5 Tips for Fantastic Drone Photography

Here we will go over how to take drone photography to the next level by capturing aerial shots with your favorite drone technology.

Remember when aerial photography was exclusive to planes and, in founder Gaspard Tournachon’s case, hot air balloons? In most cases, the artist had to travel through the skies themselves with bulky photo gear. Now we have smaller cameras and advanced drone technology that allow us to practice this craft with a remote control.

Although drone photography may be exclusive to a select few, it should be regarded as a distinct category of photography. Keep reading to learn more about this modern technique and capture aerial shots like a pro!

1. The boring stuff: settings

Photographers across the board will tell you to shoot in RAW. This detail is equally as important in drone photography. This setting will allow you to correct exposure and adjust colors with better control.

Since the resolution of your drone camera is most likely smaller than that of your favorite DSLR, you want to maintain as much control as you can over your shots. Post-processing is an important aspect of drone photography; you’ll want to enter that stage with plenty of options and available image data.

2. ISO

Quite simply, I suggest that you always try to shoot with the lowest possible ISO. On the Phantom 3 Pro Quadcopter by DJI, the lowest possible ISO is 100.

As with other cameras, using a low ISO will minimize unsightly noise and grain. Since the camera shake of drones in inevitable despite the model, you might want to shoot during the day when natural light is strongest. There is no reason to use a high ISO during the day because there is already plenty of available light.

For low-light situations, begin by adjusting your shutter speed. Try to use a longer shutter speed in order to let extra light into the sensor. If the resulting photos are blurry or grainy, begin to dial up the ISO, but never take it above ISO 800.

3. Know your heights

The best photography drones will shake in even the mildest of wind conditions. Keep in mind the obvious; the higher you fly your drone, the more wind it will encounter and the shakier it will become.

Even if your drone is planted on the ground, it may still experience the effects of wind.

Fortunately, the Phantom 3 model listed above will allow you to shoot with a shutter speed as long as eight seconds. For night shots, however, it would be wise not to exceed three seconds. If you exceed that threshold, your photos might become blurry and usable.

4. Glasses for your drone

As with normal scenic photography, a neutral density (ND) filter or polarizing filter might work wonders for your photos. If you want to shoot video with your drone, a neutral density filter will give your film a more dramatic look with stronger color contrast. If your drone has the capability, I also recommend that you double the frames-per- second (fps) that you are shooting with. The result will be a more cinematic feel.

Try not to use a neutral density filter during low-light situations. By nature, these filters reduce the amount of light that enters the camera. While this tool will allow you to use a slower shutter speed during a bright day, your photos will appear dark and poorly exposed without strong sunlight.

5. Post-processing

Whether you use Adobe Photoshop or another editing program, this is an essential step in drone photography. As with normal photography, I recommend that you begin with composition. It can be far more difficult to control composition without a tripod and steady viewfinder in front of you, so pay extra attention to ensure that the horizon is straight and you follow the rule of thirds.

Next, begin to correct the colors of the shot. You might also want to touch up the shot, as drone photography water, fog, and other imperfections cleaning drone camera?)

Overall, drone photography is just like any other form of photography, except your camera isn’t directly in your hands. As a result, you must be extremely cognizant and careful
about equipment and camera settings. Allow yourself some room for research, experimentation, and extra time for post-processing.

Most importantly, have fun with it! Who knew we would ever be able to attach little cameras to small flying machines and take pictures from the clouds?