Top tips for drone photography.

Have you started using a drone in your business? Or offering drone services? Whether you’re offering innovative events coverage or a cutting edge PR solution, drone coverage (in the form of aerial photography and filming) is the perfect emerging technology to offer a wide range of clients, from couples looking to capture their big day in a unique way to businesses looking to create marketing materials with a difference.

Whether you own your own drone or work with a professional drone company, it is important to understand the principles of drone photography to ensure that you are able to deliver a professional and impressive end product. In this blog post, we are going to share some of our top tips for better drone photography – the kind that gets the job done right.

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Top tips for getting the best drone photos

1. Know your drone

This may seem like an obvious point but many amateur drone operators don’t read the instruction manual and don’t understand what is included in their chosen model. From the type of on-board camera to accessories to a real-time feed, all these elements refine the capture experience and it’s important to understand the machine you are working with and how best to operate it. Then spend time flying and practicing drone shots – and don’t forget to get a grip on its battery life! – before you actually use it in a professional manner.

2. Use the smart settings

While not available on every drone, most modern drones have smart settings that take advantage of the latest drone technology. From setting a desired flight path to selecting optimal movements, smart settings allow for better photos. This is especially important when it comes to operating in difficult weather conditions – a smart stabilising setting could be the difference between a good, smooth shot and a shaky mess.

3. Shoot in RAW format

To avoid the disappointment of compressed images that can’t be adjusted in post-production, avoid JPEG compression and shoot in RAW format. Since drone camera resolution is most often only 12MP, it is essential to use RAW format to allow you to control exposure and adjust colours.

4. Bracket if you can

‘Bracketing’ refers to taking two or more photos of the same subject while using different camera settings. This allows you to choose the best option from a range and use them to create High Dynamic Range photos by playing with shadow and light.

5. Be wary of shooting from high at night

Not only do things get windier, the higher you go, night time shooting makes noticeable shakes more obvious. Try not to exceed a shutter speed of 3 seconds to help you deal with shakes and tremors.

6. Understand post-production options

While it is obviously ideal to get the best shots possible while in operation mode, there is space for improving and expanding aerial images and film in the post-production space, using specialised software. Using this software properly can be challenging and time-consuming for first time users. Practice does make perfect or we suggest you look to an expert supplier to help you refine your final product.

7. Obey the law

Legalities surrounding the where, how, and why you can operate a drone must be taken seriously, especially if flying for commercial purposes. This is essential for safety purposes. If you are working with a professional drone company, they should be licensed, insured, and approved by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), as well as health and safety compliance. Need CAA compliance? Join our managed ROC programme and let us handle all your legal requirements – either with the services of trained operators or by helping you to gain the proper operator qualifications.

Want to use drone services in your business but not sure you want to operate your own drones? Work with a professional drone company like Drone Media – we know how to get the best shot, whatever the occasion. As aerial photography and filming specialists using the latest drone technology, we will connect you with the best operators for the job, ensuring on time delivery on budget, without compromising on quality and care.

Talk to us about your aerial photography and filming needs.