Before you start taking pictures with your drone, you’ll need to set it up correctly. Most drones have three options for photos: JPEG+RAW, RAW, and a combination of both. Select RAW if you’d like your images to look professional. Luckily, DJI drones let you select RAW. Here are some tips so you can learn more about getting the best quality photo with your drone. Using these tips will help make the process go more smoothly.
Plan Your Shots Before You Fly
When planning your shot locations, consider the time of day. Morning light is softer but creates more contrast. Late afternoon and early evening light are warmer, but both work well for landscape photography. If you’re taking shots in the middle of the day, choose a time that will allow you to capture subtle textures and shadows. This will improve the quality of your images. To get the most out of your drone photography, plan your shots based on your time of day.
Before flying, plan the shot locations you want to capture. Google Earth is a great tool to scout locations. Take a look at the photos other photographers have taken at the same spot. This can help you envision the scene before you take off. You can also browse the photographs of photographers from Adobe Stock for some inspiration. By planning your shots before you fly, you’ll be able to capture the perfect moment and make your photos stand out.
Before flying your drone, make sure your camera and memory card is working properly. Check the light, camera, and ND filter. Make sure you have enough battery life and are aware of any obstacles that might prevent the drone from flying smoothly. Also, make sure the controls work properly. Make sure that you have extra SD cards on hand. Once you’ve gotten the essentials, you can accessorize your drone and enjoy the freedom it gives you. Funky light kits make nighttime flying a snap and camera filters add an automatic flair to your flight photos.
After purchasing your camera, check its settings. Some drones offer 30-minute flights. Make sure your drone has a gimbal to keep the camera stable. It will allow you to pan, tilt, and roll the camera and capture smooth, detailed videos. Make sure your drone has a stable base so that it doesn’t crash into the ground. When planning your shots, consider whether you want to include people in your photos.
Set a Manual White Balance
Before you begin taking pictures with your drone, it is important to know how to set a manual white balance. The white balance of the camera is the way it controls the amount of light reaching the camera sensor. The default setting is automatic, but there are ways to adjust it manually. For example, you can use a manual white balance when shooting a moving subject. But if the subject is moving too quickly, you may end up with a blurry image.
While it is possible to get good results with auto mode, setting a manual white balance will help ensure the consistency of your photos. You will also have more control over the white balance of your photos and videos when using them for post-processing. A quick note on drone white balance: Use a white piece of paper as a test. Place the paper or a grey card in front of the subject to replicate the lighting situation that you’ll encounter while flying. Once you’ve determined the right exposure, adjust the white balance slider until the paper or grey card looks neutral or white.
Shoot in Manual Mode
When taking photographs, shoot in manual mode. This way, you can control every aspect of your picture, including shutter speed and aperture. This mode is slower than auto mode, so it will take longer to select settings, but it can be a great option for some situations. For instance, shooting in daylight will yield more vibrant photos than those in darkness. On the other hand, shooting in darkness will produce under or overexposed pictures.
Using manual exposure is not difficult. Start by setting the lens aperture and moving up through ISO and shutter speed. If your drone is not capable of taking RAW photos, make sure to set its video recording mode to the highest quality it can handle. The Mavic 2 Pro can record 4K HQ, but if your drone can only be used for a few hours, use 30 FPS for smoother flying. Whether you want to take aerial photos of your property or a cityscape, a manual exposure will make the process easier.
For long exposure shots, use a density filter (ND 16 or ND 32) in order to cut the amount of light. A ND 64 or 32 will enable you to take long exposures during daylight and get closer to the sunset, but this requires some practice. Manual settings also allow you to make adjustments to aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. In addition, you can adjust the sensitivity of your camera to make it more sensitive to light.
Manual shutter speeds are essential for long exposure shots of waterfalls. While it may be tempting to use the auto mode when you first start shooting with a drone, you should always learn how to change the shutter speed yourself. Shooting in manual mode gives you more control over your drone’s settings, and will help you create beautiful aerial photographs. Shooting in manual mode allows you to do this. The shutter speed can make or break a photo, so make sure that you experiment with it and see which setting is best for you.
Add People to Your Shots
When shooting with your drone, you can add people to your shots in several different ways. First, you can use a landscape to cover your subject. Then, move the drone upwards to reveal your subject behind the subject. This method is also known as an unveiling shot. Adding people is easy once you understand the laws and the tricks of the drone flying industry. You can also add text to your footage and play with parallax effects to make the words appear to be floating.
Shapes are also important to add to your photographs. They can appear in unexpected places. Treelines and lake shorelines make interesting shapes from the air. Buildings, too, can reveal unique shapes. Triangles, for example, can be an excellent shape to incorporate into your photographs. Try looking for shapes while taking your drone photos. Adding shapes will give your shots a more artistic touch. They can also add depth to your pictures.
Practice Flight Exercises
Drone pilots should practice flying their aircraft by practicing various exercises. A figure-eight maneuver can help them learn to control the drone. Practice doing big figures and small ones to make them more accurate and tight. Also, practice orbit exercises. This is where you fly in a circle while focusing on a subject. Practice flying the drone in a circle and make sure to choose a subject to orbit around. Once you have perfected this exercise, you can start to fly different flight plans.
The next exercise is a 180-degree turn. Make sure you flip the controls so the front of the drone is facing you. You can practice this by yawing the drone 180 degrees to face the camera. You can also practice by flying the drone backward. You should practice these exercises a few times before you start flying real pictures. Practice each move so that you can become more familiar with the controls. Then, try a pattern that will allow you to get more comfortable with your drone.
Another good drill for drone photographers is practicing hovering. Try hovering for 5 m before taking off. Then, move on to flying a figure of eight. This will test your coordination and help you land the drone safely. While hovering, try to keep the drone within three meters. This will help you become familiar with the controls of the drone. If you are not comfortable flying a drone manually, use a GPS to get directions in a controlled manner.
You can also try reverse orientation exercises. You can turn your drone 180 degrees and fly it towards yourself to mimic automatic shots. You can also try flying it toward yourself to practice advanced moves. This drill will help you become comfortable flying your drone and learn how to master these skills. Practice these exercises until you have become a professional drone photographer. When you are confident enough, you can move on to more challenging tasks. If you have mastered all these exercises, you will be able to capture amazing pictures!