For those who love amazing aerial shots or are just curious about what you can do with a drone, I’m here today to share a little bit about the basics of drone photography. I own a DJI Mavic Air 2 drone and purchased it after extensive research. DJI really is the leading drone company and they have a variety of models at different price points and capabilities.
Drone technology has really come a long way, from even just 5 years ago. Now everything is pretty automatic and fool proof. There’s auto take off and landing at a push of a button. A crash sensor will stop the drone before it hits something. You also get warnings when the GPS signal is weak, and even a “home” button that flies the drone back to where it took off. So basically if you can work a video game controller, you can fly a drone.
Get those extra batteries! Each one only lasts about 20 minutes max, so you’ll need at least a couple to get some practice in. Then really it’s just fly fly fly to get used to the controls. Always orient the front of the drone to the forward position, so it’s going in the same direction as the controls. For example, when you push left, the drone goes left. Versus if it’s facing backwards, then when you push left, it’ll go right.
Find interesting landscape and use the self timer for self portraits! It’s hard to know what looks awesome from a bird’s eye view. I usually bring my drone to the beach, the city, or seek out popular landmarks. The interval timer is nice and the drone is synced with your phone. This way you can see in real time what looks good and adjust accordingly.
The drone camera is fairly powerful. You can view the histogram, adjust exposure, use the grid lines, select frame rate for video and more! I was actually surprised at how much you can do when I first got it. And just like your DSLR, you can purchase ND filters for the drone as well.
Lastly, have fun but use common sense and abide by the FAA regulations. The drone does make a loud buzzing sound that may bother other people or pets, so I always avoid crowded places. You can take off from a few streets down then fly over to the spot you’d like to photograph. When the drone is high enough, you can’t hear it as much. The drone also attracts attention. Every time I fly it, someone always comes up to chat, so just be prepared for that.
Hope you found this helpful and have fun flying!
For more work and inspiration from Heidi, follow her on Instagram!
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