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Heavens Above: Ariel Photography with Tobias Hägg

- 7 years ago

One of the fastest-growing visual trends we’re seeing this year is drone photography. As drones become more omnipresent, people have been getting busy, testing their capabilities, from pizza delivery to reconnaissance and beyond. For us, though, the most exciting part of this trend is the huge burst of creativity in aerial photography

Tobias Hägg is a self-taught photographer and also an Adobe Stock Premium Contributor who has been busy creating incredible aerial images. The Swedish national took to drone photography around three years ago, and has quickly gained significant attention, amassing over 100,000 followers on Instagram alone. He’s also caught the eye of lifestyle

He’s also caught the eye of a number of brands and currently serves as an ambassador to the outdoor company Fjällräven.

We spoke with Tobias about one of the most personal images in his Adobe Stock portfolio, shot during his trip to Iceland.

“When I was younger, I used to wonder about how things would look like from above, from the nose down. When drones became widely available to the public, I was finally able to make my childhood visions a reality. I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland and it’s a place that’s always served to fascinate me, since I was basically a baby,” he jokes. In particular, he wanted to visit the country’s black sand beaches. “Ever since I got a drone, I’ve been dreaming about these images. It was the only thing I really wanted to shoot.”

To make sure that he got exactly the shot he had envisioned for so long, Tobias put in stacks of hours to plan his shoots and to consider all the potential variables of any given situation. He often uses Google Earth to scout locations and visualise shots, but this time, he could not believe the colours he saw on the screen. The waters had a turquoise hue, much like the Caribbean Sea, something he did not anticipate to see so near an isolated, Nordic island.

When Tobias finally made it to the black basalt beaches of Iceland, the weather was not on his side. Patience is not only a virtue, but a necessity for any landscape photographer. After many hours of waiting, a hole emerged in the clouds near sunset, letting in a touch of light onto the water.

The lighting conditions may not have been perfect, but Tobias remembers the waves being “perfect,” that day, crashing heavily onto the shores, creating colours and foam that add crucial elements of texture in his photographs.

According to Tobias, the most challenging thing to master with drone photography is the position of the drone; the correct altitude and location. He explains:  “I usually don’t fly so far away, which gives me more control over the area.” It’s a well-learned lesson after he once crashed a drone into a lake in the dead of winter and had to swim to recover the device. 

Though he’s realised his lifelong dream of photographing the beaches of Iceland, his fascination with the country continues to grow: “As a photographer, it felt like you could access a lot of scenic places. I now shoot with my younger brother. We shoot together, but with two very different styles,” he explains, “he sees things I don’t see, and vice versa.”

You can find more of Tobias’s aerial work over on Adobe Stock.

About the author

Read Heavens Above: Ariel Photography with Tobias Hägg

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.