So you have a fancy drone. You’ve decided that you want to do something cool with it other than spy on neighbors or racing. We’re down with that.
There are a lot better things to do with a drone equipped with camera gear, although the spying aspect continues to pique our interest. But let’s suppose you decide to use that camera gear for the greater good. Okay, now you’ve entered a completely different realm of drone operation as well as photography.
This is no longer the world of point ‘n’ snap photography. This is a world where you can truly make a difference. We’re taking making some money with your drone. But you first need to know how to turn those photos into cold, hard cash.
Here are our top tips for drone photography. Even if you are a beginner, these tips are sure to give you an edge and may even teach you a thing or two about what that camera of yours hovering high above you can actually do.
1 – Get Acquainted With UAV Forecast Websites/Apps
Do you know how you usually zone out when you are gazing at the weather girl on your big screen TV? We get it. She’s a babe, and the wardrobe department must be gearing up for sweeps week. However, the stuff she is telling you is important if you are planning a day at the beach as part of your ‘phone into work sick’ routine.
If you are going to use the day to snap photos or shoot video with your drone, the TV weather chick is not going to be much help to your planning. Instead, you need to get connected to UAV forecast sites. All you do is punch in the location you intend to fly, and you’ll get tons of data that will help you to decide whether or not to venture out at all. It could save you a wasted day in crappy weather.
2 – Don’t Forget To Carry A Few Spare Parts
Just because you are sending your camera a few hundred feet in the air, it doesn’t mean that nothing will happen to it. Trust us, stuff happens. So, one very important thing to pack along with you when you go somewhere for a session of drone photography is a toy box of parts and stuff.
That’s things like spare batteries, an extra camera, an extra drone, extra drone parts, a second console, a sandwich you know, important stuff to get you through the session in case something nasty happens you didn’t expect could happen. In other words, don’t be afraid to prepare for a disaster because when you don’t, that’s the day your drone batteries die, and your drone comes crashing down in the middle of an empty parking lot or into heavy traffic.
3 – High-Quality Filters Will Make Your Photos Pop
Assuming you spent a fairly good coin on a quality drone and a reasonably good camera set up, don’t skimp on filters. That means this is your opportunity to make your drone photos really stand out. That’s a hint. With high-quality filters you’ll be able to enhance certain aspects of the photos taken high above ground level.
Don’t listen to the guys who hashtag everything with #nofilter simply because that’s the easy way out. If you are taking your photos for business purposes or in hopes of selling them to make some spare change, we advise you to use any trick possible to seal the deal. Filters are one of your best tricks. That is particularly true if the drone photography you focus on (pun intended) is landscapes. With the right filtering system in place, you can turn an otherwise nifty aerial photo into a prize-winning shot.
4 – With A Camera In The Air, You Get So Many Different Perspectives
You know that the guy with all the angles usually wins, right? Well, with a drone in the air with a camera strapped to it, you instantly become the one with all the angles. So you better start making use of them. You can do many different things ranging from circling a subject to starting down low and zooming up and over the subject.
You can angle down from above and drop down slowly or just zip past something. The possibilities are endless, and because you get a unique view from above, you will be able to photograph things and places you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to access on foot. This opens many doors to other opportunities.
5 – Try To Find Something That Ties The Subjects In Your Aerial Photos Together
We know. It’s straight outta Photography 101, but it has to be said. Just because you can now shoot photos from high above your head doesn’t mean every photo you shoot is going to be considered a spectacular shot automatically. You still need to pay attention to the composition of that photo. Because you now have access to the friendly skies, you need to take advantage of that unusual vantage point.
This means trying to get your photos to show something other than random landscape or blurry objects. Find perspective and use it. The ‘leading line’ is a good guide, even if you’ve been shooting for years because your ground level shots are a whole different ball game compared to what your drone will be offering you to make use of.
6 – Lighting Is Still An Important Factor In Drone Photography
Here’s a question for you. If you are a studio and outdoor photographer, do you use light kits? If you do, you know how valuable they are in producing the exact look you are trying to achieve where natural lighting or other forms of artificial light tend to fail. Okay, suck. But with a drone hovering high above the ground, where are you going to have your light kits?
Sure, two more drones loaded with lights may sound like a likely – and unpractical – solution but now we’ve said it, someone is likely to give it a try. This is why we suggest you let Mother Nature pitch in for a change. Here’s our lighting tip for you: aim for most of your session to revolve around sunrise and sunset. You already know what that kind of light can do for your ‘normal ground level’ photos. Imagine the way those drone shots will come out with that kind of light.
7 – Keep It Simple And Remember To Have Fun
Uh-huh. We know that’s a fairly easy thing to say, but it happens to be true. Although you’ve packed extra back up gear, scheduled your session around UAV forecasts in the early morning or early evening and are going to try some neat angles from your eye in the sky, once you get all of these steps down it will become easy.
What’s that old saying? Right, Romans haven’t massacred in a day or something like that. It just means that you can’t expect all these new-fangled ideas to just sprout out on the first day. You have to water them a bit, and sooner or later you are going to snap some awesome drone photos without much effort. Or at least that’s the theory behind all of this. Just don’t overthink your plans and enjoy the time you spend outside with your drone.
Quit Reading This And Get Out There With Your Drone
There is no doubt that we can go on and on about the things you can do with a camera strapped to your drone. Heck, we can even make up a bunch of stuff, but none of it is going to be of any use to you if you don’t actually start playing with your junk.
That didn’t quite sound right. We mean, take your drone gear and your camera gear and create some incredible memories. In fact, as much as photography can be a solo pursuit, snapping shots with your drone is an experience you can share with others. That is if you enjoy the company. If you are one of those who would rather stay in a darkroom developing film and maintaining a corpse grey skin tone, forget we ever mentioned venturing outdoors.
But, if you are one of those digital photographers who relishes interaction with your subjects – and the ones that will actually speak words – then you may have found another great creative outlet that you can share with friends and family.
Unless, of course, the drone you have hidden in the garage is just for your personal use and by personal use, we mean you use it to spy on someone in the neighborhood. That’s cool. At least with a camera on it, you can invade someone’s privacy to the full extent of the law…if that’s your thing.
However, if you are looking for a better way to use your camera-equipped drone, hopefully, we’ve helped with that.