In order to bring your drone photography game to the next level, it’s important that you learn new techniques which are applicable to both veterans and neophytes. Here are drone photography tips that will give you an extra edge in this craft.
Use RAW format
Every professional photographer knows this: the best way to capture images is in the RAW format. This is because you can later improve the exposure and change the colors with more control. With a JPEG format, it would be tough to compress your drone photos, especially if your drone camera only has less than 12 MB resolution. Even if you only want to just capture photos for fun, you might shoot a great drone photo and decide to print it big. However, when you see the results later, you could become upset that you don’t get a lot of post-processing options that are available on photography software like Adobe Photoshop.
Apply bracketing techniques
In case you didn’t know, bracketing means taking two or more images of the same subject while using various camera options. Bracketing serves two purposes – first, if you made a mistake in choosing the right setting, say, incorrect exposure, then you still have other great images to choose from. Second, it is used to create HDR (High Dynamic Range) images. If most of your shots are bracketed, then it will allow you to enhance their shadows or highlight them later instead of having only one photo to enhance.
Find your drone buddies
If you are new to drone photography, it’s best to find your drone community who will help you raise your skills. It’s important that you learn and work with others so you can apply new techniques to your shots. One way to find a drone community is by searching for groups online. In fact, there are Facebook groups that are dedicated to drone photography. Each group is different so there’s no “best” one to join. Just join the groups you can find and meet with different personalities, and hopefully, you can jive with their interests. Regardless what medium you use – be it Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube, you’ll definitely discover your niche as long as you put yourself out there.
Know how to extract the best footage
DJI drone cameras are durable and designed for the outdoors. They are the camera of choice for many drone photographers since they come with many programs that allow you to change the colors for added effect. When applying color correction, make sure you know how to white balance the image if it appears a little warmer. Then enhance the brightness of mid-tones and shadows. Finally, add some contrast and saturation to improve the look of your image.
Fix Lens Distortion
Keep in mind that the camera lenses of DJI drones have a curvature that affects the quality of your shots. This is what drone photographers call “fisheye perspective”. To remedy this, you can use the “lens distortion effect” in Adobe Premiere. Only use this effect once you are finished with your color correction or editing, or else it will slow down your edit through additional rendering times with every alteration you make on the footage. Once you apply the lens distortion effect, it will get rid of the pesky fish eye and amateur look to your drone footage.
Place drone batteries inside a heavily insulated backpack
This is to ensure to prevent cold from draining the batteries. To preserve even more battery life, wrap the batteries in wool and surround them with hand-warmers and warm water bottles. This is an effective procedure to not run out of batteries when shooting images or taking a footage in Arctic conditions.
When filming using drone cameras, one of the most important aspects to consider is lighting. Well, this could be pretty obvious but it’s often disregarded by many drone photographers. The time you fly your drone during a certain day plays a significant role in the outcome of your footage or images, affecting the temperature and light quality. It’s not ideal to fly your drone during severe lighting conditions at noon since it doesn’t provide the best results. But you can do so by considering the direction of the sun. Make sure the drone moves away from where the sun is so your camera will not overcompensate for the exposure which can end up with washed out images.
Avoid Prop Shadow
Aside from lighting, you also need to watch out for the prop shadow that you may experience when the sun is high. While the sun casts a shadow on the lens of your camera with your drone’s propellers spinning at the same time, this creates an undesirable effect in your images and footages, making them unusable. So, avoid flying your drone into the sun as much as possible and plan your footages accordingly.