On A Wing And A Half And A Prayer And A Half
1. Use a 4 x 5 Graflex Aerial camera on 4 x 5 roll film and have an RAF film processing unit standing by in a van at the end of the runway to develop the results. Look carefully on the photos for things that look like ski ramps. If you find any ring us up and we'll deal with it.
2. Use a DSLR with a viewfinder. Mount a prime focal length lens - you choose wide, normal, or tele according to what you expect to see on the ground. Set the focus distance manually to infinity and use a bit of gaffer tape on the outside of the barrel to keep it there. All the things you will take pictures of will be over 30 feet away, whether they are on the ground or in the air. When they get closer than 30 feet pictures will not be needed, except by the FAA and the coroner.
3. Chose an airplane that interposes the least amount of perspex between you and the outside. If it is a light plane with a side window that folds ( and LOCKS ) up, so much the better. If you are to be in a commercial airliner that goes very high, expect double glazing - you can't do much about that, so choose the one that has the best menu and drinks tray.
4. If you can plan the flight with the pilots, ask for them to orbit your target several times. If this means stooging around a Cuban AA missile site, be content with one pass. If you get the choice, ask for the target to be front-lit. If it is the Cubans, use phosphorus.
5. If you get a pilot who is a smart ass and throws the aircraft around a lot to make you nauseous, try to hold in the vomit until you land. Then heave on his shoes.
6. EVERYTHING is blue from the air. The Mohave desert is blue. McDonald's is blue. Put on a UV filter or a light amber.
7. The client wants to see the obliques. The government wants to see the verticals. Your family doesn't want to see anything.