It’s important to understand the capabilities of your drone so that you can capture stunning aerial photography. Having the ability to capture amazing aerial photographs and video footage is one of the major benefits of owning a drone. Here are a few tips to help you explore the functionality of your drone and improve your aerial photography skills.
Try Panoramic Shots
There may be times that you’ll want to fit more than you can into a single aerial photography frame. This might occur when you’re faced with a really grand vista, such as a colorful rainbow emerging from a waterfall. Rather than being disappointed and letting the aerial photography image slip through your fingers, you can capture the entire expanse of the landscape in a panorama instead. Panorama photography with a drone is much easier to do than you’d think. Most drones come with a built-in panorama function, which will do a lot of the work for you! Simply select the option that you want and your drone will take the panorama automatically. You can use the full sphere option, which allows you to capture everything quickly. Save the panorama images from your drone from Beachcamera.com as RAW files which you can edit later on. You can view all of the images and choose the perfect parts from within the giant panorama to use as your final aerial photography shot.
Experiment with Settings
The camera on your drone may not produce images of as high quality as your DSLR. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get incredible aerial photography images. What it does mean is that you’ll need the right settings to get the perfect aerial photography shot. To minimize noise, always shoot at ISO 100. Next, you’ll want to adjust the aperture to somewhere around f/4-f/5.6. Some drones won’t allow you to do this, though the DJI Phantom 4 from Beachcamera.com will. While this aperture might seem a little too wide to get a sharp image, shooting at a smaller aperture such as f/11 can result in image softness and poor quality. While you’re up in the air, you can actually still use filters, so try experimenting with neutral density filters for drones. DJI has a number of filters made specifically to fit their drones, which will reduce the amount of light coming into your drone camera’s sensor. You can even use a polarizing filter to cut out reflections, which can give you some amazing results when photographing large bodies of water. Imagine seeing through the water to photograph the bottom of a lake! This can make for some truly breathtaking aerial photography shots.
The Right Light
It’s obvious that light plays a huge role in photography. Being at a location with interesting light that benefits the aerial photography scene is essential. Golden hour refers to the soft yellow-tinted light that fills the skies as the sun begins and ends its journey across the horizon. Blue hour is another special stage in the day when vibrant blue hues take over the sky before sunrise in the morning and after sunset in the evening. When shooting landscape aerial photography, you’ll see there is more depth during these times. Besides sunrise and sunset, seek out conditions with fog, which adds a lot of atmosphere to your aerial photography.
All About Perspective
Seek out visual aerial photography drama that a different angle can bring to life. The best drone photographs aren’t necessarily taken at maximum flight altitude. Usually, the drone photography sweet spot exists just a few feet above your head. At about 10-100 feet high, you can create unique aerial photography imagery with foregrounds, middle grounds, and backgrounds capable of guiding your viewer through a unique visual experience.
As an aspiring drone photographer, getting to a place where you’re consistently producing quality aerial photography takes a lot of practice and time at the camera controls. These tips will help make your aerial photography stand out!