Drones have been a revolution in the image world but, you need to learn how to handle them and take advantage of the limitless opportunities they offer for photographers. You want to make the most of your drone? In ‘Photoclub Photography’ we tell you. Read!
“Flying a drone with a camera is like telling a story,” says Eric Cheng, author of the book Aerial Photography with Drones, where he puts at the fingertips of the photographer or aerial videographer all the keys needed to make the most of the potential of these flying machines that are revolutionizing the image world.
The book is designed to solve some fundamental points for managing a drone, such as:
• How to become a qualified drone operator.
• Current drone camera equipment.
• Anecdotes and opinions from air photographers around the world.
• Current regulation of the use of drones and their future.
• Techniques and tips to get the best videos and photos.
• From this last point, we want to highlight 8 fundamental tips that will serve to make the best photos you can imagine with your drone. If you’re in the mood for more, cheer up and look for the book in your bookstore to continue learning many other techniques.
1. FIND GOOD PLACES TO FLY
• To get good photographs and aerial videos you need to find suitable places to fly. If we don’t go to the right places, we’ll have no room to practice or anything to photograph. Let’s start at the beginning!
• It is convenient to identify a common flight location where we can practice and test. The best thing is a big, open place that’s not crowded. On Google RC flight fields you can locate the one closest to your home.
• “I prefer places to fly casual that are uncovered,” says the author.
• A good technique for blowing up private property is to contact the owners of them (kindly) and ask them if they would be interested in receiving aerial images in exchange for permission.
2. PRACTICE LEADS TO PERFECTION
Becomes a good pilot is something that is achieved over time and it is inevitable to have to spend hours in the air practicing in a simulator. Both DJI and 3DR include simulators in their respective mobile applications that allow you to fly virtually if we can’t get out for some reason.
We can practice flying randomly, but practicing according to a plan will help us to be better pilots and faster.
Here are three exercises for you to start practicing. In the book Aerial Photography with Drones you will find many more:
• Exercise 1. Takeoff and landing
Clearly we have to take off and land on each flight, but since both actions imply that it is close to the ground it is important to practice both maneuvers until we are comfortable. The secret to reducing the chances of a crash on takeoff is to pay attention. To land the key is to do it gently and to not have to withstand the turbulence of the ground effect for a long time, a small sorrel just before touching it can soften the landing.
• Exercise 2. Round trip
The round-trip maneuver is the first spatial orientation exercise. The orientation of a drone is the direction in which it is being looked; it is controlled by moving the left lever left or right so that the drone rotates sideways.
Before attempting this maneuver, we should feel comfortable piloting a drone that is looking in the opposite direction to us. As soon as the drone rotates and is looking in a different direction, we will have to start imagining the movements from its position, sometimes the movements of the lever will be the opposite of what we have to do to the drone in the sky.
• Exercise 3. The circle
Drawing a circle is the first of the advanced flight exercises because it requires continuous adjustments on both levers. In this particular case you will be looking in the direction of movement and constantly spinning. When we want to turn a drone during a flight you always have to think about how a plane would spin, which means that you always have to apply some inclination to each turn.
3. THINKING IN 3D
Once you’ve spent enough time flying a drone, you’ll notice that you’ll start visualizing the world from all sorts of angles, even when you’re not riding. This constant preview of potential stories is very rewarding and worth developing.
4. STRAIGHT DOWN
Looking straight down from the air is not something humans can do often. Luckily, drones are good at looking down in a straight line and this is one of the best orientations for the camera during flight. We recommend that you try shooting down by combining camera orientation with low-altitude flight. The views by pointing in a straight line down from a high altitude look like maps made by satellite.
5. ABSTRACT IMAGES
Aerial photography is very suitable for capturing abstract images. Due to the nature of its belonging and use by the human being, the earth is divided into different geometric shapes that can be clearly seen as soon as our perspective moves away from the ground. You’ll get gorgeous images of regular geometric patterns!
6. SLOW SHUTTER SPEEDS
Using slow shutter speeds can be tricky from the air and is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when we are going to perform a flight but the results with this technique will be spectacular.
The time-lapse technique is a sequence of still images that play like a video, which makes it look like time goes to fast camera. To create movies with this technique the chosen composition or object should change over time, so we recommend that you try with celestial objects, with clouds, with tides that go up and down and groups of cars or people moving in a structured way for example, on roads or sidewalks. Aerial time-lapse is not yet very common but there is technology to do so. Try!
8. PANORAMIC PHOTOGRAPHS
Taking aerial panoramic images is easy. To create one, simply rotate the drone slowly, taking successive photos that overlap, and pass them through a program that automatically joins them. We recommend that you choose one of the editing programs, such as Adobe Lightroom or Google Photos, to join the images