Aerial photography tips for drone photographers starting out. Here are my top tips on getting that perfect drone shot!
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail” – Winston Churchill
Planning your drone shot is the most important. Start off by finding inspiration images from Instagram, Vero or google images. Once you have an idea on the location, go to google earth. Locations are in 3D so you should be able to get an idea of the type of shot you want to get. You can also click on the man icon to view 360 degrees and 3D versions of the area.. Decide where you will launch your drone.
The most important thing is to check the flying regulations for the location as some areas have a no fly zone or altitude restrictions. Be sure to check the relevent rules for your area.
Next check the weather and make sure there is no high winds and rain. Depending on the drone you use there should be recommendations in the manual as to the max MPH your drone can take in the wind. For begginers I’d only fly on a clear calm day. Weather websites / apps I would recomment are yr.no or accuweather. Also the clear outside app is good and give a detail.
Don’t go to high!
Your instinct might be to have the drone so high in the sky, but I find some of the best shots are at lower altitudes, it adds more dimension, and a lot of time images can be flat and boring.
Shoot In Raw
In your drone settings make sure to change the image settings to raw. Do this before you go out to use your drone. Shooting all your images in raw will give you more dynamic range in your shots (ie more information can be recovered from your images when editing them, such as shadows/ highlights and details)
Take loads of pictures
Battery’s are limited so try to take as many different angles or pictures as possible that way you have a lot to choose from when you import them into lightroom or photoshop. Sometimes the best shots are the angles you didn’t plan.
The amount of times I have gone out flying my drone for aerial photography and one thing I always forget and really want are my gloves! Having a good pair of gloves will keep your hands from getting stiff when you are operating your drone and will certainly stop you from rushing to get that shot so you can put your hands in your pockets. I use fingerless gloves from Vallerret. I used them primarily for photography but they are getting some use for when I take out my drone.
Don’t forget your memory cards!
This one is so obvious yet so common. I should take my own advise because the amount of times I have gone out and even got as far as pressing record while I was in the air and came back with nothing. Generally, it will record to your phone but it isn’t guaranteed. Plus it will end up compressing the footage on your phone and won’t be the highest quality.
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