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TOP TIPS for awesome drone photography

Drone photography is a soaring, across multiple sectors and industries - but creating impressive imagery is not just about launching your drone and firing away!

A drone doesn't magically make your images awesome ... to achieve that needs some photographic skills and the ability to visualise.  

Here are some tips from a seasoned photographer on how to improve your drone imagery to elevate it above the almost-rans.

#1  COMPOSITION IS KEY

Whether you are filming real estate promos, or shooting aerial landscape stills, composition is the most vital input into successful imagery.

- Make sure the frame looks good.  

The image needs to stand out by itself or it won't draw the viewer in.

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#2 The rule of THIRDS

In order to 'balance' images and videos to be more pleasing and intriguing to the human eye, the Rule of Thirds was developed to make it easier.

Divide your frame into thirds horizontally and vertically (two lines each) and you generate 4 points in the frame that possess amazing powers over the human eye. Placing - or moving - your subject to these points draws the eye into the image and makes it more compelling.

#3 RAW IS BEST

Shooting in RAW doesn't mean you have to get naked! It simply means that you are capturing your imagery at the highest possible quality, making it easier to adjust, modify and edit in post-production and still retain a quality output. 

Low-resolution means you have less to work with, restricting your creativity - especially in post-production.

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#4 LIGHTING

Lighting is one of the most crucial aspects contributing to impressive imagery.  Get the lighting wrong and the results are flat, uninspiring, boring ... or just plain bad.

Mastering lighting is about understanding and controlling the influence of lighting - and is your first step to greatness.  This comes with pratice, observation and a littel bit of common sense - oh, and lots of understanding about how and whylighting affects your subject, included objects, shadows, composition and lens flare.  It is well worth reading some articles/books to enhance your understanding.

#5 PLAN YOUR SHOOT

Storyboarding is used constantly in Hollywood for good reason - planning out your shoot (be it stills or video) is crucial to being efficient, cost effective, and of course knowing what is expected.

Planning your shoot enable you to increase the likelihood of exceptional results, keeps your costs down (and thus profits up) and allows you to shoot video out-of-sequence (just like in Hollywood) to make the shooting schedule easier and more efficient.

You should consider planning: locations, angles/perspectives, timing, lighting, weather, and privacy concerns.

Look out for the next instalment of TOP TIPS for Awesome Drone Photography.

 

Check out GDS' Drone Photography Workshops.