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Top 5 Drone Photography Tips and Tricks & Mistakes to Avoid

Publish Date:
Mar 18, 2020
Flight Foundation, Production

I've been working on the redesign of the site lately and have had some time to look at more content from our community members! This has been great and inspiring to watch the community grow and learn!

While hearing some of the great feedback from the members, I decided to make a feedback video of my own! This is a compilation of a few tips on how to improve drone photography & videography but can also be used in your regular photography as well!

The tips mentioned in this video are the most common drone pilot mistakes when it comes to shooting photos and videos. For some reason when even experienced photographers fly a drone some of these drone tips and tricks go out the window it seems like!

Being able to fly your camera adds more things to think about instead of just shooting "on the ground" photography. These tips are all outlined in the video above, but I'll quickly go over my drone tips and tricks for beginners (or anyone, really - I find myself making these mistakes from time to time)!

1. Think about your composition

I think that having the camera be so far away from you and looking at a remote image on your phone or tablet may be the cause of some of the confusion of drone photography.

2. Use dimension to your advantage

A great way to let your drone photography really "Pop" is to use dimension to your advantage! Creating a proper foreground, middle ground and background is important for creating depth and movement within your shots! In the video above, I took a trip to the alps and had a hard time showing lots of dimension with the mountains since they were so big! Having an object to put in the middle or foreground was very beneficial to create move engaging shots with these gorgeous mountains! Of course, they were already gorgeous mountains - so that helped too!

3. Use manual camera settings to decide the look of your shots

When you really want to level up your photo and video skills, you'll want to get more familiar with setting your camera up manually. Auto settings may crank up your ISO and introduce visual noise or grain to your overall image. It can be hard to see on screen while you're flying - but you'll be able to tell once you take your footage back to your computer to watch or edit.

Sometimes your camera will start in auto and if everything looks properly exposed on the screen you may think that if everything is exposed properly, the image must look pretty good too! But that might not be the case if your camera automatically turned down the shutter and introduced lots of motion blur to the image. Just an example that has almost happened to me! Always check your camera settings.

4. Not Shooting with the Right Picture Profile or RAW Format

Choosing your picture profile or formate may seem like a trivial task based on the colors you're seeing on your tablet or phone while flying, but this drone tip is important! This is important for any camera, but for the drone cameras especially. If you're looking to color grade your footage, shooting in a log profile will be a must. However, if you're going to just upload directly from drone to the internet - the normal profile will work just fine on most drones!

5. Pay Attention to Weather Conditions

When it comes to drone photography tips, this is a big one to keep in mind. This rarely gets thought about in traditional photography, but with drones - there are lots of weather conditions that will directly affect your images! One of the examples I use in the video is that if your drone can't handle 10mph winds, you won't be able to reliably shoot a stable and straight video clip without your drone bobbing all over the place.

This would be pretty distracting when watching your video back, so if you have the ability - choosing a different time or day would yield better results.

Wrap up

Like I said above, this was just a general overview of all the content in the video above. For more videos, check out our YouTube channel.

To stay in the loop with my courses, check out the link below!

About the Author:

Keith Knittel

I'm a designer from Cleveland, Ohio and love to shoot photos & videos. I made my first website in 2004 to show friends photos & videos (before YouTube/Flickr were things) and have been shooting and designing ever since! I have a deep passion for making and helping others create.

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