Did you know that there are 1,782,479 drones registered in the US alone? While much of the news is about the disruption and invasion of privacy they cause, many people ignore their huge benefits, particularly in the field of photography. But do you know how to get great drone pictures?
With practice and patience, it is easier than you think. Read on as we discuss eleven drone photography tips for beginners.
Check the UAV Forecast
The UAV forecast tells you everything you will need to know about flying your drone. Firstly, it can tell you the weather, including winds and their speeds. Secondly, it will inform you of several safety elements such as buildings in the area, no-fly zones, and the number of satellites in an area.
Without checking the forecast, you may arrive and find it impossible to fly, let alone take pictures. Make sure you don’t waste your time by using it to plan.
Look For the Interesting In the Dull
Even in the most boring of landscapes, you can manage to take some fantastic pictures. In this instance, the best way to get great aerial photography is to pick one thing that stands out. It could be an interesting rock formation, a weathered tree, or a unique building.
When taking pictures, make sure to get as much of the normal landscape as you can. This creates a contrast between the dull and uniform, and your interesting subject.
Snap in Raw Format
When taking pictures from your drone, it is always best to shoot in RAW format. This gives you pure image data that does not have any loss. You will have more resolution and brightness, giving you more scope to make adjustments later.
If you already have a drone with a built-in camera, then it should already support RAW format shooting. If you choose to switch out the camera, you can find some great ones that will let you shoot in RAW format at the DJI store.
One of the best drone photography ideas is to find symmetry. When you are looking down upon the ground from above, you will be surprised to see just how uniform things actually are. In fact, you will soon realize just how much town planners love symmetry.
From towering blocks of flats to parks and lawns, balance will be in everything. By creating a laid-out picture showing the mirror image, you can get some fantastic and interesting shots.
Use a Lower ISO
ISO is the ability of your camera to gather light, essentially its sensitivity. As drone cameras tend to have smaller sensors, they do not operate as well with high ISO settings. Using higher settings can result in more noise and grain in the picture.
You should never go over 100 with your settings, and in many cases, you won’t even need to go near it. If you do need more light, then open the aperture or use slower shutter speeds.
Find Contrast in Colors
Another great technique is to look for contrast, not in the objects, but in their colors. Both nature and the man-made world can throw up some amazing, vivid contrasts. One of the easiest to start with is the dividing line between a yellow sandy beach and a cool, green ocean.
Follow the Law of Thirds
Composition is key when it comes to photography, and one tried and tested technique is the law of thirds. It is a great way to compose shots, by imagining the dimensions of the picture have been split into three equal sections. These could be running horizontally, vertically, or both in a grid.
By placing certain objects and items of interest in these boundaries, you both complement and frame the rest of the picture. For example, you may divide an image vertically into three sections. The center section may contain a skyscraper, but the two side section may contain a clear blue sky.
Take a Selfie
You don’t have to stay serious the whole time you are doing drone photography. Take to the skies for a bird’s eye selfie, making sure you wave, smile, and look like you are having fun.
Play With Light and Shadow
Any photographer knows just how important light and shadow are to a shot. In fact, you can see tried and tested locations in wholly different ways by looking at their light and shadow from above. The most dramatic times are at dawn and sunset, so be prepared to do some early mornings and late nights to get the shots you need.
Look Into the Horizon
The advantage of a drone is that you can see further than you could on the ground. Sometimes, as a photographer, you can get focused on the smaller things when you should just concentrate on the bigger picture. Always remember to get shots of the horizon, particularly if it forms interesting shapes, shadows, or light patterns.
Look For Repeating Patterns
Finally, look for the beauty of repetition in your shots. This is one of the most easily findable ways to get a great picture. It could be in the rooftops of houses or the layout of country fields.
If the scene has lines in it, then even better. Try to compose them using the law of thirds mentioned above. Many cameras will even have a built-in grid to assist you with this.
Drone Photography – Practice Makes Perfect
Like any medium, drone photography needs practice. The more you shoot, the better you will get at learning how the drone and camera work. Soon, with Drone Videos’ help you will be getting great shots as good as the professionals.
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