Aerial photography is something that takes time to get used to. That's why even master photographers have a hard time getting it right. However, there are strategies that can help photographers capture the images they want, in the way they want.
Of course, nothing can be perfected without practice.
With enough time and effort, these tips should help you become an expert at aerial photography. Plus, these tips will make the process a little easier than usual.
Go higher, but keep it below 400 feet
It is natural for photographers to get close to their target in order to get a proper shot. However, with aerial photography, the trick is to move to a higher altitude. This allows photographers to cover a much wider angle and results in a better picture.
For instance, you can capture a field with the horses running and zoom into the horses as well. You gain the option of choosing between a more detailed close-up shot or a wider shot that covers all elements within the setting.
Some drones come with the option of capturing images in First Person View. However, this will require some experimentation before you start to get things right. The key lies in knowing when to use FPV and when not to. This helps pictures come out much better.
For instance, FPV works well with high range shots, while close up shots can turn out to be poor.
Some drones come with a GPS mode and this helps with stabilization. All you have to do is choose your location and let the drone do the rest. Once the location is reached the GPS will stabilize over it automatically. This will give you enough time to get a perfect shot.
Use a Gimbal
Aerial photography is best achieved with a gimbal. A gimbal is pivot support that allows objects to revolve around a single axis. This might be expensive, but, it will definitely allow you to capture images with a high level of precision.
For instance, the gimbal will allow you to focus on a subject, while compensating for the flight's motion.
However, gimbals are ideally meant for professional photographers. So, if you happen to be a professional photographer who does projects for real estate clients, it would be a smart move to carry out aerial photography with a gimbal.
However, gimbals can turn out to be heavy for certain drones, so be careful when you're making a buying decision.
Composition is the key
Aerial photography works the same as regular photography. The same rules apply here too. So, follow the "rule of thirds" here as well. What that means is you need to place your subject away from the centre to get unique images.
You can experiment with leading lines to draw the viewer towards the subject.
With some drones, clicking images may not come out right, especially if the drone happens to be a more pocket friendly model. In that case, it is better to record HD or 4K videos. You can then choose the images you like by capturing stills from the video. That way you won't miss anything and also, get the best shots possible.
Each camera is different, make sure you know all the camera settings. If you are going to shoot in auto mode, lock your white balance. For best continuous results use manual mode but shutter-priority & aperture-priority works well too.
Keep experimenting with the resolution, frame rate, or zoom to find out what works best for you.
Use the right lens
If you are using a camera with an interchangeable lens feature, try to using something like a wide angle lens or a prime lens. This will help you stabilize the shot. Only use a zoom lens if you can control the zoom remotely, you will definitely need a gimbal with zoom lenses.
Also, make sure your shutter speed is high in order to prevent blurring and shoot under good light.
Well, there you have it – tips to boost your aerial photography skills. Make sure you put them into practice to get the best results.
This was a helpful guide, nice work. As someone new to drone photography, this helped point me in the right direction, thanks!