With the vast array of accessories and unknown technology in the palm of your hand, setting up your drone for flight might can be daunting at first. On top of that, if you want to use your drone for photography purposes, the task of flying your drone and capturing an amazing shot isn’t always as easy as it looks. But have no fear! Our experts here at Lumoid have outlined a few tips and tricks to take your drone flight and photography to all new heights!
Take a Deep Breath and Get Comfortable
Speaking from experience, the first time flying a drone can be very nerve-racking. You’re constantly reminding yourself, “Whatever you do, do not crash!” As drone safety is also a very important aspect to understand, the best way to get over the fear of flying is by reading the instruction manual and knowing what every button does on the remote controller (you know, like a video game). Just in case you run into an emergency, it always helps to know what YOU need to do to safely assess the situation.
The second and most logical step would be to flying more often. They say practice makes perfect and rightfully so. The more you practice flying your drone, the better you will become at learning the ins and outs of maneuverability and control. Find an open space to practice the first few times and really get a grip on how the controls affect flight, orientation, and distance.
Realize Different Types of Aerial Shots
Now that you have got a handle on drone flight and its multitude of controls, we move onto capturing actual imagery. Just like with photography, there a plethora of choices and types of photos or videos you can experiment with a drone.
Camera Facing Straight Down
One of the most eye opening types of shots with a drone is where the camera is pointing straight down. The different types of shapes and symmetry we see in the world today are only exponentiated when we look at them from a birds eye view. The contrast in textures, gradients, and edges outline what it is like to see the world we live in from a different perspective. Find an area with an interesting composition (seashore, forest, etc) and simply take your drone up to the sky and face the camera straight down. You’ll be amazed at how easy and beautiful a shot like this can turn out.
Different Heights and Angles
One of the best features a drone can handle is the ability to travel at different heights and angles. You will quickly learn that the drone can travel really far from your origin and that different heights/angles will produce different shots. Sometimes flying too high can result in your photo being out of focus and too abstract. Flying too close results in your photo lacking certain detail that may sit behind your subject. At the end of the day, it will depend on what you are trying to photograph, but remember all it takes is a few feet to capture the perfect shot.
Also, keep in mind that drones can venture to areas that you physically cannot. Flying over a cliff or on top of a dense forest, the drone allows you to photograph physically unattainable shots from new and unique angles with relative ease.
Times of the Day
The angle of your shot and the angle of sunlight emitted will be a major factor in how your short turns out. Shooting in the morning provides ample golden light to highlight your subject, whereas shooting midday will light up all angles of your subject. The sun angle throughout the day will play an important role in how you want your contrast to be defined while shooting photos and videos.
Utilize the Tools At Your Disposal
One of the best features that most drones are equipped with are automated shots. These “smart” features are fully autonomous prescribed shots that allow the user to specify a certain distance, maneuver, path, etc to follow, making the operator solely focus on taking control of the camera. These features allow the beginner to capture aerial imagery all at the click of a single button.
By utilizing either built in GPS or computer vision, the drone will automatically track you or the subject by flying behind, in front, or to the sides. This allows you to track a runner along a beach, a mountain biker descending a hill, or a surfer riding the waves all at the touch of one button.
The orbit features is just what you think it is. The drone will circle around a subject at a specified distance while keeping the camera centered at the subject. By adjusting the direction and speed of the orbit, you can easily create beautiful footage that is rather difficult to achieve manually.
This feature is rather useful by which you set certain points of interest for the drone to fly to autonomously. This makes it very useful for the operator to solely focus on controlling the camera while the drone flies at a specified speed. By being able to pan and frame your shot, you can easily splice different elements from other shots seamlessly.
Look for External Inspiration
Sometimes trying to perfect the best aerial shot takes time. You have to keep an open mind and eye to see what type of image you want to capture by utilizing different techniques. Whether you are shooting wide angle or top down, gathering a different perspective for inspiration is always in the back of a photographers mind. Check out these awesome photos below to start visualizing what your shots can encapsulate.
If you are ready to take on the aerial challenge, visit Lumoid to get your hands on the newest and greatest photo gear on the market today. With gear ranging from DSLRs to complete drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Mavic Pro, your aerial imagery is just a click away!