Drone photography 101
Take your photography skills to new heights.
Not long ago, aerial views were for only the birds, hikers and helicopters. Now, we can simply walk into our local electronic store or pop online to purchase one of the coolest additions to the photography world. Drone technology, or aerial photography, is more accessible than ever. Once bulky and expensive, drones are now small, affordable, and easy to bring on every adventure, holiday, and family event. Here’s how to add drone photography to your repertoire.
How to get started
Learn the lingo.
Some of the top brands you’ll see in your search for the best drones include DJI, Parrot, 3DR Solo, and Yuneec. DJI is an enduring favourite in the market and for good reason. Check out the reviews related to flying features and crisp photography, and narrow your options to what suits your unique needs and interests.
Try before you buy.
With a bit of research, you’ll learn there are numerous brands making drones at every price point, from as little as 40 dollars to the high thousands. Borrow a friend’s or purchase a cheaper model to get a feel for it before investing major sums.
Budget for the accessories.
Once you choose your drone, find out if you need any additional items such as an SD card for file storage or apps to control the drone. Many brands require software to be downloaded to your smartphone to use as a controller to fly the drone.
Before taking your new gadget out into the wilderness, get familiar with the equipment and the drone’s limitations. Check out YouTube videos to gain more knowledge and take the time to read your manual. The good news is that drones today are very user friendly so you’ll be flying high in no time.
Shooting from new heights.
Now the fun begins. Pack your mini heli-camera for any moment you wish to preserve in time. The possibilities for creative drone photography are endless. Flying above the earth allows you to capture unique landscapes both man-made and nature-designed. Here are just a few to get you started.
Fly above the crowd and immortalise special moments by snapping group shots everyone will love. This is a must-do for weddings, family reunions, baby showers, etc. and an easy way to get everyone in the frame. Your milestone memory books will look better than ever.
Head to the sea to capture the roaring tide along the shoreline, gaining a bird’s eye view and possibly producing a print-worthy photo. Upload your photo on MILK Books for a plethora of print options turning your own images into works of art for your home.
Holidays and adventures
Gain a new perspective of the places you visit with your drone and bring home your memories as souvenirs for your walls or create a photo book as a forever keepsake of your trip.
Play around with simple lines like long winding roads or rows of trees. Soar your drone above waterfalls, canyons, forests and more to capture interesting and exciting landscapes.
Drone photography must-do's
Bring the juice
Charge up every time. Most drones have a short battery length. Make sure to purchase and pack spares, and take notice of your battery life while flying. If your phone is the controller, it needs to be updated with current software and charged as well.
Always check the weather and the wind before heading out. The last thing you want is to watch your new camera land in the lake or get stuck in a tree.
Locate the no-fly zones. Be mindful of the rules on where you can fly, and respect privacy. Drones are commonly forbidden in national parks with protected birdlife and anywhere near an airport as they can disrupt air traffic.
Tips to make you a pro
(Photography Credit: Willow and Wolf Weddings)
1. When you’re ready to up your drone photography skills, online platforms are a great place to learn the tricks of the trade.
2. When you’re starting out it’s best to shoot in automatic mode, but once you're comfortable, try shooting in raw mode (if your drone has the capability). Use editing applications like Adobe Lightroom and InShot to fine-tune your images.
3. Use satellite maps like Google Earth to discover new places to take your drone. This is a great way to capture landscapes inaccessible on foot.
With a little practice, you’ll have a beautiful gallery of exciting aerial photos in no time. These fun flying objects capture amazing memories from one-of-a-kind perspectives. Elevate your photo collection and tell a richer story through drone photography.