See How Australian-based Aerial Photographer Gives His Ocean Edits a Surreal Look

Phil de Glanville's photography aerial capture of a surfer by a waterfall in Australia

The love of photography and design started with video games for Australian-based graphic designer and photographer, Phil de Glanville. As a kid, Phil played endless hours of video games that inspired his career in multimedia. 

About a year and a half ago, Phil got a drone. And his photography has never been the same since. See how Phil captures and edits his stunning aerial shots, and his secret to staying efficient while editing. 

Tell us about yourself. 

I’m Phil de Glanville, a freelance graphic designer and photographer based in Perth, Western Australia. I studied Interactive Multimedia & IT in university/college. My love of design probably began from playing endless hours of video games as a kid, but more so later – around the uni years, when I started creating labels for mix CDs for myself and friends. I got my first gig as a graphic designer at a Marketing & Communications agency where I worked for a number of years before leaving to create my own freelance design business - PHLY Design, in 2011. I have the best boss! ;)

The photography side of my career really took off when I got my first drone a year and a half ago and started up PHLY Images on Instagram. I’ve been able to apply my design skills to my photography to create work that has a bit of a unique style. Through Instagram, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with a number of great companies including DJI, City of Perth, and Palette Gear.

I have a young family - wife Jess, daughter Kina (6), twin boys Hendrix & Oakley (4)...& Bamboo our Japanese Spitz. I’m obsessed with basketball! I grew up watching Michael Jordan and wanted to be in the NBA haha  

Who or what inspires you? 

Hard to say specifically, I’m inspired by so much around me, inspiration can come from anywhere – movies, music and so on. There are so many amazing artists on Instagram, I’m constantly being inspired whenever I open the app!

Can you take us through your workflow from concept to shooting to editing?

I try to aim for my images to tell a story… I keep them fairly simple, with a moody contrast and a nice pop of color. They often end up looking a little surreal.

I start in Lightroom: I like to edit each photo individually from scratch, so I work through each of the setting sliders to get the colours and contrast looking right. I then take it into Photoshop to clean things up, dodge & burning, colour adjustments and to manipulate the image if I want to. Once I’m happy with that, I finalize the edit in Lightroom with some final colour grading. 

How do you stay efficient in your workflow? 

Palette Gear really helps me to work more efficiently and fluidly with all the different apps I need to use – Lightroom, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator

It has sped up my workflow in Lightroom from sorting through pics all the way through the editing process. You can create multiple profiles for endless functionality. It's a game changer!

My favourite way to use Palette Gear is in Photoshop when using brushes. I set the dials up to adjust brush size, opacity, angle, flow and hardness and buttons to switch color and sample/option…. this works amazing for painting and working with masks.


I really love your shark series. How do you achieve this effect?

It took spending many early hours at a local spot nicknamed the ‘Shark Pond’ where a few large schools of sharks were hanging around. I had to get the perfect conditions of low wind, good light, and water clarity as well as the sharks showing up! All of those things aligned one day when I found a school of reef sharks swimming in some fairly shallow water… I was able to capture some amazing shots of them with my drone. 

I edited the sharks to look as if they where floating above the water by removing the blue colour cast of the water and making them stand out from the patterns in the sand. I exaggerated the light and shadows and gave the water a nice aqua colour - producing my PHLYing shark pics!


Follow Phil on Instagram at @PHLYimages or check out his website to see his design work and purchase prints. 

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1 comment

  • I can’t get enough of your beautiful pictures. I will continue to follow your amazing work!

    Carole de Glanville

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