Category Archives: Uncategorized

There is Still Time! (Summer Solstice Considerations)

When photographing buildings from the air, it is always best to have the sun on the front. Take a look at this large industrial building that faces north. Did you know that there are very few times during the year that the sun illuminates the front of north facing buildings? From May through late July the Utah sun rises and sets to the north of the east west latitude lines. So, if you own a building that faces north, this is the only time of year to get the best lighting on your facility. Spring and early summer are also when trees, flowers, and grass are looking their best. A professional ground or aerial shot of your building/facility is a great thing to be able to access. Think of the possibilities . . . websites, newsletters, brochures, letterhead, business cards, special announcements, boardroom décor, and more. But don’t fret if your facility faces east, west, or south, and you still want that springtime freshness. Even around the summer solstice (June 21st) the sun hits the south side of buildings from mid-morning to mid-afternoon before making its northward trek. And, east and west sides just need morning or afternoon sun. There is always a time of day when the light is best for a given location, but if your building faces north that only happens in late spring through mid-summer.

Late evening light on the north facing front of an industrial building

Our staff has over 65 years of combined professional photography experience, we are licensed commercial pilots, certified master aerial photographers, and licensed drone operators. We can also use a lift truck for those times when you need a low level elevated shot where a drone is restricted or unsafe to use. Drones are illegal in some FAA controlled airspace, high pedestrian or vehicle traffic areas, and are limited to 400 feet in altitude. It can be dangerous to use a drone where there is no reliable GPS signal, or high electrical or radio wave interference. Drones are all the rage right now, but for some things a manned aircraft makes more sense.  Don’t think that just because a high angle shot is taken from an airplane that the price is also high in the sky. More often than not that is just not the case. That high-flying angle can really establish your location with respect to the rest of the surroundings, not to mention our majestic mountains.

Here at Photographic Solutions (AKA Utah by Air), we take time to plan our architectural ground and air photography when the light is just right. If your building is well lit at night, sometimes a sunset shot can be spectacular. There is still time to give us a call and schedule a shoot to capture that magic moment when everything looks its best. Don’t wait too long if your front faces north!

The End of 2016 and the Beginning of 2017

For Photographic Solutions and Utah by Air, 2016 went out in style. Our last flight of the year took us over some of the amazing scenery that south central Utah has to offer. The San Rafael Swell and the canyons of the Dirty Devil river are amazing, and when the sun is low in the sky and light changes color, the scenery is spectacular! This flight reminded us once again of why we love flying above and photographing the diverse environments of Utah.

We have big plans for 2017! For starters, Allen is heading to Honduras to open the Noreen Macbean Childrens Center in honor of his wife who passed away in a cycling accident in 2015. In order to support the center, which will teach marketable skills to orphaned boys in Honduras, we’ll be starting an ongoing fundraising campaign. Each week we’ll feature a custom print of a different scenic aerial photograph, and a large portion of each print sold will go directly to the center. Stay tuned for more details after Allen gets back at the end of January. You can learn more about the Noreen Macbean Childrens Center and the Hope for Honduran Children Charity by following this link: Noreen Macbean Childrens Center

In June we’re planning an epic three week trip to Alaska! We’ll be flying our plane along with several friends in their planes in a loose caravan to the wild parts of Alaska, and documenting the whole trip from the air.

We’ve also updated our video capabilities and can now provide stabilized 4k video from our plane, in addition to our drone video services. The forward looking video from the airplane (see the sample video above) provides epic overviews of incredible scenery.  Contact us for details, and check out this video of Timpanogos while your thinking about it:

Don’t forget to download our monthly computer wallpaper either!

We hope you have a great 2017!

Noreen Macbean Childrens Center

Noreen Carey Macbean Center for Children
Noreen Carey Macbean Center for Children

Most of our clients know that earlier this year Allen lost his beautiful wife Noreen Carey Macbean in a tragic cycling accident. She was an amazing woman who loved life and lived it to the fullest. Noreen loved children although she was unable to have any of her own. To honor her memory, we are working with Hope For Honduran Children to create the Noreen Macbean Childrens Center in Santa Lucia, Honduras. The Center will provide much needed space and equipment for training in micro-enterprises such as pottery, weaving, and woodworking.

The Hope for Honduran Children’s Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing education and housing to orphaned and abandoned boys in one of the most disadvantaged countries in the world. The Foundation works to protect, serve, educate and mentor neglected youth, providing them the knowledge and skills that will enable them to support themselves and improve their villages.
Many of you have asked what you can do to help Allen, and his request is to please consider making a tax deductible contribution to the Noreen Macbean Children’s Center – extending the opportunity of fulfillment through personal responsibility and self-sufficiency to struggling, impoverished youth – the future and hope of Honduras.
To learn more, follow these links:

June’s Free Computer Wallpaper

For a while in May I thought we’d never dry out enough to see the mountains again, or at the least they would wash away. But it’s finally June, the rains have stopped, and the mountains are still here. This month I chose a photograph of Twin Lakes in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Right now there is still a lot of snow up there, but it won’t be long until we have views like this again. Visit our Monthly Wallpaper page to download this image to you computer:

Twin Lakes in Little Cottonwood Canyon
Twin Lakes in Little Cottonwood Canyon

April’s Monthly Computer Wallpaper

It’s time (well, past time) to download a new scenic Utah background for all you devices. This month we choose this beautiful image of East, West and Merrick Buttes in Monument Valley. Shot on an evening flight in February, you can see a few remnants of a recent snow storm in the shadows. This image was also a winning image at the Professional Aerial Photographers Association conference in Atlanta, GA last month.

East, West and Merrick Buttes in Monument Valley
East, West and Merrick Buttes in Monument Valley

Just click the image above or go to our Computer Wallpaper link in the menu at the top of the page.