Master the Aerial Photography With These 12 Tips

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Master the Aerial Photography with These 12 Tips

REMEMBER: You Will Discover 12 MOST Important Tips for Mastering the Aerial Photography! Number 8 Is Really Interesting! These Tips Helped Over 12,800 Readers of DRONEBLY!

Aerial photography can be tricky. When flying a drone or quadcopter, there are a lot of little tricks that can be used to ensure the actual finished shot looks amazing. You may need to take multiple shots and spend hours practicing, but these 12 tips can help you master aerial photography quickly.

1. Raise Altitude for Larger Surface Capturing

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Oftentimes, people want to take shots close to their target. This may seem like a good idea, but I suggest taking a lot of raised shots. By flying to a higher altitude, you will get more into the camera’s view which provides a more spectacular photo.

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This may mean the difference between taking a picture of a beautiful field with horses running or simply zooming in on the horses themselves.

By flying higher, you will get more in your picture, which is never a bad thing.

2. Try GPS Mode

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NELUvzbb-pY
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GPS mode is terrific. Many copters will come with this mode and the one thing that GPS mode is really good for is stabilization. When flying, choose your location, fly to it and let go of the controls. When GPS mode is on, the copter will hover and stabilize by itself. This allows you to take a picture that is still and without any vibration.

3. FPV System

There are FPV systems that allow for first person views to be shot. You will need to learn when to use FPV and when not to so that your pictures ultimately come out better. I have found FPV to work exceptionally well with ranged shots, but not so well with close up shots.

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4. Buy a Gimbal

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If you are serious about aerial photography, you need a gimbal. While expensive, a gimbal really allows you to take precision pictures like never before.

What a Gimbal Offers

A gimbal is essentially a joint which the camera will be mounted to during flight. When flying, the gimbal will allow you to point the camera at a specific location and keep the camera in focus while compensating for the flight itself.

Gimbals are meant for professionals and come at a hefty price. If you are a real estate agent or a photographer that is making a living with aerial photos, there really is no excuse not to have a gimbal. Certain drones will not be able to accommodate the weight of a gimbal, so keep this in mind when purchasing.

5. The Right Settings

Every camera is different and will come with settings that need to be altered. You will want to familiarize yourself with your camera and its respective settings. There are some settings that work better than others depending on whether or not you have a gimbal installed. The typical settings are:

Gimbal Installed

  • Lower resolution (720p) will suffice.
  • Medium zoom.

No Gimbal

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If there is not a gimbal present, you will want to try:

  • The highest possible resolution.
  • A wide zoom.

You will also want to alter your settings to truly learn how to customize them to your needs. Playing with the frame rate, resolution and zoom will provide you with a slew of settings that can be used in any environment.

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6. Choose a Good Location

Location is one of the most important tips a person can remember when taking aerial photography. If you do not choose a good location, you will find that your pictures are subpar. Instead, choose a place that is:

  • Open
  • Not heavily wooded
  • Has no high buildings
  • Free of birds

As you advance, you will be able to ignore the building and bird recommendations.

7. Watch the Weather Report

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FTgQfT3Enk
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Oftentimes, especially with smaller copters, the wind will cause the copter to struggle when trying to maintain a steady shot. You do not want to fight against the elements when trying to take the perfect shot. Instead, choose a clear day that is not filled with a lot of wind.

8. Balance Your Propellers

Click on the image to learn more.
Click on the image to learn more.

Your propellers will have a major impact on the balance of your copter. If you have not recently balanced your propellers, you can do so by:

  • Placing the propeller on a balance
  • Placing the balance on an elevated surface
  • Finding which blade is heavier by the way the blade lays (the one toward the bottom)
  • Sand the bottom of the blade slightly
  • Retest the balance

You will want to keep following the steps above until the blade is actually balanced. Just keep in mind that you want to sand just a little bit at a time to avoid imbalance.

9. Shoot Different Angles

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You will always want to shoot different angles of a shot. This allows you to better find an angle that suits your needs. Instead of trying an FPV-only, try FPV, an above angle and a side angle shot to see which pictures come out best.

You want to take a series of pictures too as a change in wind or weather conditions can occur which makes the shot impossible during your next try.

10. Try New Landing Gear

Sometimes, landing gear will get in the way of a shot. When this happens, you have the option of trying out new landing gear. With new gear, you will be able to keep any part of the landing gear out of focus during a shot. There are several types of landing gear available, but the right choice depends on your model.

11. Night Photography

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Click on the image to learn more.

There are many lighting accessories offered for quadcopters. Through lighting, you will be able to take pictures near sunset that you would have otherwise not been able to take.

Some front lights are also available which allow for pictures to be taken even when it is pitch black outside.

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You will want to have a controller with an LCD display if trying night photography. When you can see the camera’s point of view, it is much easier to take a crisp picture.

12. Get a Powerful Camera

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Typically, you are not tied to a single camera. Instead, you will have many options when it comes to what type of camera will fit into your copter.

There are a few points that need to be mentioned before you go out and buy a new camera only to find that your copter cannot support it. You must consider the following when looking for a camera:

  • The overall resolution will allow for clearer pictures.
  • You want a camera that has a high megapixel count. You can find cameras with 10MP+.
  • The view modes should be looked at to find the best choice.
  • A higher frames per second should be considered for video.
  • Low light capabilities are desirable.

The better the camera, the better your pictures will be.

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Hello folks. My name is Mike and I want to make this the best site about drones and quadcopters. I hope you enjoy your stay in here. Take care. Connect with me via Google+.
  • David K.

    I ‘m really hyped about this! I just got my DJI Phantom 2 Vision and it’s just perfect, the pictures are high quality, even if you magnify them 100% but the video aspect needs some improvement. I live in a rural area in London and the nature is amazing, that’s why I decided to try aerial photography.

  • Andrew

    I’m rather late to this; everyone seems to have a quadcopter nowadays. Mine can’t take photos because I didn’t want to invest a lot as I had no clue how to pilot them. I’m nowhere near perfect, but I’m more confident and will buy a quadcopter with a camera, hoping I don’t soak it wet in the river. Thanks for sharing these tips, they are very useful.

  • James

    I agree, a gimbal is a must if you want to get professional, high-quality photos. If you want to use your quadcopter just for fun when you’re with your friends, then this isn’t worth investing in. You can find affordable models that take decent pictures and don’t cost an arm and a leg.

  • http://unpublishedforareason.blogspot.com/ Hannah K

    This is fantastic advice. There are lots of blogs with photography tips, but it’s hard to find any that talk about taking aerial photos with quadcopters. This helped terrifically. I’ve been wanting to explore this more with my own quadcopter and now I now how to get started.

  • http://botipton.com Jerry Notpit

    These are some great tips here. From what you said here I think it is about time to invest in a gimbal to improve the control of my pictures. It has amazed me how many wonderful rare moments caught on cameras have a piece of landing gear in them.

  • sarahevanston

    I am new to this, what’s a gimball? Is that a specific camera setup or is that an entire unit with a really good on-board camera installed?

  • Marlo Varnum

    I think raising the altitude isn’t always the best thing. It rather depends on what you want to capture, and how much. Raising in the altitude too much might result in your subject losing focus among the rest of the details. Or those horses you mentioned looking like dots instead of horses..

    Otherwise, excellent tips 😀

  • Gale C

    You can find a pretty good camera at excellent prices nowadays. If you’re afraid of putting up in the air something expensive, some point and shoot cameras have excellent MPs ratios per how cheap they are.

  • Britanica

    I am hoping my niece takes her photography to this level. She loves taking pictures but if she can get aerial photos going, people would be blown away. We don’t have much by where we live but I would love to see a few things from a high up view. Very good tips!

  • Wing John

    Photography truly has evolved, i remember the days when all you needed was a press of a button and you were good to go. The new approaches seem to make a joke of the traditional way of taking photos. I however believe there is enough room for both the traditional and modern photographer to thrive.

  • Joe

    I personally struggle with night time photography but that GPS tip us very true and helpful. I have gotten some very beautiful shots of birds, trees, mountain sides, and beyond. The stabilization the GPS mode offers is amazingly good. As for the night time photography, the lighting never seems to be the right amount and I get very blurry pictures. I likely need a better camera or light. haha

  • Annie Marie Peters

    Great article! I’ve been exploring a bit more with sunset photography. Do you have any other tips for shooting at night?

  • http://www.ajbestwrites.com AJ Best

    I’ve never really thought of wind being part of my problem. I always thought it was the copter, or the camera. I guess I need to take a better look at the weather when I go out. Thanks for the tips.