10 Tips to Drastically Improve Your Drone Photography
During the past few years, aerial photography, with the use of a drone, has become more accessible. It improves the way we see and capture the world around us–without needing to fly on a plane or to climb greater heights. Aside from challenging photographers to become more creative, drone photography is paving the way in giving justice to incredible landscapes and works of art. Through bird’s eye views, even the most ordinary things become magnificent through eye-opening shots that give us fresh perspectives.
Whether you are a beginner with the best drones or someone who has been navigating aerial photography for quite some time now, it is not a foreign idea that drone photography is not as easy as point-and-shoot. Though it provides greater flexibility unmatched by a tripod, it is not without its challenges. Fortunately, capturing stunning aerial images that stand out is possible with enough knowledge and practice.
We have prepared ten tips to help you step up your aerial photography game. Feel like a natural-or pro-in no time!
1) Pay Attention to the Weather Forecast
It is crucial to be updated on the latest weather information and to monitor it while flying your drone due to rapid weather changes. Strong winds can make flying challenging and time-consuming because this may result in battery drain as you try to keep your device steady for long periods of time. Cold temperatures cause drops in battery charge, too. Hence, settle with little wind and avoid low temperatures. However, if you want a shot with a dramatic effect and fog is present, take advantage of it, but make sure to execute it quickly and to avoid rain and snow as these elements can damage your equipment. Furthermore, always take advantage of the weather with good lighting as this helps photographs look more natural and makes post-production easier.
2) Scout for Good Locations
It can be a bit of a downer to arrive at your ideal location only to realize you cannot fly as high as you want. Hence, do your research and find landscapes with interesting compositions using Google Earth for a 3D look. This can also give you a heads up about the altitude you need to go for the perfect shot. You might even be surprised to know that one of your city’s gems is within your area. If you happen to find an excellent but private property, always make sure to ask for the owner’s permission.
3) Experiment with Height
The higher you fly your drone, the more elements you can include in a frame. However, reaching your limit is not always a good idea. Doing this may result in a cluttered or unfocused image. Instead, try to fly a little lower and to get closer to your subject. Nevertheless, regardless of how high you fly your drone, make sure to go for the best composition, without making the subject or space between multiple ones appear too small or too large.
4) Photograph in RAW
It is always safer to shoot in RAW format as this allows the highest quality of images. It provides more file information as well as flexibility in post-processing. With this, you can adjust and correct the photographs colour, exposure, brightness, white balance, and the like. On the other hand, if you are shooting in JPG format, then your images will be compressed therefore limiting your ability to tweak your photograph.
5) Make Use of Low ISO
The ISO is a significant photography parameter that determines how bright your image will be. It sets the sensitivity of the camera toward the incoming light and the amount of grain on an image. With adequate lighting, aerial photography is best with low ISO for better resolution and sharpness since elements are photographed at a distance. However, you need to increase the ISO when shooting in low-light conditions to avoid blurry images.
6) Utilize Multiple Ratios
If you are unsure whether to use a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio, utilize both formats for the same photograph. It might be time-consuming, but this is beneficial if you are flying in an area you cannot go back to. Hence, seize the opportunity. Later on, you can always decide which format complements the subject or scene, without the focus being too close or too little to the edges of the frame.
7) Follow the Rule of Thirds
This rule is one of the musts in building good composition. If your drone has a grid feature, utilize that for more convenient positioning of elements within the frame. Target the objects at the intersections of the lines for a more satisfying shot that will lead your audience and will surely keep them engaged.
8) Challenge Your Creativity
Since drones offer a unique angle of an area, you have to adapt to it by having a creative eye. Act as a lookout for symmetries, patterns, and lines that you might miss when looking from the ground and use these to your advantage. Symmetries are perfect as mirror-like images while lines can serve as divisions between areas, and patterns as backgrounds or subjects themselves. You will be surprised by the different kinds of fascinating elements present when viewed on a bird’s eye view and by how you can hit two birds with one stone!
9) Shoot Contrasting Colors
Some elements rich in colour may look monotonous at an arm’s length. Take the forest as an example. It mainly looks plain green and brown from a distance. But once you look at it adjacent to the blue sky, the picture appears more captivating. Yes, the greater the contrast, the more impressive the shot. Hence, experiment with colour–bright colours and neutral tones. If complementary colours appear powerful, play with these, too.
10) Go for a Panorama Shot
If your camera allows it, take an aerial panorama. Go for a complete or a more extensive view of a body of water, a landscape, or an urban area instead of an incomplete picture, allowing your audience to see more, especially when encountering a great expanse. Plus, this results in a bigger photo size.
Still not confident enough? If you are looking for drone photography or videography service in Sydney, you can always trust Raw Edits to tell your story. With our unparalleled creative talent and state-of-the-art equipment–complemented by DJI drone technology and 3 axis gimbal stabilization–we can realize your vision through exceptional aerial documentation for any purpose and event. On the other hand, if you seek an event photography and videography service in Melbourne, our colleagues from Circular Ink make sure every photograph is a pause of every precious moment you want to keep. Apart from this, they dedicate great efforts to ensure high quality yet prompt post-production is executed, all for an affordable price. All of these are made possible to make sure you are satisfied–quality- and time-wise.
Written By Raw Edits
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