The camera and its accessories became an essential component of the equipment carried by explorers even unto the most remote, inaccessible lands. Vittorio Sella (1859-1943), during his 1909 expedition to Karakorum, Giotto Dainelli (1878-1968) in that of 1913, and Massimo Terzano (892-1947) in 1929, all took astounding photographs of the peaks they scaled and the places they explored.

Like the mountain peaks, the depths of the Earth were also portrayed by photographers who undertook arduous, perilous journeys to accompany explorers and researchers, such as the young Giovanni Battista De Gasperi (1892-1916) in the Villanova Cave (Friuli), to document their findings.

Topography exploited photography initially as an aid to drawing and subsequently as a medium to assist the construction of perspective models of tracts being surveyed, thus inaugurating a new branch of study called Photogrammetry. Among the pioneers were Michele Manzi and Luigi Pio Paganini (1848-1916) of the Military Topographic Institute in Florence, who followed in the wake of Ignazio Porro (1801-1875) to carry out the first photographic studies of the Gran Sasso and the Apuan Alps.

The innovation of utilizing photography with aerostatic balloons was born in the Specialized Brigades of the Italian Army Corps of Engineers, which instituted its Photography Section in 1896 and collaborated with the Aerostatic Section to take hot-air balloon photographs which constitute the first aerial images of Rome, Ostia, the course of the Tiber, Pompeii, and Venice. Their cameras obtained the first aerial views of vast areas of archeological, environmental, and urbanistic interest.

Seismology and Volcanology also considered photography a fundamental technology for the analysis and documentation of seismic and eruptive phenomena, along with their devastating effects.