Drone photography can sound like a challenging hobby. Not only do you have to practice learning how to capture the perfect image, but you also have to learn how to fly it!
Drones can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars, so dropping one at speed or banging it into a wall can be a painfully expensive experience.
That idea alone might be enough to stop you from grabbing some controllers, but hold up! What if I told you that flying a drone was easy?
Flying a Drone is Easy!
From afar, flying a drone looks like a complicated and delicate task. You might even be considering taking drone flying lessons.
I don’t want to deter you from having hands-on help from a professional, but if you can’t afford to pay for one or don’t have the time, trust me when I say that hiring a tutor isn’t really necessary.
The first thing you need to know about drones is the hover system. If you completely let go of your drone, the technology won’t start to plummet to the ground. It will simply hover. This means you don’t have to concentrate on keeping the angel right or keep it up in the air. Your drone will stay still while it waits for your command.
The second thing you need to know about drones is the battery system. You might be worried that your drone will run out of battery while it’s up in the air so that the hover system won’t work and your expensive technology will crash to the ground. Stop. Take a breath. Calm. This won’t happen.
Almost every drone has a special feature that goes off when the drone is getting low on battery. It will sense how far away its “take off” point is and calculate how long it will take to get back to that location. When the battery gets too low, it will make its way back to the “take off” point with time to spare.
And lastly, you might be worried about the handling of the drone itself. The controls will come with two joysticks.
One which goes up and down, and another which goes forward and backward. Both sets of joysticks usually go left and right. This creates a simple model which your subconscious mind will easily pick up on, ready to fly to the correct location.
Is Drone Photography Easy?
Most drones are made for video, and even the cheapest drones on the market can shoot ultra HD! This is fantastic news for videographers! But when it comes to photography, there is still some work to be done.
Drone sensors are smaller than you might want for a professional looking photo. This means that the resolution would be closer to a compact camera rather than a professional one, creating a 12-16 megapixel image.
Not only is the resolution restrictive, but the lens probably cannot be altered. Typically you will find that mid-range drones will have a wide-angle lens measuring around 20 millimeters.
If you are already an avid photographer, then you’ll know that this means the camera won’t work well in low light situations, but there is a way to work around this.
You can only use a drone during the day. This is because it is illegal to fly a drone within 30 minutes of sunlight or sunset in the United States of America. Because you cannot use a camera at night, you are less likely to find yourself in a low light area. This combats our lighting issue.
When it comes to focus, your drone is going to be pretty high in the air, meaning that your subject will be far away. This means you don’t need a lot of depth in your field of focus to create sharp-looking images.
To make your images look even better, I suggest using Automatic Mode. This will correct the exposure of your image. When you are feeling more confident with the control, you can do the editing yourself, but this mode will make drone photography even easier for you.
How Do I Start Drone Photography?
If you are planning to become a professional or if you simply want to take up the hobby, starting your drone photography dream couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is buy a drone and create your portfolio.
To become a professional drone photographer, you will need to have a display of diverse images that are typical for the working environment you are aiming to join in with. This could be wedding shots, field shots, construction shots, or cinematic shots.
Depending on your state, there will be different laws around using drones. Some rules will ask for a license. Some laws will say you can only use drones in certain areas. Each state is different to look up the regulations in your area to keep yourself safe.
For your first drone, you want to buy something sturdy, light, and cheap. This so that you can practice flying your drone and controlling its movements.
The more expensive drones will have better camera quality, but they will also be heavy. This means they will be harder to control. There is no point making the leap to heavy drones until you are confident in your drone flying skills.
After that, you simply need to read the manual to understand how to get the best photos and how to make use of the features provided. Play around with the images and see what works best for your style.