YOU CAN FLY A DRONE, BUT CAN YOU TAKE A GOOD AERIAL SHOT?
Technology has made flying a drone easier, but it is still not exactly simple. You just need to search YouTube for the ‘Worst Drone Crashes’ to know that being a drone pilot requires skill. Likewise, not everyone who owns a good camera is a good photographer. It is important to have both these skill sets to take great aerial shots. And even then, here are a few more things you will need to know:
1. Know your location
You need to research and visit the area where you will be shooting. You will also need to know what obstructions and obstacles will be there. Are there lots of electric wires to avoid? Is there a tall building that will be in the way of your view? You also need to know if it is an area where you are legally allowed to fly a drone. For example, you cannot fly too close to airports. Knowing the information beforehand is a must.
2. Watch the weather
Watch the weather forecast for the shoot location. Although some drones can withstand adverse weather conditions, as we saw in our blog post Saved by a Taxi Driver, wind and rain can still often spoil the beauty of the shot captured. It certainly is inconvenient to postpone a shoot date (as AerialShots found out with the recent heavy rains in Johannesburg) but it is far better than compromising on the quality and safety of the job.
3. Learn about light
Learn what light is best for capturing your shots. During sunrise and sunset, the light is softer and shadows are created by the angle of the sun, allowing for breath-taking images. Depending on what you are capturing, the bright light of the midday sun may be what you need. Knowing the light and how it relates to your subject matter will make all the difference to when you take your photos.
4. Use the altitude
The higher you take the drone, the wider the angle you can capture and the more detail can be encompassed in your photo. The beauty of drone photography lies in its unique ability to capture vertical distance, so don’t be afraid to use this.
5. Know your equipment
Before even purchasing your drone, research the equipment. Ensure that the camera is a good quality one and can capture images in low light. Also find out about the drone’s functionalities and their uses in photography, such as the GPS mode that will allow your drone to hover while you click away.
6. Practice, Practice, Practice
All the above points refer to planning and it is a large part of drone photography. But the other part is practice. It takes practice to get the hang of flying a drone. It takes practice to take good photos. And it will take practice to combine these two skills into one. It is only over time that you will develop your flying photographic eye.
Becoming a drone photographer requires that you are a good drone pilot, a good photographer and that you know how to utilise the two together.