The term drone has become hugely popular in recent times. Initially, a drone was simply a drone pre-programmed with a flight plan. That is, it would simply fly in a straight line or in circles until it landed because the engine had run out of fuel.
Currently, things are very different, and we have all heard of drones as flying devices that can be controlled by anyone remotely.
Although there are aquatic and terrestrial drones, it is aerial drones that are causing the most sensation, especially for photographers, who have found in drones a new way to capture spectacular scenes from the air.
Now, when it comes to professional camera drones, what aspects should we take into account?
Understand your needs and abilities
It is only necessary to do a quick search of the word "drone" to realize the immense amount of drones and information about them that are scattered throughout the network. This being the case, how do you know what is really important when it comes to choosing a drone to photograph?
Currently there are two types of drones: those with a built-in camera, and those without.
Camera drones tend to be larger and their camera may not be of a high quality. On the other hand, more compact drones can be more practical, since in addition to being easier to handle, you can also decide which camera to attach to it.
If you are a newbie, you can go for a drone that is rugged, lightweight, and affordable. However, this will depend on your skill level.
In addition, you will have to be clear about what you are going to expect from your drone. Some can only be flown outdoors, while others include light, fly further, have greater autonomy ... it all depends on what your needs are.
Understand how drones work
Nobody wants to read an instruction manual when they are about to fly their drone through the heights. However, it is best to study it from beginning to end.
The instruction manual contains all the information you need to answer questions you didn't even know you had. Take it with an investment: the better you know how your drone works, the sooner you will start to get the most out of it.
Discover the most important characteristics of a drone
Many places have started to be photographed for the first time thanks to the help of drones. The drone, in short, is a camera that can fly across the skies to photograph from oceans to the most remote jungle. It's an easy way to immortalize your fun!
Modern drones have functionalities that help optimize flight time. If you learn them, you will be able to fly your drone with maximum efficiency.
Typically, the most popular drones have some of these features:
- Power for the mobile phone. This helps you see exactly what your drone is capturing, making it easier for you to capture stunning photos.
- Smart mode. Recommended for those novices who want to optimize each shot to the maximum.
- Tracing. It is a functionality that mixes visual recognition with the possibilities of your smartphone's GPS to get the perfect shot-
- Geofencing. This option restricts how far and how high your drone can fly. That is, it blocks the drone's perimeter of movement.
Depending on the type of person you are, and your skills handling drones, you will want some or other of the above characteristics.
Know the laws and regulations regarding drones
Given the growing popularity of these unmanned flying artifacts, the legality of where, how, and who can use one has advanced at the same time.
For example, you cannot fly your drone around an airplane, so using your drone near airports is strictly prohibited.
Each country has different legislation, but almost all apply fairly obvious and easily understandable rules. The best recommendation they can give you is the following: check the legality of the drones in the area before making them fly.
Prepare your list of elementary functionalities
Once you've finished where and how you can fly your drone, it's time to take action!
So be sure to check the following list to make sure you have everything you need.
- Flight area. It's about determining where you are going to fly your drone. Take into account if it is a public or private area.
- Weather. Good weather conditions are needed to set up wind-based anti-stabilization.
- Surroundings. Take into account the number of people, the safety of flying at different heights, and the inconvenience of having a drone hovering nearby.
- Autonomy. Check that the batteries are charged and estimate the remaining flight time.
- Setting. It's about reviewing the settings, brightness, shutter speed, shutter and ISO so that your photos get the best results.
- Motor. The engine and its components must be in perfect condition. Its sound must be normal and the screws must be properly tightened.
- Propellers Check their condition and see if they are damaged enough to need replacing.
- Remote control. It needs to be charged to the 100% and respond correctly to the drone.
When you confirm that all of the above is correct, it is time to fly your drone!
Learn essential drone photography techniques
After so many preparations, after traveling to an amazing place and putting your drone in the sky, you want your photos to be spectacular. Drone photography is half science and half art. These are the best tips for taking pictures with your drone:
- Remember the basics: Review the rule of thirds, starting lines, and the golden ratio. Take a look on the internet for the basics.
- Look for patterns / asymmetry: the scenes that your drone can capture can combine colors, shapes and repetitions. These are the aerial photos that you will like the most to review later.
- Do not complicate yourself: Sometimes the simple can give sublime results.
- Take it easy: The stability of current drones, added to the possibility of applying a long exposure, will help you get professional photographs, even without actually being one.
- Focus on the light: Correct lighting is essential to capture spectacular moments.
These are just a few techniques that you can use, but it is up to you to decide how far you want to continue learning.
Acquire the necessary accessories for your drone
Taking photos with a drone does not differ much from when you use a traditional camera. Drones also have accessories that can raise the quality of your drone photos.
- Extra batteries
- Extra spare propellers
- Additional SD cards
Although you can also opt for a landing pad for your drone or LED lights that take your drone photography experience to the next level.
Drones are a must-have tool for photographers of almost any type. They have opened the doors to a new way of conceiving photography. If so many have been seduced by the versatility of drones, why not do the same?
Just keep in mind that to master drone photography you will need time and patience. But with practice, perseverance, will and effort… you can take pictures that you have never dreamed of!