Aerial photography is an extremely fun and relatively easy way to create new and unique images. But be warned, it’s not that easy to perfect it.
But lots of practice and these tips will help you become a better aerial photographer faster.
Choose a drone with the best camera
When choosing a drone, you should choose the one that produces the best image quality. Most drones have similar operating methods, so from a beginner’s standpoint, it doesn’t really matter which one you choose.
But if you want the best image and video quality, you should choose the drone with the best camera. For a better experience, choose a drone with a user-friendly UI, high stability to handle strong winds, and an option to take high-resolution images.
Mavic and Phantom of DJI are some of the more preferred drones by pros but GoPro also previously released its Karma which only serves as a flier but you still have to buy its sports camera for shooting.
Steps on How To Do Aerial Photography
Read your drone’s manual and make sure you know what your drone can and cannot do. It can take a few attempts to get comfortable with operating the drone. Watch tutorials on YouTube and take your time getting used to how it moves and reacts. Safety and care is the number one priority.
Check the UAV forecast
Before going out, check the UAV forecast for your safety. It will tell you about off-limit areas, weather, active GPS satellites within a particular area, and more.
When choosing weather, calm and sunny days are best. This allows for safe flying and optimum performance. Avoid flying if there’s any chance of rain, as water and drones don’t get along.
Research what you’re going to shoot
Research an area and find unique places to shoot. You can use Google Earth to scout for unique locations. It has amazing image quality and a search tool for almost the entire planet.
Instagram is also great for inspiration. But try to tell a different story when using your drone. A new angle that hasn’t been seen before should goal. The whole world opens up when using a drone for photo and video. The possibilities are endless.
Consider the scene
There are many composition techniques you might want to try with your drone: symmetry and patterns, wide-open shots, lines, shadows, and more. It will depend on where you’re shooting.
Out in nature, you might prefer wide open shots to get as much of the scene as possible. In cities, you might like lines and different perspectives such as top-down shots, condensing a scene.
Always shoot RAW. It’s the best way to get the most from your photos. Not only does it offer maximum file size, but it also retains more information than JPEG so the ability to recover highlights and shadows is far greater.
Shoot to the conditions
Camera settings are as important as composition. Most of today’s drones have an adjustable aperture and shutter speed with variable ISO values. During the daytime, lighting shouldn’t be a problem, so you can stick to the lowest possible ISO. This means you’ll have to manually adjust your camera settings to keep your images properly exposed.
When shooting in windy or shady places, consider opening up your aperture or using slower shutter speed. It will let in more light and maintain the lowest ISO for clean, sharp images.
The best settings for aerial photos depend on the lighting conditions and where you’re located. Shoot to the conditions and you’ll find what works.
And to improve the shots you’ve taken with your drone, process them on Adobe Photoshop. Watch how a pro edits his aerial photographs to produce fine art images. Check Colin Smith and Taming Light Photography on Youtube.