Tom David Frey
10 Aerial Photography Tips to Know Before Your Shoot
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
By 2021, there will be an estimated 3.55 million drone owners in the US.
With the range of drones now available, more people are able to try their hand at aerial photography.
Aerial photography lets you be more creative and take a huge range of shots. But it's not an easy thing to do. There's a lot to learn about taking the perfect aerial shot, and it's not as simple as it seems.
Read on for 10 of the best aerial photography tips to make sure you get the perfect shot each time.
Get The Best Aerial Photography Shots Every Time
Whether you take photographs as a hobby or a career, learning to take aerial shots is a great skill. Capture new perspectives and get the most breathtaking shots with these 10 tips.
1. Choose the Right Drone
With drones becoming so popular in recent years, there are a lot of devices to choose from.
Depending on how you plan to shoot, it's important to get the right drone.
Are you going to be traveling with it a lot?
Then you might want to invest in a smaller drone such as the DJI Mavic Air!
Going to be using it to create paid work too? You may want a larger sensor, more megapixels and the Hasselblad color profile: check out the DJI Mavic Pro 2.
If you want the best quality possible and size doesn't matter, then the DJI Inspire 2 with its superior X7 camera might be the perfect choice for you.
Think about how you'll be using your drone, how often you'll need it and where you want to take it.
2. Think About the Lens
When it comes to shooting from above, you need to think about the lens.
A standard focal length lens (approx. 35 - 85mm) is great since you can get a tight zoom into your subject.
It allows you to capture extra detail and produces clean, crisp shots with a narrow and professional look.
The new DJI Mavic 2 Zoom rules when it comes to higher focal length shots from above.
A wide angle lens on the other hand (as seen on most drones) is also great as it allows you to capture a whole lot of your subject. It lets you freeze the background and foreground in focus and taking photos from above is easier in general.
3. Find a Good Location
When it comes to aerial photography, location is everything.
You need to be in the right place for the best shots!
Ideally, show interesting landscapes with many layers. It always looks appealing and interesting to have a clear fore- middle- and background. Clear shapes, lines and patterns can also enhance your aerial photographs.
Get inspiration by checking out some of the best drone Instagram accounts to plan where to shoot and search for drone groups on Facebook for hints from locals.
Safety and keeping the law are priorities too. Have you checked the drone laws where you'll be shooting?
Do you have a permit? Follow the law and try not to shoot somewhere crowded with people.
You don't want to risk crashing into anyone and hurting them.
4. The Right Time
The time of day makes a huge difference when it comes to aerial photography.
Try to shoot in Golden Hours, these being the start and end of the day. This means the light will be more interesting, and the colours different. It will create atmosphere and attract your audience.
Work with the direction of the sun to see how you can use it to light your subject/scenery best.
Don't forget to enable "HDR" to capture as many details in both the highlights and shadows when facing the sun. Don't know what that means? Invest the time and watch this tutorial (you won't regret it):