If you’re looking to use your drone to take some awesome pictures, here are some best practices you should follow to up your drone photography game. Your images will be more beautiful and much easier to edit if you pay attention to the following tips when flying your drone.
Where To Fly
When you’re planning a drone photography shoot, it’s important to know where to fly. Weather conditions are always important, but especially so when you’re trying to get great pictures—or even just decent ones. You want clear skies, little cloud cover and low winds; all of these factors will contribute to having stable flight and optimal conditions for your photo shoot. And while that sounds like common sense, getting everything lined up can be difficult with timing and locations.
If you don’t have experience flying drones in general, there are still some places that make great photos. If you have trees or any kind of interesting greenery nearby, a drone is an excellent way to capture unique angles on your favourite plants or foliage.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll want to check your camera settings before taking off. Make sure you don’t accidentally have your camera set to burst or bracketing mode—these can waste memory and seriously complicate post-processing. Also, for most drone photography shots, you’ll want a slow shutter speed (1/8 of a second or slower) for better light capture and smoothness.
This can mean tweaking things like ISO, aperture, and image stabilization settings accordingly. It’s also important to note that if you are using internal memory, it is best to use an external SD card instead of recording directly onto your Drone. Recording on an external SD card will make it easier to transfer files after shooting and will help prevent any potential loss in data if something happens during flight.
A Neutral Density (ND) filter reduces light without changing colour, while adding a soft effect and reducing haze. ND filters allow you to slow your shutter speed or widen your aperture when shooting in bright environments, like an outdoor wedding. For drone photography, they’re especially helpful during times of day when there’s an abundance of light; like sunrise or sunset.
They also come in handy when trying to shoot waterfalls with flowing water that cause photos become over exposed. The easiest way to get good photos with an ND filter is by purchasing high quality ones from known brands. Using cheap ND filters is not really recommended, however, they are better than not using a filter at all!
Edit Your Photos in Lightroom
Because you’re dealing with photos captured in challenging lighting conditions, it’s important to edit them in Lightroom or a similar program. Import your images into Lightroom. Select all of your images and open them up in Camera Raw (this is located at File > Open…).
In order to ensure consistency across all of your images, click on Auto Sync located on top right corner of window and then select All Photographs from drop-down menu. From here adjust exposure, shadows/highlights and whites/blacks until your image looks as good as possible.
Take Inspiration From Others in the Field
You don’t need a drone camera to get good photos and videos, but it certainly helps. If you’re interested in drone photography and videography, then watch tutorials on YouTube and take inspiration from other experts in the field. Additionally, subscribe to a publication that covers the industry and get on Instagram for extra motivation and commentary!