Birds Eye View Photography Tips

Birds Eye View Photography Tips

Birds eye view photography is an angle shooting from above, in other words, from the bird’s eye view. It is commonly used for photographing landscapes or cityscapes. What looks like an ordinary landscape from the ground, looks completely different from the bird’s eye angle.

Birds Eye View Photography Tips

Follow these helpful photography tips to take stunning and extraordinary pictures from a bird's eye view from the start.

Tip 1. Get to Know Birds Eye View Photography Definition

birds eye view photography definition

Bird view photography may be taken being high up in the sky as if you are flying on a plane. Also, the photographer can just stay on a ladder to receive stunning shots from above. To define bird's eye view photos more precisely, I would say that it seems as if the viewers are superior to the subject.

Tip 2. Try to Focus on the Top Feature

birds eye view photography tips

A lot of photographers recommend focusing on the closest element to the lens. If you shoot a model from above, this element is commonly the top of the head. Taking a photo with a wide angle lens allows making this close element larger. So, to avoid blurring, it is better to focus on the top feature.

Tip 3. Shoot in RAW format

birds eye view perspective

I recommend taking bird's eye photography in this format. RAW is a more suitable format for photo editing. It is easier to add clarity and sharpness to the RAW images. You can make them brighter and more colorful or, on the contrary, make colors weaker or convert into black and white.

Majestic Landscape Lightroom Presets

sony vegas presets sony vegas presets

You can edit your birds eye view photo by means of Majestic Landscape Lightroom Presets. Make your landscape and travel photos pop in several clicks.

Tip 4. Pay Attention to Symmetry

point of view photography ideas

Birds eye view photography will help you discover the beauty you can see only being high in the air. A garden, city square or country park may show extraordinary symmetry. Take a picture with the ideal mirror image.

Loving Landscapes

landscape photography book

I recommend you reading this book if you want to improve your landscape photography. Here you’ll find many useful tips about different photo angles, including birds eye angle.


Tip 5. Look for the Best Place Beforehand

perspective photography

It is a common thing when you change the locations during the photo session. You’d better think about the best places for bird's eye view photography in advance. In case it is raining, look for any covering to hide your gear.

Really Good Photo Spots

really good photo spots logo

It’s a helpful app for those who want to discover new and interesting places for shooting. It is possible to search for the location offline, save an extra search and filter features.

iphone app store

Tip 6. Come up to a Really High Place

point of view photos

Consider how to stand above your subject or scene. It is possible to use aerial photography drones. Film-makers usually use a crane to obtain great pictures from above. But you can still use anything that can give you extra height in your house, yard or garage. You can do the following things to receive awesome birds eye photography:

  • Go to the roof or climb the tree to photograph something on the ground.
  • Get on a chair or ladder to shoot your subject on the floor.
  • You can shoot everything that is below your eye level.
  • If you wish to capture something really unusual, you can rent a hot air balloon, use GoPro camera while flying a quadcopter or even ride a gondola.

Tip 7. Capture the Shapes and Forms

birds angle photo

When you take birds eye view photography, you can see that your subjects have a particular geometric look. Huge parks or squares can turn into circles if you observe them from the height. Just imagine how the ground below looks from a plane, or how the bedroom layout looks in a diagram or plan of a building.

However, it can be difficult to take an accurate birds eye photo from above, so you need practice. You can photograph a glass or a bowl from directly overhead and see whether you can place your camera so that it is both central and ideally parallel to the surface. This way it is possible to make a perfect circle while shooting a glass or a bowl.

Photography 101

photography 101

What is birds eye photography? What equipment to use? If you want to know the answers to these and other bird eye photography related questions, get this online course and move from theory to real-life practice!


Tip 8. Give Emphasis to Boundlessness or Isolation


The eye-level zooming and shooting often increase intimacy. A high shot from above can reduce the subject compared to the immense environment. Moreover, if the scene is empty, you can create a strong effect of solitude and isolation.

Tip 9. Try to Find Similar Objects

birds eye view perspective

Look for locations that give an excellent opportunity for repetition. The certain position of the objects can make accurate shapes and forms. You can find similar objects at the railway stations, mooring berths or it may be even the row of houses.

Tip 10. Try to Use Foreground to Provide Depth

birds eye view drawing

If you want to create depth in your birds eye view pictures, just add something to the foreground. This way you can make your photo more interesting and appealing to the viewers.

Tip 11. Frame Your Subject to Create Perspective

birds eye view image

To take an extraordinary birds eye view shot, you can frame your subject. Do not use the application that makes graphical frames. As an alternative, look for the things in the location with the help of which you can surround your subject. Use a fence, a window or branches of trees to create an exceptional perspective and give emphasis to your subject.

Tip 12. Play Around with Subject Tracking and Waypoints

birds eye view example

This technique will be helpful if you want to shoot a particular subject with the help of the drone. With this feature, it is possible to move the subject in order to take stunning photos from different angles. Use tracking and waypoints to capture motion while shooting races or wildlife. Take advantage of these techniques when shooting a drone video. Keep your subject within the field of view in order to capture the most interesting moments.

Tip 13. Experiment with Shadows

birds eye view photography

Open new horizons in birds eye view photography capturing shadows. When the sun goes down, our shadows look like gigantic figures, silhouetted against the sunset. Take a photo of the shadows from above and discover a beautiful view along with interesting shapes.

Tip 14. Capture the Horizon

birds eye view picture

After shooting the shadows, it’s time to create a unique perspective taking a photo of the horizon. Play with identically-shaped objects, strange forms, high contrast and extraordinary shadows. Shooting with hard-to-reach angles makes a picture of the horizon dynamic and deep.

Tip 15. Set a Quick Shutter Speed

shutter speed camera settings

Every photographer is aware that shutter speed is extremely important to take a professionally-looking photograph. Fast shutter speed of 1/500 allows avoiding any motion blur.

Tip 16. Choose the Appropriate ISO Settings

iso camera settings

The ISO settings are rather simple when taking photos from a bird's eye angle during daylight hours. Use the ISO settings of 200 – 400 along with aperture and shutter speed to receive a dramatic effect.

Tip 17. Select the Right Aperture

aperture camera settings

In order for your photos to have the best sharpness around the edges, you need to shoot at an aperture at least f8.

Tip 18. Look for Separating Lines

shooting with grid lines

In any birds eye photo, sharp lines form the composition of your picture, attracting the viewer's eye. Using a road or path, create a frame so that the line runs from left to right, from top to bottom or even diagonally. To receive a better effect, I recommend enabling the grid on your camera.

Tip 19. Try Aerial Photography

panoramic picture

To present the entire view of a landscape and receive attention-grabbing results, experiment with aerial panorama. Fly high, find the subject and take stunning pictures.

Tip 20. Search for the Perspective Photography Ideas in the Web

looking for ideas

To get the diverse photos from a bird's eye view, look at such kind of images taken by other photographers. For your convenience, use the applications to look for some interesting shooting ideas.



This app is very popular among the users all over the world. A lot of photographers use Pinterest to look for new ideas. Create boards to collect your pictures and derive the inspiration.

Iphone App Store

download from google play


Tip 21. Do Not Forget About Photo Editing

birds eye view photo editingbirds eye view photo editing

There are a lot of softwares and applications for image editing. Use them for color correction, removing spots, blur, adding effects or making photos even more appealing.

Tip 22. Choose a Camera

birds eye view photography camera

To take stunning and creative birds eye view pictures, I recommend using a full frame camera with a high ISO range.

Recommended camera:

Canon 5D Mark IV

This model is one of the best variants due to the incredible matrix and a very wide ISO range (between 100 and 256000). It means that your birds eye view shots will look detailed and have realistic colors regardless of the light, which gives you a lot of creative space.

Tip 23. Attach the Highest-Quality Lens

birds eye view image

For birds eye view photography clarity and quality are essential and nothing could fit the purpose better than a telephoto lens. In those frequent situations when you have to shoot from high up or far away, it will retain the colors and details at the highest level.

Tip 24. Put Your Camera on a Tripod

birds eye view photos

To get high-quality pictures from the birds eye angle you absolutely need a DSLR tripod.

Recommended tripod:

Vanguard Alta Pro

This tripod can hold your camera at the weirdest angles providing incredible stability. It will be useful for any genre, but especially for this one.

Tip 25. Invest in a Drone

drone for birds eye view photography

Certainly, for some places, a drone will be the only way to take a shot. Actually, it is a great tool for birds eye photography because it literally goes where the birds are. Just figure out the controls first.

  • Choose a high-quality but inexpensive drone for photography if you’re going to use it for the first time. Use any beginner drone with a camera for your first bird’s eye view photos.

Tip 26. Use These Ideas for Inspiration

If you want to master birds eye view photography, check out some of the ideas below.


shooting megapolis idea

Taking a shot from above you can capture that everlasting hustle and bustle that attracts so many people to big cities.


shooting forest

You will show a different forest atmosphere if you make a birds eye view shot instead of using the common perspective.


shooting ocean

A piece of water can really brighten the image. Just get to one and search for a good spot to photograph taking it.


shooting children

The genuine emotions that kids radiate will bring bird's eye view photography to a different level.


shooting staircase

Be creative! Climb a staircase or a ladder to show the viewers what is going on below.


shooting from the roof

Go even higher and climb the roof to get the awesome birds eye photo. You will find incredible dynamics to depict.


shooting park

The green hues of a park are going to look incredible in birds eye view photography and that will be the perfect place for you to try out a drone.


 portrait shooting

Portraitists sometimes try this technique too, so you can take pictures of people to convey a different view or idea.

Interesting buildings

building shooting

There is a special kind of beauty in architecture and you can show it by taking a look at interesting buildings from a birds eye view perspective.


road shooting

A road is not only beautiful, but also has some philosophical meaning, so why not try to push your viewers to something new with a photo of a crossroad from above.

Locations to Take Stunning Shots

Here is my list of places around the world that will help you define bird's eye view as the most stunning genre of photography. Remember them or maybe even note down.


Yellowstone shot

The most popular attraction of the Yellowstone area is this hot spring and it will become a great location for your photo. Its incredible color gradient is actually bacteria inhabiting the brim of the hot water reservoir.


Niagara falls shot

This 165-feet straight fall located at the border of the US and Canada is a great place to practice birds eye view photography.


central park shot

In such a huge park, you are bound to find many objects worth your attention. Its value is over $528 billion–an interesting thought to bear in mind as you’re trying to depict the different aspects of its life.


Barcelona shot

It is a famous attraction with a big cultural heritage, but what tourists can’t see is how well the city is planned. That is only visible in birds eye view photography.


bac son valley shot

This rural Vietnamese land spotted with rice fields differs a lot from a buzzing megapolis or a piece of wild nature.


marina bay shot

This is a big area, which is expected to fit over 120 thousand residents.


na pali coast shot

The Hawaiian Islands are generally a very interesting spot for birds eye view photography, but the oldest one is bound to be the best.


how to draw birds eye view of a city

One of the most romantic cities has hundreds of different ways to show its beauty, but a striking contrast becomes visible when you capture the Champs-Élysées cutting right through it.


seattle shot

This is an incredible place too, I’m sure it will bring many birds eye view photography ideas to your mind.


bungle bungles shot

Nature spent 350 million years on creating this sedimentary masterpiece and there is no count of the number of amazing shots you can take here.


Vancouver shot

The city competes for the name of the best in the world to live in, and birds eye view pictures can easily explain why it’s among the winners.


yunkee stadium shot

Some common activities like sport can look even more dynamic and impressive from above, especially at a big stadium like this.


tree of life shot

Wild nature is one of the most interesting subjects where things change with time and perspective. Like an old secluded acacia tree with paths beaten over years by those searching of food and shelter.


bondi beach shot

Beaches are always a great subject either for eye level photography or that of a bird’s view. And this famous beach is among the best ones.


colosseum shot

If you’re lucky you can witness a rare sight, like a Colosseum under snow, and then a photo from above will look more unique.


everest shot

You would have to work incredibly hard for an image from this peak but that would be a real success.


longleat maze shot

Some gardens, like this one, were made in a complicated way that can only be truly appreciated when seen from above.


golden gate bridge shot

There are some conditions when only the bird's eye photography can show you something truly stunning.


bora bora shot

People will never tire to look at the translucent waters of such paradise islands, and how could they?


maelifell volcano shot

Some places, like volcanoes, can be dangerous to be around, and then only bird view photography will allow the world to see their fascination.

FREEBIES for Editing Birds Eye View Photography

You can improve your images in Photoshop or Lightroom. The process becomes even easier for you while using these free plugins.

Free Lightroom Preset "Sun Flares"

This preset with creamy, pastel colors will create an old-film effect that can’t be mistaken. It will soften the colors and create an illusion which resembles the past.

Urban Cityscape LR Presets "HDR"

This preset will improve your birds eye photo by bringing its dynamic range up, but still keeping the result natural and realistic.

Lightroom Landscape Preset "Contrast"

This filter affects the photo by adjusting the lights and colors in a natural way.

Photoshop Action Cinematic Effect "Gold Filter"

If you feel that the birds eye view shot looks uninteresting and monotonous, try this great VSCO filter. It creates an uplifting atmosphere and visually makes the object of your shot stand out.

Free HDR Photoshop Action "Hard"

This action will emphasize the details in your picture and create volumes. It works great for landscapes or cityscapes, making the real beauty shine and helping your viewers perceive it.

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