Aerial photography was once an expensive and inaccessible genre for most, however, in the last few years the increasing popularity of drones has completely changed this.
Check this out: DJI Phantom 4 Pro Price
“Drones allow a nearly unlimited ability to frame an outdoors shot, which opens up angles and perspectives that are either impossible or impractical with traditional equipment,” explains professional photographer Todd Kennedy. “They are small, portable, low impact, and in the context of photography, relatively low cost.
Newer drones have incredible range and speed, plus flight times of up to 30 minutes, which gives a photographer an opportunity to position the camera in just the right spot to nail a shot.
The live first-person-view feed shows exactly what the shot will be and there are constant surprises with what I see through the drones’ eye. Patterns and perspectives unseen to the earthbound eye add excitement and newfound enthusiasm for aerial photography.
“The technology is rapidly evolving and equipment reliability is improving, but there are still significant reliability issues with both control systems and the actual aircraft. My current go-to drone is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, which I am very happy with.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro:
6-CAMERA NAVIGATION SYSTEM
There are three sets of dual vision sensors that form a six-camera navigation system, which works constantly to calculate the relative speed and distance between the aircraft and object.
5-DIRECTION OBSTACLE SENSING
The Phantom 4 Pro includes a set of high resolution stereo vision sensors placed at the rear as well as a pair at the front. It also includes infrared sensors placed on the left and right sides. This means it has five directions of obstacle sensing and four directions of obstacle avoidance.
The camera has a one-inch, 20-megapixel sensor, which is capable of shooting 4K/60fps video and Burst Mode stills at 14fps.
It has a high quality camera sensor built in, and provides control of all the regular functions of a camera that a DSLR user would be familiar with.” Due to the quickly evolving technology, the skills required for drone photography are not hugely challenging.
Kennedy says, “They used to be incredibly challenging with RC helicopters to the point where most people could not operate them, however, with the advent of cheap GPS chips, almost any drone over a few hundred dollars has a feature called GPS hold.
This means that the default flying of the drone is a steady, stationary hover. So all you need to do is move it to where you want the drone positioned. Anyone can do it. Considerations however are many and varied depending on where you want to fly. Each country has laws regarding where they can be operated, and how much safety buffer is required around airports, people, vehicles and restricted areas.
The most important thing is to ensure you don’t endanger manned aircraft or people on the ground. Then there is keeping your drone itself safe and intact. I started out by watching YouTube ‘drone fail compilation’ clips to get an idea of common problems. It’s quite educational and at times hilarious.”
Top 5 drone tips.
Kennedy shares his advice for drone photography.
1. Get out early [At this time] the light is best, just like for land-based photography, and there are fewer people around. Even if they aren’t interfering with your shot, people love to talk to you while you’re flying!
2. Plan your shots Consider what sort of shots you want, and that will help you choose your drone. Action shots might be best with a wide lens like a GoPro, however the fisheye lens on a GoPro will get old very fast for landscapes. A flat-lens camera may be better suited.
3. Consider portability A DJI Mavic can accompany you just about anywhere with adequate but not spectacular image quality. An Inspire will give top-quality images, but would be a real pain to hike with. A Phantom sits in-between.
4. Shadows can make an image Just like backgrounds are important in land-based photography, shadows can make a picture in aerial photography. Sunrise/sunset +/- three hours gives you the roughly same-sized shadows as the features you’re shooting.
5. Shoot RAW If you can afford it, get a drone that shoots DNG or RAW format images to get the most out of your post-processing