Drone photography & cinematography has grown in popularity over the past few years. Aside from providing photographers & cinematographers the option of capturing photos & videos from extraordinary vantage points, drone photography & cinematography offers more versatility for professional use. Photographers are now able to incorporate aerial photography into their services, allowing them to provide more options to their clients. If you want to socially distance more than six feet and take your work to new heights, check out these drone photography tips!
Check the UAV forecast
The first thing you’ll need to do before taking your drone out for a session is to check the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) forecast, which gives important information for the safety of the pilot, the aircraft and other people or buildings in the vicinity. It tells you which areas are off-limits, what the weather will be like for that day, how many GPS satellites are active within a particular area and more. Always check the forecast before going out, as this can help you plan your shoots accordingly.
Stick to a lower ISO
Drone cameras usually have smaller sensors, which don’t work as well at high ISO settings. Unless you’re shooting at night, ample lighting shouldn’t be a issue, so it won’t be necessary to use high ISO settings. Generally, you’ll want to stick to the lowest possible ISO to keep your image properly exposed. When shooting in windy or shady locations, consider opening up your aperture or using a slower shutter speed to let in more light for clean, sharp images.
Flip the perspective
Drones give a point of view that no other camera can give, so take full advantage of that aspect and use the aerial view to create illusions below. Ask your friends to lay on the ground and strike a pose; something as ordinary as a park bench or wall could look like the ledge of a building to give the illusion of leaping from one to another.
Seek out symmetry, patterns, and lines
Taking photos with a drone allows you to capture patterns that aren’t visible when viewed from other vantage points. Since you have a bird’s eye view, look for unique lines and patterns to make your images more interesting. Incorporating such design elements can significantly improve your overall composition, and in some cases, they can also help influence how your audience will observe your photo.
Take an aerial panorama
With a wider landscape, you can give the viewer an entire view of beauty, rather than an incomplete picture. Fly high, choose your spot, then shoot, rotate, and shoot again! Some drones, like the DJI Spark, have a panorama feature and a sphere feature pre-programmed into the drone.
Find contrasting colors
Bright, vivid hues look stunning from above. The higher the contrast, the more dramatic the shot, so make sure you incorporate bright colors and dark hues together (or play up complementary colors).
Take a drone selfie
Many of today’s drones are integrated with user-friendly features that encourage pilots to make the most of their aircraft and capture memorable images. For example, the DJI Mavic Pro & the DJI Spark come with a Gesture Mode that allows the pilot to command the aircraft with hand or arm gestures, making it easier to take aerial selfies. With a couple of gestures, users can instruct the drone to place them the middle of the frame, do a countdown, and take the photo. When done artfully, you can create fun shots that give you a nice break from the usual landscapes you typically see in drone pictures.
Look for repetition
Some places, like a shipping yard or train station, provide a great opportunity for repetition; carefully arranged objects can form precise, formulaic lines. Even your ordinary neighborhood has an element of repetition if all the houses are in rows. Show your appreciation for the repetition with a great image and mix up the mundane.
Play with lights and shadows
Light plays a huge part in determining the mood, tone, vibe, composition and message of your photo. Shooting with a drone gives you a chance to see lights and shadows in a new way, especially when the sun is low. Capture those dramatic after-sunrise and before-sunset shots from high above and discover how shadows can completely change the scene.
One of the great things about capturing photos & videos with a drone is that you can combine any of the previous tips to create a breathtaking image. Find symmetrical lines, weird shapes, high contrasting colors and fantastic shadows to make the creation your own! With a unique perspective and hard-to-reach angles, you can give life to an image that few others can.