Best Guide for Drone Photography
The use of drones has grown exponentially in the past few years, these smart little flying devices help us in fields varying from defense, firefighting, disaster response, and agriculture to aerial photography.
With drones becoming more and more affordable they have made a mark in the media industry as they provide authentic jaw-dropping aerial shots that amaze viewers. They are increasingly being used in wedding, travel and real estate shoots as they showcase landscape from a bird's eye view.
The increasing popularity of drone photography also comes with its unique set of challenges, it requires a certain amount of learning and dedication to get the best out of your aerial shots. Also sometimes getting started can be hard so we have compiled together all the relevant information for you to get started on this journey in our best guide to drone photography.
How good are you at flying drones?
For beginners, it's better to start their journey with lighter sturdier, and cheaper drones. I recommend looking around to find a drone that isn't too advanced and that helps you grow your skills along the way.
For people who already have got the hang of flying drones can opt for the more sophisticated, heavy, and high-performance drones.
Know your drone
Drones today are packed with all kinds of features for you to have a smooth experience flying them make sure you are aware of the features you want and whether your drone covers all of them.
Some common features you ought to know about are:
This feature will help you avoid crashing your drone's propellers into trees and walls. Different drones come with different levels of obstacle avoidance while some provide coverage in 3-4 directions other more premium drones include omnidirectional obstacle sensing capabilities.
While most drones today come with this feature it is still good to make sure your drone comes with this basic feature which helps you see what exactly your drone is capturing and helps you get better shots.
Beginners /Smart Mode
This feature will aid you in flying your drone so that it remains stable on windy and rainy days.
It is good for beginners as it takes much of the burden of stabilizing a drone in one place off their shoulders.
Follow me Mode
In this mode, the drone will track your position and will religiously follow you. This mode can get you amazing shots but different drones perform this mode with varying efficiency so make sure you read about your particular choice in advance.
A geofence essentially locks your drone in an aerial grid stopping it from wandering off beyond a point of no return so that you don't lose your precious device by accident.
Reading the good old instruction manual
Sometimes just giving a good start-to-end read to the instruction manual can clear most of your simple beginner mistakes. Not only that it'll also help you unleash the full potential of your drone as there may be some minute features and options which might make your tasks much easier, so make sure to read the instruction manual before you start toying around with your drone.
Drone flying rules and regulations
Being aware of the national, state, and local laws regarding drones as well as aerial photography to have a smooth and unhindered flying experience. Make sure the locals agree to be photographed, in case you're shooting someone else's property take prior permission these are some of the basic guidelines.
For a complete understanding read this blog on drone flying rules and regulations.
Pre fly checklist
Every regular drone flyer should cultivate the habit of having a pre-fly checklist and ensuring that all parameters are met before they start flying their drone. This will help you avoid any legal problems, get better shots and avoid any last-minute problems.
Some basic things to put on your profile checklist are:
Fly Zone: Be completely aware of your fly zone and whether it's public or private
Weather: Keep an eye out for the weather conditions in your area as they could ruin both your drone as well as your shots.
Surroundings: Will you be shooting in a crowded place? will people bother about your drone? At what height should you shoot?
Other: Make sure your drone's fully charged and ready to go, always keep a car charger with you in case you need to charge from your car. Check the conditions of your propellers are they a bit shaky and unstable in any case keep an extra set of propellers with you at all times and also a propeller guard if needed. Make sure you have the right settings and controls for the kind of shot you want to film before launching your drone in the air.
Test drive your drone
The first thing most beginners will experience about flying a drone is that it's tough and yes it is. So, you better practice, or else you are going to dump all those expensive components into water or even hit some trees. Make sure you are giving yourself enough time to practice in an open field before going to difficult close tight spaces because as much fun flying a drone is it is also equally sensitive to a few bad hits and your precious drone could no longer stabilize on a single place very well.
Learn drone photography techniques
Now you might be thinking of going to a good location and getting some breathtaking aerial photos but to do that you need more than just your drone, you need to be aware of a few basic techniques to make your photos pop.
You can broadly classify the types of aerial shots into three categories namely:
The wholesome/overview shot: This type of shot focuses on capturing the bigger picture from up and above. It is commonly seen in real estate photography and videography as well as many commercial shots and wedding photography. When you're up there look for symmetrical patterns or landscapes with smooth transitions.
Orbit Shot: This shot is all about revolving your drone around a particular fixed point. It is used mostly in real estate photography and travel videography.
Follow Shots: This shot requires the drone to follow a chosen subject like a human or car. The captured shots give an amazing view of the surroundings as well as the subject. These shots can be widely seen in car commercials.
To get the most out of your photos, post-processing is essential as you may not be having the correct camera settings at this time of shooting the photos. So make sure to always process your photos. You can do so using various software's like Lightroom, PhotoScape, etc. Read this blog on Post Processing of Drone Photos.
Your drone may work fine on its own, but a few more accessories will make your drone flying experience a lot easier and will let you utilize the maximum potential of your drone. Accessories range from carry-on bags to extra propellers, propeller guards, etc. Read all about drone accessories in our article on Essential Drone Addons.
With all this knowledge you are now aware of all the tasks ahead of you so that you can have a smooth and fulfilling journey toward mastering drone photography.
Now get to work and remember don't lose hope and keep practicing.