Latest great guest post for us by Liz Pekler, see her previous one on VR here.

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Image Source: Pixabay
Getting your first camera drone is just the beginning of your drone-based aerial photography journey. If you want to thrive in drone-based aerial photography, you’d want to master shooting well with your device, too. But how will you do it? Read on below for tips on how to get good shots from drone-based cameras.

1. Fly your drone higher.

Since you paid good money to get a photo-capable drone, you’d want to make your aerial shots distinct from other modes of taking photos. To make it obvious that you took your pictures with a drone, try shooting from a higher altitude with your drone-based camera. Doing so will incorporate more elements into your frame and bring in a different perspective, which will result in a more dramatic shot.

(NB within the legal drone limits for your area and level of licence you hold)

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Image Source: Pixabay

2. Make sure its propellers are balanced.

Due to the nature of aerial photography, it can be difficult to get level shots. A good trick is to balance your propellers before take-off. There are two ways to do this:

1. Static Balancing – you may use either a store-bought unit for this or make one on your own. After removing the propellers from your drone, find a place where you can prop your propeller shaft horizontally (e.g., reams of paper, spindle, etc.) or you can make your own base plate. To test if your propeller is balanced, put it on the shaft and spin it. If it ends up perfectly horizontal after spinning, then it is balanced. If not, you may add repair tape to the propellers until desired balance is achieved.

2. Dynamic Balancing – you can do this through a software like the one written by Frank Albertsma and electronic components like a surface mount breadboard.

3. Use the right gear and settings for sharper shots.

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Image source: Pixabay

One way to do this is to enable the GPS mode of your drone. What this does is prompt the drone to hover and stabilize on its own as it tries to get your location. And when you have a stable device, your photos come out sharper.

You can also mount a gimbal to your drone to focus your camera at a specific location while stabilizing your flight. This will produce sharper-quality photos. But be warned that the gimbal does not work on all drone models, so check its compatibility with your device first before getting one for yourself.

4. Take photos from different perspectives.

A general rule in taking good-quality photos is to try shooting from different angles. This will allow you to determine which perspective will work best to achieve your desired effect.
One of the common pitfalls of drone photography is not being able to replicate the same shot due to sudden changes in wind direction and intensity. This sudden change may involuntarily shift the angle that your drone is in. However, this can also work to your advantage since no two shots will be exactly alike. The best approach you can take is to just take as many shots as possible so that you can have various options to choose from.

5. Experiment with your landing gear.

Sometimes, the landing gear that comes with your drone interferes with taking good photos. Drone users usually recommend a wider landing gear to ensure that no part of the gear accidentally shows through the camera. You may also want to experiment with different landing gears and see if it makes a difference in image quality. If you’re on a budget, making your own landing gear will do.

6. Invest in the right lighting accessories.

Having appropriate lighting accessories will enable you to take pictures in different lighting conditions. There are lights that enable you to take pictures in extremely bright conditions, while others can be used in low-light conditions.

7. Take good care of your drone’s battery.

To ensure that your drone won’t fall off and your camera will work properly while you are using it, take care of your battery properly. Take the example of big mountain snowboarder and Olympic athlete Xavier de le Rue. To prevent battery drain in 25-degree arctic conditions, he stores his drone batteries in a backpack insulated with wool, hand-warmers, and warm bottles of water. The result? His drone performs just as well as it did under normal weather.

If you’re after conserving battery life and you have a detachable camera on your drone, consider getting a lighter camera. Heavier cameras tend to drain the battery faster.

Aside from the tips mentioned above, you can enhance the quality of your photos through post-processing and improve your photography skills through sharing your photos in an online group for feedback and support. Once you’ve got all of these covered, you’ll be equipped enough to soldier on your drone-based aerial photography journey.


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