UAVs are taking over the photography market like the GoPro cameras in 2014, It´s booming! And with new, more affordable, smaller and more powerful models, it seems like drone photography is not going to stop in the next years and regulations worldwide will have to be adjusted to this new market to ensure privacy, security and comfort for professional/hobby pilots and citizens.
I personally love photographing with my drone. I have been doing it for less than a year and with height limits, safe mode options and software telling you where you can´t fly, flying an UAV has never been easier. Aerial photography gives you the freedom of photographing from a 3-dimensional perspective and get angles you could barely photograph from a helicopter some years ago – an amazing alternative that is taking photography to the next level.
Last year I have worked with my drone all over the world and after discussing with fellow professional photographers, we feel amazed of the footage from hobby pilots and photographers, but at the same time, we see some lack of knowledge of what aerial photo is about. Here I give you some very simple and useful tips on how to take your aerial photography to a new level and improve in just matter of tries.
Don´t take your UAV to unnecessary heights.
First, in most countries it´s illegal to photograph over an altitude of 100 m without permission and second: what for?
Some weeks ago, I checked my DJI profile and curiously realized that my last 6 flights all had a maximum altitude of 45 m and in some cases I even barely went higher than 20 meters. Aerial photography gives you the chance to find new perspectives. Taking your drone to altitudes of more than 100 m will simply take away the detail and uniqueness you can catch on your photographs.
Try new angles
UAV´s have taken aerial photography to a next level. Just think about the fact that you can photograph locations further than 500 m away from you and move freely around 360 degrees and different altitudes with a single gadget. Next time you are photographing simply set your drone on a certain altitude, move around 360 degrees, increase the altitude and do it again. You will realize how different each photo is and you will able to find the perfect shot on your next location.
Photograph in manual mode and learn how to read a histogram
Controlling a drone and a manual camera might seem difficult at first sight and since we are often photographing landscapes in good light conditions, we have the feeling the automatic mode is enough. However, aerial photography is about the perfect balance between lights and darks, which most auto mode shots can´t catch due to underexposing the shadows or overexposing the lights.
at the end of the day, always keeping your Manual Mode on and getting used to controlling it quickly is what separates photography from just taking pictures. I would prefer spending more time taking a single photograph with the right settings over taking 20 photographs I can´t work with later.
Pimp your software knowledge
I once heard that this is called cheating, but introduce me to one professional photographer who doesn´t use Lightroom or any other software to postprocess photos to life and drinks will be on me for a whole night. Software postprocessing is obligatory to make your photographs pop up and knowing how to use your software can make the difference between amazement and just an overcolored photograph. UAV cameras from DJI or GoPro have sensors causing a lack of color in your photos. It’s important to work on those problems and make your photos impress by themselves.
You don´t need to be a graphic designer or architect to learn how to use postprocessing softwares, simply sit down for a couple of hours a day, go through some tutorials on YouTube and in less than a month you will see amazing results.
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