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On the wing

Words by Dan Warden

Stunning, beautiful, breathtaking; all are words often used to describe the things, or the places, that we admire and find joy in seeing.

Matt Burtwell | Aerial Cornwall

For Matt, the eye behind Aerial Cornwall, the Cornish coast is precisely that. It is, in his words, “a place that holds special memories, my home and now my work”.

“I started flying drones as a hobby back in 2014 when they were fairly new,” says Matt. “I loved the views and perspectives you could capture of familiar locations. I adore the coastline so it seemed perfect, to capture photos of something I was so passionate about and sharing them with others to see.” Seven years on, and Aerial Cornwall is a fully fledged drone photography and filming company, working with brands and companies across the UK.

“During the summer of 2021 I took to the skies, literally, to photograph the coastline from an entirely new perspective. From a Cessna 152 plane, I was hanging the camera out the open window, documenting the coastline where I’ve spent the last seven years photographing, but this time staring down the lens and seeing it with my own eyes, feeling the rush of wind through the open window and hearing the noise and rumble from the plane.” Thrilling and exciting, says Matt: “I loved every second.”

“I did as much research as I could, but nothing can quite prepare you for actually photographing from a plane, you just have to do it. With drones you have all the time in the world – you can just hover in position and wait for the shot. From a plane, the moments pass by at 80mph and it’s a long circle around to get back. Limited by fuel and time, you only get a few chances to capture the scenes below.

“2021 was a summer like no other in Cornwall. Due to limitations on overseas travel it was one of the busiest yet. It provided an opportunity for more people to experience the beauty of this county and I was lucky enough to capture some of these moments from the air.”


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