An aerial perspective
of the many shades of Argentina

Birds eye view

Culture Buenos Aries
Words Nestor Barbitta & Hey Vito
Photographs Nestor Barbitta

Photojournalist and videographer, Nestor Barbitta, captures the most striking images we’ve seen of modern day Argentina. As well as being a gentleman and squire he’s a photographic visionary. From iconic photos of La Boca Stadium and Casa Rosada to the dusty back roads of the regional south, we chatted with Nestor about what its like to see the country from the air.

Could you please tell us a little bit about your creative background?

I studied Image and Sound Design at the University of Buenos Aires. I’m a fan of cinema and photography. My father was an amateur photographer and he taught me the basics from a very young age.

Your aerial photographs are incredibly striking and artful. How did you get started with drone photography?

I’ve always loved the overhead view and have been attracted to high places. Once I saw a friend who had a Phantom 2 drone and I thought; this is for me. I bought my first drone, which was a standard Phantom 3, and I named it Arturito (Spanish name for R2-D2 of Star Wars). From the terrace of the building where I live I started flying and never stopped.

I am fascinated by how people interact with what surrounds them, the people and the places they inhabit. nestor barbitta
The drone gives me a new perspective and a way of showing things. The important thing is that it lets you create. nestor barbitta
Some of your images are captured from really high in the air. You must feel nervous flying sometimes?

Now I feel less nervous, at the beginning I was much more fearful. I had a couple of accidents that helped me learn, now I feel much safer but I am a cautious pilot. There is no need to risk anybody’s safety to capture a good shot.

Are there particular places that you're drawn to when taking photos from the air?

At the beginning I was very attracted to the shapes and forms of the landscape. Now I am fascinated about how people interact with what surrounds them, the people and the places they inhabit.

Are there certain elements or principles that make a good aerial photo?

I apply what I learned from studying composition. The same approach I use when I take pictures with my handheld camera. Strengths, lines, rhythm, balance of the elements. Aerial photography is just another form of photography, if you have a photographers eye it's not that difficult to take advantage of it.

As observers we get to enjoy the final results of your craft. There's lots of work that happens before you fly though. What are some of the steps you go through before flying?

I always start with searching for the place using Google Maps. I analyse where I can take off, where to land, the best sunlight hours. I check the weather and the wind until the night before going to the place. I try to always have the equipment ready as if I were going to fly now. Equally many times I discover better things when I am actually flying. Sometimes the object or place I wanted to photograph is not as interesting as I thought.

Drone technology seems to be advancing all the time. What do you think is going to be possible in the future with drones?

The drone gives me a new perspective and way of showing things. The important thing is that it lets you create. The day a drone does things automatically without my participation, then it will stop being interesting to me.

Is there an image that you have taken lately that you really love?

There are several images that I love, one of my favourite is a sunken ship in Lake Nahuel Huapi. Its colours. Mans work being devoured by nature but still something appears, something resists sinking.

Is there a special place that you hope to photograph from the air one day?

In Argentina I’d love to photograph Perito Moreno Glacier. Also Machu Picchu in Peru. Actually if I start thinking about it I can’t decide, I want to travel the world with a drone •