Most people think shooting amazing aerial photography is easy with modern drones, but they are unfortunately mistaken!

The misconception:

It’s as simple at taking your new quadcopter drone up in the air and it magically captures incredible photos of sunsets, landmarks and the beautiful earth below on it’s own.

If it were only that easy!

Don’t fret; our experts are giving you their 10 best aerial photography/videography tips, so that you capture better photos and videos during your very next flight!

Neutral Density Filter Is A Must!

Using an ND (neutral density) filter allows you to limit the amount of light coming into the lens so that you can use a slower shutter speed. This is a huge benefit when shooting in bright conditions when your camera reaches the maximum shutter speed and is unable to limit the light coming into the lens. The ND filter’s “tinted glass” prevents most shots from being over exposed in bright sunlight. For video purposes, using a slow shutter speed allows movement to look smoother because a slower shutter speed provides motion blur.

Experiment With A Circular Polarizer

Using a CP or (circular polarizer) allows you to separate the sky from the clouds better. The sky is a deeper, richer blue and you don’t have to worry about overexposing the clouds.

Use The Sun To Light Your Subject

Shooting with your back to the sun is common practice when you’re on the ground, but you must also remember this tip when your drone is in the air. Unless you are doing something stylistic, keep the camera away from facing the sun directly. It’s also good to avoid the rookie mistake of seeing your drone’s shadow in your photos and video.

When To Use A Hood

If it’s bright and sunny, you’ll want to use a lens hood. Using a lens hood prevents light flare and streaks from appearing on your photos.

Balanced Props = Sharper Images

It’s imperative to balance your props for the sharpest photos. Balanced props reduce the vibrations of the drone that can potentially blur your photos.

FPV Systems Are Handy For Framing Shots

Using a TTL (through the lens) FPV setup will make it much easier when framing your shots. You can also alter the exposure of your camera mid-flight, making real-time changes to accommodate the changes in available light.

Correct Lens Distortion

Most modern editing programs have the ability to use EXIF data to detect what camera and lens are used to take images. This is helpful because the software can correct lens and barrel distortion. It’s as simple as finding this quick fix within your software to remove the distortion and circular edges from wide-angle photos. If you don’t have the latest software a good thing to remember is to keep the horizon in the middle of the frame.

Warmer = Longer Flight Times

When shooting in cold weather keep your batteries warm by leaving them in your car. Cold batteries significantly compromise flight times, especially in temperatures below 50-degrees Fahrenheit. If you keep your batteries warm prior to the flight they will not only last longer, but they will also provide more power. It’s also a good idea to use a remote battery monitoring system to detect rapid voltage drops and to keep an eye on the performance of your batteries.

Bracket Your Photos

Shoot in HDR and BRACKETED EXPOSURE mode for each shot. This will allow you to make your own HDR shot if you aren’t happy with the automated mode images. By “bracketing” the exposure, you have a safe backup if one of your photos is under or over exposed.

A Cleaning Rag Saves You Time

Clean your lens before each flight with a soft cleaning rag and cleaning solution. A dirty lens will rear its head when you’re editing your photos and video and you see spots all over them. Save yourself some post editing time and keep your lens clean.

Need some inspiration to get your drone out and up into the sky? Click over to the AMain Performance Hobbies’ blog to watch the best drone footage of 2015. From sunsets to surfing competitions, the pros piloting these drones get paid the big bucks and you can see why here.


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