Thanks to rapidly advancing technology, it has never been easier to capture amazing aerial images and videos of the world’s most beautiful places. Even a very basic drone can produce some of the most breathtaking photography you have ever seen. And, just like many could have predicted, a drone that is basically a remote-controlled toy for those obsessed with photos and videos is just as much fun to fly as it is to capture images.
When you are just getting started on drone photography, it might seem a little overwhelming. Luckily we have compiled a list of some great tips to not only help you get a good start with a brand new drone but excel in drone photography!
1. Pick a drone that will suit your needs and your skills
As you probably already know, there are hundreds if not thousands of different drones out on the market to choose from. So what kind of drone should you consider getting for yourself? There are two basic types of drones, those with built-in cameras, and those that are not. Drones with built-in cameras are usually larger, and their cameras are often unable to be upgraded. This means that you are stuck with whatever quality (good or bad) the camera gives you.
Other drones that allow you to attach your own camera, like a GoPro, could be a little easier to handle as you will already know how to run your camera. These might also be cheaper, but these types of drones will not allow you to see what your drone sees as many that have their own built-in camera allow you to do.
2. Read the Instruction Manual and Learn to Use Your Drone
It’s no secret that everybody hates to read the instruction manual, but with something like a drone, it is important to know how to use it before you ever try flying it. The instruction manual will have everything you need to know about your drone and give you the basics of how to use it. It will also answer any questions you might have, and let you know what your drone can and can’t do. This could save you valuable time, as you will avoid having to learn everything the hard way. The last you want to do is wreck your new drone because you did not know how to fly it correctly!
3. Learn All of the Local, State, and Federal Drone Rules and Regulations
With all of the popularity of drones, there has been a lot of new rules and regulations on how, where, and who can pilot one. For example, here in the United States, anything weighing 0.55 to 55 pounds requires a Federal Aviation Administration registration. It is a simple process, but one that must be done to legally fly a drone of that size.
You must also be aware of where you can and cannot fly your drone. Places like airports are obviously no-fly zones, but there are others as well. Every country and province has varying laws, so it is best to study and learn any and all rules and regulations before you put your drone in the air.
4. Edit Your Photos After Flying
Capturing the images from a drone is only half the battle, and you should make it a habit of going through and processing all of your photos after a flight. Whether it is color correcting images that you are unhappy with, or editing something out of a shot, editing the photos from your drone can be just as important as what you are doing when you are flying.
While drone images look great, they need editing in order to really make them shine. This entire process can take just as much practice and learn as flying and capturing the images takes. Even if you already have experience in photo editing, editing images taken from a drone high in the sky are often very different than other types of photography. While it may be tedious work, every good drone photographer carefully edits all of their images!
5. Have the Proper Gear and Accessories
Just like any professional camera, a drone has different gear and accessories that you may want to bring to make your shooting much more enjoyable. Some of these include extra batteries, spare propellers and propeller guards, and empty SD cards. These are just some of the basic gear items that you might want to consider bringing whenever you fly your drone, as each one could come in handy should you need them. Once you got the basics put together, you can start to expand and acquire more advanced gear and accessories for your photoshoots.
6. Properly Prepare Before a Flight
Before sending your drone off into the air, it would be a good idea to take a note out of the pilots’ notebook and go over a pre-flight checklist. A simple checklist will ensure that you not only have everything you need in order to fly but that you and your drone will be able to fly safely. Some things to check before taking off could be the fly zone, weather conditions, surroundings, drone settings, and battery life. A quick check of some of these factors could not only save you a lot of time and trouble, it could also save you from costly damages to you and your drone!
Drone photography can be a great way to expand on your photography and open up an entirely new world of possibilities. While it may seem like a challenge to get started, it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple tips, even a beginner can hit the skies with confidence and come home with some incredible images and a newfound love for drones and ariel photography.