Know your drone and its capabilities.
When you first get your drone read the instruction manual to fully understand the ins and outs of what it does and all the available settings. For instance, figure out how to change exposure levels and ISO. Until you fully understand what it can or can’t do, any intended photography will not turn out the way you desire.
Shooting in RAW
RAW files preserves information from the camera, such as sharpness and contrast, without processing and compressing. Shooting in RAW will allow you to change or manipulate any flaws in exposure or color with far more precision than .JPEG. With most drone cameras only being around 12MP it’s almost a disservice shooting in the compressed .JPEG. Once you have edited the RAW files you will want to convert them to .JPEGs for easier printing and sharing capabilities.
Bracketing is King
DJI allows you to shoot with AEB (automatic exposure bracketing) which is a setting that takes 3-5 photos with only one click of the shutter, each in different exposures. Why would you use this setting? Say you’re photographing a mountain landscape. The grass would require one setting to be properly exposed, the mountains would require another and the sky yet another. Once you have the bracketing photos we suggest to merge them in post. Combining the brackets use the best bits from each one to create a perfectly exposed shot.
Keep ISO As Low As Possible
Most drones have small camera sensors and they don’t tend to perform well with high ISO speeds. We keep our ISO set on the lowest setting of 100. Through trial and error we found that ISO above 100 cause too much noise. Make sure you take multiple frames to ensure sharp motion free images.
Get the most out of your drone photos! Once the excitement and fun of flying is done, editing your photos is the next best way to relive the moment. There is always room for improvement and to take your vision to new heights with editing. We like to process images through Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. If you don’t have access to these software solutions or just want to use your smartphone to edit we recommend a free app called Snapseed.
Fly Anytime You Get The Chance
Practice makes perfect. Fly your drone even when you don’t think there is any point. Never assume a scenery won’t look good because it looks poor from eye level. You would be surprised at how amazing things look from the perspective provided by drones. Some of our best shots were captured when we didn’t even think anything was worth photographing. Now get out there and fly!
If you’re interested in making money with your drone, we are always looking for pilots to join the Drone Dispatch Pilot Network.