Drone Photography: Capturing the Beauty of the World from Above


drone photography

Every day, new drone photographers are taking to the skies with their cameras and drones to tell unique stories through aerial photography. Many of these photographers never studied the craft; they simply saw an opportunity for new types of storytelling that resonated with them. Some of these photographers end up becoming professional or semi-professional aerial videographers or photographers. If you have a passion for photography and are interested in learning more about how you can begin capturing stunning images from above, read on!

What is Drone Photography?

An aerial view of a kitchen

Drone photography is exactly what it sounds like: any type of photo taken using a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), also known as a drone. The most basic way to do it would be this: drone photographs are aerial photos captured with your drone in flight.

Drone photography is often confused with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography, which is actually the use of any unmanned aircraft system to capture images or video. A drone is a type of UAV that has the ability to fly autonomously, without human input beyond choosing when to take off and land. Other types include ground-based radio controlled equipment like quadcopters; it should be noted that even though drones are generally used for filming aerials, this isn’t always so. For example, NASA’s Global Hawk does not have an onboard camera accompaniment–it’s primary mission is surveillance over land and sea through its high-tech suite of sensors and radar equipment.

Types of Drone Photography

A close up of green grass

The most popular types of drone photography are landscape, architecture, real estate, travel and videography. These categories all have their own unique challenges in terms of capturing the perfect shot(s). Let’s take a closer look at each category to see what you’ll need to know!

1.Landscape

When shooting landscapes with your drone, your goal is often to capture beautiful elements like mountains, rivers or trees. No matter what type of landscape photos you’re trying to get, there are some general principles that can help improve your shots. First off: be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out on a shoot so you don’t get stuck with unfavorable conditions during your photo session. Also keep an eye on the time of day: sunset and sunrise shots generally look the best! You’ll want to get there early so you can scout out locations and choose your ideal shot.For example, if you’re shooting a beach landscape, you might find that at high tide it’s difficult to capture an entire scene. If this is the case, get there extra early for low tide around sunrise or sunset! Similarly, if you shoot in summertime when trees are full of leaves, check the wind forecast before heading out. Wispy branches look stunning in photos (and even better in videos), but only when they aren’t moving too much in heavy winds.

2. Architecture

When it comes to shooting architecture with your drone, the best results are usually achieved when you shoot in vertical format. This tends to provide more detail on the architecture of buildings and other structures while creating a sense of depth in the photo. Of course, this will be different depending on each building. But generally speaking, if you see an aerial shot that isn’t entirely vertical, chances are there was some sort of stitching or post-processing work done to fix it. More likely than not: someone tilted the shot so they could capture more area and create a wider scene.

3. Real Estate

Real estate photography is one of those categories where drones really shine bright! Drone videography has become incredibly popular for realtors and other professionals in the real estate industry. Why? Because drone photography gives them another way to showcase properties that are for sale. Instead of simply placing photos on a website or in an ad, they can create gorgeous aerial tours complete with fly-by shots to show off all the house has to offer. Drones are also perfect when it comes to showing off secluded properties because you can access hard-to-reach places without needing ladders, cranes or any other type of equipment.

4. Travel

Travel photography is one of the most common types of drone photography out there, and it uses some of the same principles as the others so far: verticality! The best travel drone photos tend to be taken at eye level so viewers can enjoy the beautiful scenery and take in all of the details. When doing so, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings so you don’t trip on anything or accidentally crash into people, animals or structures.

5. Videography

This is where things start to change a bit! Although most drone photographers will shoot vertical photos (or landscape mode), videographers tend to switch this up and shoot in horizontal format (or portrait)? WHY? Because that’s how we see things as human beings: wider than tall! It gives more room for edits like color grading and other post-production techniques, which can make videos look much more professional. Plus it allows for faster editing when paired with Adobe Premiere Pro CC. This software is our go-to for video editing here at DroneDeploy. The ability to have so many tracks in the timeline makes it easy to add graphics, lower thirds and other fun effects!

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