With the advent of drones that pack some serious photography equipment, taking incredible aerial photos and highly engaging videos is no longer the exclusive domain of professional photographers. As long as you have the right equipment plus considering these 10 tips for shooting drone photos, you should be able to capture really amazing shots.
- Learn how to fly.
No matter how fascinated you may be at taking pictures from the air if you clearly don’t know how to control your drone, then everything will be simply for naught. The very first thing you need to learn in shooting drone photos is how to effortlessly fly your drone so you can keep it steady while shooting pictures.
- Know the legal boundaries.
There are very strict rules about flying unmanned aerial systems, especially those that exceed the 0.55-pound weight limit that requires FAA registration. Also, there are certain areas or locations that you are strictly prohibited from flying a drone.
- Keep track of the weather.
Unless you’re interested in weather or storm photography, it pays to know and be updated of the prevailing weather. Your drone is not a full-sized aircraft that can withstand hurricane-force winds, snowstorm, or blizzard, regardless of how ‘weatherproof’ it can be.
- Don’t forget about lighting.
Light is a photographer’s best buddy in capturing the message of a subject. Unfortunately, many drone fliers tend to disregard lighting in their images. Depending on the angle of your drone’s camera, you can have an entire scene washed in sunlight or blanketed in shadows.
- Plan where you’re going to shoot aerial photos.
Serious photographers are not content with merely snapping pictures of scenes or subjects that are available to them. True photographers pay particular attention to their subject such that they spend a lot of time planning where they can best shoot such a subject.
- Go RAW.
Whatever you do, don’t save your images in JPEG file format as many of the digital image information will already be lost during its compression. A better format is RAW as it gives you superior latitude in making the necessary corrections afterwards.
- Consider exposure bracketing.
A fan of HDR? Go for exposure bracketing, giving you a series of shots of the same subject but in different levels of exposure. You can later weave them to create intelligent HDR or choose which image best represents your thoughts.
- Master the Manual mode.
Shooting automatic simplifies everything. Unfortunately, you will only be as good as any other pocket camera user. Master the Manual mode and you’re clearly on your way to really fascinating aerial photographs.
- Manage camera shake.
This is a lot easier said than accomplished as it tends to be windier the higher you go. As such, you must learn how to strike a balance between shutter speed, aperture, and your ISO settings to get the right exposure for your shots.
- Be creative.
Photography is all about creativity. What you see from the sky looking down will give you an idea of what forms, patterns, textures, and colors to put into your frame.
Drone photography can give you a whole new perspective of the world around you. These are just 10 tips for shooting drone photos and there are plenty more. Learn these and you’ve opened up a whole new world for you.