Tom Davies an amateur photographer from Cardiff uses drones to capture bird’s-eye view pictures of the city
Long-time residents of Cardiff will no doubt know its streets, parks and landmarks like the back of their hand. But how many of us can confidently recognise the city from above? If you’ve ever wondered what the capital looks like from an aerial perspective, luckily you won’t need to hop on a plane to find out. A Cardiff-based amateur photographer has captured stunning bird’s eye view shots of the city that he takes using a drone.
Photography has always been a hobby for Tom Davies, who works full-time in web development, and like most people, he started off by using a traditional handheld camera. The 34-year-old became more committed to the craft during the pandemic because he was living on his own and he needed something to keep himself busy. Taking snaps of the city soon became a daily habit and he started sharing his work on his Instagram page.
Just under a year ago, he decided to take his photos to the next level and bought a drone. The refreshing and breath-taking perspectives it offered of Cardiff and surrounding areas have been a hit with people online. Having amassed a following of more than 2,700 on Instagram, Tom now takes requests for photos – including landscape and street pictures – and sells prints on his website.
Speaking about the motivation behind his work, Tom, who has lived in Cardiff for seven years, said: “I do it because I like to show off this city, and on social media I see a lot of people doing what I’m doing in other cities. I feel like there was a gap in the market for Cardiff, so I threw myself into that. I love that it turned from a hobby to people asking for prints. I’d love to take it further.”
The drone offered the “new perspective” of the city, which is exactly what he was looking for. “Suddenly you open up and see so much more,” he said. “I went round taking photos of Cardiff for years and didn’t have that perspective. And suddenly I realised there are some great things I haven’t seen before, like St David’s [hotel] from above. That was designed to be taken from above – just look how cool it looks.”
He continued: “One of my favourites is Lloyd George Avenue. One of the photos is that entire road and it’s like a line leading up to the city. It just looks incredible – that’s designed for a drone photo from above, in my opinion, and then you’ve got a city skyline at the end.”
His favourite time to take pictures is when the sun is going down, and he explained that timing is everything, especially when it comes to drone photography. “Light is key. I plan it quite in advance,” he said, adding that he uses an app that shows him wind speed and the sun’s position in the sky so he knows when to take photos. You can marvel the results of his efforts below: