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DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

MARBLE FALLS — The Earth takes on an entirely different appearance from 500 feet above the surface, but sometimes that’s just what it takes to get the best photograph.

Keith Bedard knows this from both a pilot’s perspective and with a photographer’s eye.

“I’ve always love doing both — flying and photographing,” he said. “I started flying years ago in Canada. And sometime later, I picked up photography. But it really wasn’t until the past few years that I put them together.”

Bedard combined his two loves to create Down To Earth Aerial Photography. He offers aerial photography services across the Highland Lakes. Bedard said aerial photography is more than just snapping photos from out of the window of a plane.

“If an aerial shot is not taken properly, things can really look disjointed and out of place,” he said. “Without a trained pilot’s eye, the perspective may be totally wrong for what you’re trying to accomplish. So it takes the vision and the photography skills to really make aerial photography work.”

Bedard brings several decades of flying experience to the business. He started his aerial career in Canada, where he actually spent some time as a bush pilot before joining the Canadian Air Force.

After marrying his wife, Joni Bedard, the couple eventually made their way to Texas.

During the years that followed his flying start, Bedard picked up a camera.

“Photography became a pretty rewarding hobby of mine,” he said.

A few years ago, Bedard thought why not combine his love of flying and photography into an aerial photography business.

“I’m not really sure why I didn’t do it sooner,” he said. Bedard offers a list of services for people needing aerial photos. One of the most common are photos of ranches or properties.

“People who are considering buying a piece of property or some acreage may want to get a good look at it from above,” Bedard said. “An aerial photo can often show you things or parts of a property that you really can’t see from the ground.”

Hunters, landowners and wildlife managers often use aerial photos to look at habitat conditions and use those images to make land management decisions.

Another request people have made of Bedard is for a photo of a large family gathering.

“So there are a lot of uses for it,” he said.

Bedard has seen a bit more competition with the recent advent of unmanned aircraft such as as quad-copters with mounted cameras. But while there is some competition, he pointed out there are things both types of aircraft accomplish better than the other. The federal government limits remote-controlled and unmanned civilian aircraft from flying above 400 feet, while pilots such as Bedard must stay above 500 feet.

By flying higher than the quad-copters and similar craft, Bedard said it allows aerial photographers to offer grand-scale photos. But he can still get a more condensed perspective by shifting to a different lens.

“I think there’s room for both,” Bedard said regarding unmanned civilian craft vs. traditional aerial photography.

Contact Bedard at (830) 798-7748 or downtoearth@nctv.com for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com