As with ground-based photography and subjects, it is impossible to state rules defining the best aerial photography subjects. However, similar principles can be used in both types of work.
Areas of relatively flat ground are unlikely to make interesting aerial subjects unless they include particular shapes, forms or unusual features. Fly over flat rural areas in the US or the Netherlands in a light aircraft and the pictures might be uninteresting unless distinctive shapes, colours or patterns can be incorporated. Over the Netherlands, for example, stunning patterns of colour might be found over the bulb fields in spring. Over the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the ground may be flat but the patterns created by the pools of water, and the light reflected from the same pools, can make wonderful photographic subjects.
Buildings often make interesting aerial subjects not least because they reveal an angle from which they are not normally seen. In good light, and with interesting shadows, a building can be shown to great effect if sufficient of the surrounding area is incorporated to provide context. Natural features such as meandering rivers, mountain valley, desert sand dunes or cor interesting coast lines also make good subjects.
Cityscapes are also a popular subject for aerial photographers although there are obvious difficulties obtaining permission to fly relatively low over populated areas. Oblique cityscapes captured at night can also give wonderfully fresh perception.