seen an aerial photograph of your location at this quality level until now.
Enlarge it to 40 x 60 and hang it in your business lobby...it will stop people in their tracks...a very impressive presentation that will be an asset to your business. A big photograph on your wall is not just beautiful.
When the trucker walks in and wants to know which dock he's supposed to unload at you point it out on the picture. Time saved, money made.
You will use the big photo every single day. When the customer walks into the junkyard office and wants to know if you have a front fender for a '96 Caprice you point to the big photo on the wall and tell him to walk out and dismantle it.
Unlike lesser aerials, our photos are sharp enough, with enough detail that you can do that.
Time saved, money made. Not just pretty, this is one of the few photographs that you need to help your business make money.
See it, and believe it!
28. Can you take a photo looking straight down like a vertical shot?
Almost, but not quite. This is about as "vertical" as we can get by tipping the aircraft into a steep bank. True vertical photography is not what we do. We shoot what's called oblique aerial photography, or "glamour" aerial photography.
29. How big of an area can you photograph?
We've photographed small towns (maybe population 6000 or so) from about 5000 feet up. Much higher than that and you are better off using a photographer who specializes in doing verticals or mapping photography.
30. How small of an area can you photograph?
A pretty small area if we are using the helicopter at very low altitude.
31. Can you tell us exactly when you'll be here so I can get all of our trucks arranged in the parking lot?
Maybe, but we need to have the weather cooperate. We check weather daily. We need really good weather for the best aerial photography. We can generally tell the day before if the following day will be good for aerial photography, but that's about all the notice we can give.
32. Our company president just turned 70 and we want to surprise him with a 40x60 inch photo of the manufacturing
plant. Can we do this discretely, and how fast can you do it?
This is a very common request. Usually 7-10 days after you order you can have your big prints and data disk in hand.
Remember, to get your big print custom framed for the boss. Lots of brownie points are in store for you.
33. Can we go up with you in the plane when you take the pictures?
Sorry no. With two people in the aircraft the entire backseat is filled with our equipment.
34. Can we print our own photos with our in-house inkjet printer?
Sure, use a "best" or highest quality setting on your printer and photo quality paper. They'll look great.
35. Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Yes, to this extent: We sell you the original digital files of your location as our standard order. From these files you can correct,
crop, add lettering, diagrams, retouch, etc. (Images you purchase from us have no lettering or markings on them.)
We will replace the images if we send you a data disk and it does not load correctly for you. We will replace a color print
if it is damaged in shipping, etc. We will issue you a refund if we shoot the wrong location (yes it does happen very rarely.) We will issue you a refund if for any reason (usually due to unfavorable weather) we cannot photograph your location.
We will not issue a refund if you buy an image file and then say you don't want it.
Your photograph is what it is. It is "one of a kind". If your storage yard has debris in it, or your roof is stained, just retouch it out using photoshop, or we can do that for you for a small production fee.
Buy with confidence, or don't buy with confidence.
Our service agreement here
36. We have a big construction project going. Can you photograph our location every two weeks?
Maybe. We are traveling photographers. If it is in the greater Chicagoland area maybe we can do
it. Tell us where it is and we'll quote it.
37. You told me my photos should be done by a certain date, but I don't have my pictures yet. What gives?
Weather, weather, weather. We check the weather several times a day, and the most important factor in the quality of your aerial photographs is the weather. For the best photos the atmosphere must be fairly clear and the air must be fairly smooth. We are always waiting for good weather, and we always have people waiting for their photos. That's the nature of the business. Sorry. (We give you a two week "window" of time when we will be in your area photographing. Usually we can get your job accomplished.)
38. I would like brighter colors in my pictures, what can I do?
Easy, with your image manipulation software you can adjust many things---color balance, hue, color saturation (to make colors appear richer), brightness and contrast, sharpness, etc. You can turn the color photograph into a black and white photograph if you want. This is a benefit of owning the original digital file.
The big "tiff" file that your prints are created from is corrected for you. Usually it will simulate reality. You can further modify the original camera file to create an additional "tiff" file cropped, retouched, and corrected to your liking. Since you own the original digital files you may create many different printing files, each optimized exactly the way you want. Maybe you want your company logo or some lettering on some photos, but not on others. Maybe you want some of your photos cropped, but not others. The choice is yours. Maybe you want to make 5000 handouts for a trade show with your photo. The choice is yours.
39. Can you do the image manipulation for me?
Sure. We charge a flat $70 for anything we can do in an hour or less per image. This might include adding your company logo or lettering to the photograph in the font you desire, correcting verticals and cropping, minor digital retouching such as correcting stains on a roof, etc. It is rare that a project requires more than an hour's work, but if so, we will recommend that you have a digital retouching service do it.
40. I've never bought something like this online, do you have references?
41. Sounds good. What's this going to cost me?
42. What is your contact info?
Artist in the Sky LLC www.photoflight.info
PO Box 248
Lake Village, IN 46349 877-684-7500
voicemail/fax: (219) 979-9422