Using your drones for photography is what brings many newcomers into the hobby, but capturing good images may be trickier than you’d think. If you take the time to learn some basics of drone photography, you’ll be happier with the outcome. We’ll give you four tips to get beginners started on the right foot.
Get Out of Your Head – And Into Your Drone’s Camera
The first thing you should do is try to imagine how your shot will look from the perspective of your quadcopter. This is a skill you’ll pick up with practice, as it’s hard to naturally be able to imagine what a landscape will look like from 300+ feet up in the air. If you’re lucky enough to have a more advanced quadcopter, like a DJI Phantom 2, you can stream your video feed to a smartphone in real-time to master filming even faster. Many beginner drone pilots won’t have this advanced technology, so they’ll need to use more trial and error.
Utilize a Drone’s Unique Movements
One of the biggest advantages of filming from a quadcopter versus any other means is the ability to quickly cover ground and glide over landscapes effortlessly. Combine the slick, fluid movement with some altitude and you’ll have footage that grabs and holds people’s interest. Even with a fixed quadcopter camera, this technique will work wonders. Check out the short video below for inspiration of excellent drone footage. This tip is key to great footage.
Work With Nature and Your Surroundings
Working with nature will go a long way for improve the quality of your images. For example, photographers consider the first and last hours of daylight each day the “Golden Hour” for photography. Try filming during the Golden Hour sometime, you’ll see more interesting shadows and contrast in your images than if you were to head out in the afternoon.
You’ll also want to be aware of the weather report before you plan on filming. A cloudy day will likely yield less vivid and colorful photos. If you’re really daring, you could try taking your drone out during a storm, but we wouldn’t recommend it! One drone pilot was ballsy enough to capture the below footage outside of a lightning storm.
Learn How to Use Distance in Photos
For our final drone photography tip, mix up the distance from your subject. Images from far away will capture more of the landscape and will work well to tell more of a story of an entire region. This can be great for both in nature and urban settings. These types of shots are often used in movies to quickly give the viewer some context to the world that the story is taking place in.
On the reverse of the distance shot is the close-up. A close-up shot from a unique angle offers a new perspective that could make the ordinary or well-known seem fresh and new. This works well for buildings and landmarks. Check out the shot below of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from an angle that’s not cliche.