Winter Aerial Photography in Bend, Oregon

three sisters bend oregon aerial

Aerial photography is a way for photographers to get up close and personal with a landscape without having to put in any hours of hiking. Some of the best patterns and vantage points come from the sky. Here in Central Oregon photographers are lucky to have Bend Municipal Airport close by. A 15 minute right to the airport and you can be flying of the Three Sisters within 30 minutes.

Last Sunday Nate Wyeth and I flew a plane around Central Oregon during the last 2 hours of the day. Nate is a pilot and has been since he was 15 so I felt well taken care of in his hands. The ride was nothing short of spectacular.

We started our flight over Paulina Lake then over to Mt Bachelor and through the Three Sisters. Overall the flight only took an hour and we made back into Bend before sunset. Central Oregon’s weather made for a few unique photo opportunities. The clouds were hanging low and the peaks were still visible.

A few tips for shooting Aerial Photography:

  • Use a high ISO.
  • Fast shutter speed. The plane is moving  around 100 mph and shaking. The faster the shutter speed the less blur you will have on your photos.
  • Telephoto Lens. I did have to use my wide angle while flying about Mt Bachelor but the telephoto I used the majority of the time.
  • Try to go during the first or last two hours of light in the day.
  • Look for abstract and tight crops. There are a lot of unique views you can see from an airplane. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and experiment.


three sisters bend oregon aerial

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