Aerial perspectives can turn everyday landscapes into stunning scenes. Whether it’s a commercial flight or a chartered helicopter, these tips will bring your airborne shots to new levels.

• Never check your camera gear on a commercial flight—bring it as carry-on.

• Reserve a window seat and pray that it’s not scratched up.

• The landscape is moving, so shoot with at least a 1/500 sec shutter speed—and let the aperture fall where it may.

• Consider a polarizer to cut glare and make sky and clouds pop.

• Don’t put the camera away when the plane starts to land, there’s great shots to be made.

• Consider chartering a helicopter for complete control—if you’re brave, you may be able to shoot straight-down views through an open window.

Adapted from Understanding Shutter Speed: Creative Action and Low-Light Photography beyond 1/125 Second by Bryan Peterson (AmPhoto Books, 2008; $25)