AerialShots was recently commissioned to capture the construction upgrades for the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, built on the escarpment of the Little Drakensberg.  Drone photography and videography was not only a perfect way to capture this kind of project, but it was the only means to capture it correctly.

As a hydroelectric pump storage system, Ingula is used to generate power when there is an electrical shortage.  It works by collecting the water in the top dam and when power is needed, opening the turbines so that the water flows into the lower dam, generating hydroelectricity, until the top dam is empty.  In times of excess, water is pumped from the lower dam up to the top dam.

It is a magnificent system and Voith – the company awarded the construction contract – wanted images that accurately represented and recorded the construction phase.  Drone photography and videography was the only means to do just this, and here is why:

  1. Drone photography captures wide expanses

The area that the Ingula system covers is wide, spanning many kilometres.  A drone provides the elevation needed for the expanse of water to be captured in the photo composition.

  1. Drones can navigate tough terrain

Built into a mountainous area, capturing the Ingula system on foot would mean battling the terrain – this would be both difficult and highly time consuming for the photographer. But flying a drone camera allows the photographer-pilot to stand in a few, select and easy-to-reach positions and fly the drone wherever it needed.

  1. Drone photography captures large-scale construction

The dam wall and other parts of the hydro system are massive constructions.  When shooting something of this size, it is the enormity that needs to be depicted in the images.  It is only with the assistance of a drone that the photographer is able to position the camera in otherwise impossible-to-reach angles and capture the sheer scale of these constructions.

  1. Drone photography captures the best possible angle

The mechanisms of the dam are intricate and are also built in such a way that makes it difficult to get an angle that records the mechanics.  A drone is not only used to provide height, but to also position the camera in complicated, awkward and even dangerous angles so that the subject is accurately captured.

  1. Drones photography provides cost-effective aerial shots

Many aerial shots can be taken from a helicopter and at AerialShots, we often utilise this as a means of capturing photos and footage when it’s required.  However, we would rather recommend drone photography and videography, as it is logistically less complicated and is far, far more cost-effective.

  1. Drone photography captures a marketable image

Photography and videography is about capturing the subject of the image in such a way that it is accurately and truthfully depicted, while at the same time, being portrayed in its best light.  The combination of a skilled and artistic photographer with the technology of a drone, results in images that are beautiful and ensures that the subject is highly marketable.

AerialShots offers this combination of licenced drone pilots with experienced photographers and videographers to create breath-taking results for our customers.  To find out more, contact Ryan on

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