10 dramatic new drone images of Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 20:00 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:15 30 April 2020

An overhead shot of Orwell Bridge back in December 2019 Picture: Ott Tuulberg

An overhead shot of Orwell Bridge back in December 2019 Picture: Ott Tuulberg


Ipswich photographer Ott Tuulberg shares his top tips for getting that perfect shot

Felixstowe from above Picture: Ott TuulbergFelixstowe from above Picture: Ott Tuulberg

With the country having been in lockdown for well over a month now, it’s unfortunately meant that we’re unable to venture much outside beyond our back gardens.

However, Ipswich photographer Ott Tuulberg, has been taking to the skies for some time now, capturing the sheer awe and beauty that our county has to offer.

We speak to him to see what inspired him to view Suffolk from so high up, and how he manages to get such great shots time and time again.

Ott said: “I have had an interest in drones for a couple of years now, but I first started to take aerial photos when I purchased my first decent camera drone in February 2019.”

An aerial view of Landguard Point in June 2019 Picture: Ott TuulbergAn aerial view of Landguard Point in June 2019 Picture: Ott Tuulberg

“I think inspiration came from the beautiful Suffolk coastline as I was often visiting Felixstowe, Shotley and the surrounding areas,” he added. “I then started to look up different landmarks and historical places that I could take my drone out for a flight.”

A motorbike enthusiast as well as an avid photographer, Ott manages to combine his two passions when he ventures throughout Suffolk. “Although there are still plenty more places to discover,” he adds.

Ott is drawn more to the rural side of photography, preferring it to more built-up areas. “I am generally more interested in nature photography rather than urban areas. One of my favourite areas is still the Suffolk coastline, with its beautiful seafronts and beaches. The open space along the sea provides excellent opportunities for flying and keeping a safe distance from others.

“There are also dedicated flying spots for RC airplanes and aircrafts, which will provide perfect take-off and landing areas,” he added.

A quiet Ipswich town centre Picture: Ott TuulbergA quiet Ipswich town centre Picture: Ott Tuulberg

So what are Ott’s top tips for nailing the perfect shot? “That is a tricky one,” he said. “The perfect shot doesn’t exist – it’s all about how that person sees the shot. What might be perfect for me may be flawed for others.

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“I am always trying to capture the natural beauty of the location, and I usually don’t do much post-production or edit the photo to ‘look nice’ – I try to keep it as natural as possible.”

There’s a number of factors that Ott takes into consideration when snapping his aerial views. These include location, time of flight, height, weather conditions and wind speed.

Shotley Gate in June 2019 Picture: Ott TuulbergShotley Gate in June 2019 Picture: Ott Tuulberg

“Are there any reflections from the windows or from water that might affect the shot? If you are planning to take a sunrise or sunset photo, you need to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to adjust your gear and settings and to fly to a height around 100 metres.”

In terms of general photography, he said: “The best time would be the afternoon, as the sun is not directly reflecting into your camera, and you will get some shadow to give depth to your photos.”

And what about height? “That depends on if you are looking for wider area shots or close ups. The maximum legal height for flying is 120 meters, though.”

Ott’s ideal weather conditions are those days when it’s sunny, with some cloud cover. “This will help the background of the photo, if there are some clouds present,” he said.

A panoramic shot of River Orwell Picture: Ott TuulbergA panoramic shot of River Orwell Picture: Ott Tuulberg

Wind is one of the most important factors when deciding to take your drone out though. “Depending on the drone, you may be unable to fly in heavy winds. Wind speed under 10 metres per second is perfect,” Ott said.

“To summarise, the time to get the perfect shot may vary from half an hour to couple of days. Sometimes I need to go back the following day to try again if the conditions are not right, but sometimes the perfect shot will be captured on the first try.”

With the current lockdown restricting how far people can go at the moment, Ott’s photography has unsurprisingly been affected. “On one hand, it’s better to fly now as there are not so many people around, but of course on the other hand, I’m unable to go out to different locations due to restrictions on travel.

“I have been flying from my back garden, which I am lucky to have, and I have been taking my drone with me for my one exercise a day to combine the two activities,” he added.

Orwell Bridge Picture: Ott TuulbergOrwell Bridge Picture: Ott Tuulberg

To view more of Ott’s sky-high aerial photography, visit Birds Eye View Suffolk on Instagram.

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