It only takes a click of a mouse to buy a drone but mastering drone photography and aerial photography can take significantly longer.
Whilst you may be eager to get your drone in the air and take pictures, here is our list of 5 easy tips to instantly improve your drone photography.
1. Camera settings
When it comes to aerial drone photography, I recommend learning the basics of the camera settings first. I always tend to shoot my pictures in raw mode as this ensures me the highest quality and capability to edit my images and to get out the most as I like later on.
Using raw files gives also an advantage if you plan to do printing work, as you are capturing it in the highest quality the sensor has, making it possible to print in a larger scale.
Before I go to shoot and have time to plan it beforehand, I like to search the place on Google Earth and mark the places I find interesting. Being prepared saves a lot of time, because finding great spots can waste a lot of battery.
2. Editing tips
I tend to edit my Images at a ratio of 4/5. For me, it is a practical size as it allows me to upload it on Instagram. The programs I normally use most when it comes to editing are Lightroom, Photoshop and Luminar. I think it’s important to choose a good basic editing program where you feel most comfortable with using it.
Before shooting an image on my drone I like to use a grid as it helps to align my shots inside the DJI 4 Go app, making composition aesthetically more pleasing from the beginning to save up time when it comes to editing.
3. Drone camera accessories
For the drone camera accessories, I recommend you get some drone ND filters as this will help you to reduce the exposure when shooting in extremely bright light condition, being in control of the overall image.
I personally use Freewell drone filters, and I am pretty happy with them. I tend to use a polarized filter especially when shooting water surfaces as this can get handy as it reduces some glare and reflection, giving it a more colourful and thrilled look.
If you are new to drone photography and are unsure what ND filter to use, Drone Photography Bible has an article about the Polarpro app. This app can help you determine the correct ND filter and settings.
The lighting condition is a key point when it comes to taking a great picture.
Knowing the effects of the sun at different times of day will help to take a great shot, as shadows and light can change, playing a very important role. I tend to avoid shooting at noon where the light is strongest as it makes the image mostly unusable.
If you avoid the direct sunlight, but want to add overexposed lighting, you better edit this light effect manually.
5. Using intelligent flight mode to improve drone photography
DJI drones have a lot of different intelligent flight modes integrated, for recording it can be very useful.
Orbit mode will make a perfect circular recording of the object you want to have in the focus.
The cinematic mode is also useful as it stops the drone in a much smoother way, making the recording more cinematic and very fluent.
Way-points can also be practical to pilot the aircraft into a direction and to concentrate only on the camera tilt movement.
When it comes to shooting cars or any moving craft, active track makes following a car or bicycle rider much easier.
About the author – Manuel Helbling
Drone Photography Bible would like to thank Manuel Helbling for submitting this guest article. He is an EASA certified Swiss drone pilot that lives in Ibiza, Spain who uses a drone for his drone photography.
You can find some of his work included in this article but his full gallery can be found on his Instagram account. Please visit his page, view his work and follow him.
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