Drones have dramatically transformed the way we capture videos and images, as they can provide newer perspectives, cover large areas quickly, and weather harsh environments, thereby opening up new avenues for photography and videography. In this guide, we will explore how drones can be used in various ways, including commercial photography, wedding photography, selfies, and videos. This guide will provide you all the information you need to get started with drone photography, whether you’re a professional photographer trying to expand your business or an amateur looking to upskill your drone photography.
Benefits of Using Drones for Photography
Before diving into the specific ways drones can be used, let’s look at some of the general benefits of using drones for photography.
Bird’s Eye View:
Using drones allows photographers and videographers to capture images from very high heights, providing a unique view and detail that would not have been possible from ground level. Not only does this allow photographers and videographers to craft stunning visuals but also gain insights about their subject.
Drones can access hard-to-reach places such as the top of a skyscraper or around the opening of a volcano. As a result, views that were previously impossible to capture due to safety concerns can now be captured because of drones.
Speed and Efficiency:
As drones can move at incredibly fast speeds, they can cover large areas quickly, saving time and speeding up the pace of projects. This is especially important in real estate and construction projects where vast areas need to be surveyed. Moreover, photographers can capture fast-moving scenes like sports, animals, using drones since they can move rapidly and smoothly.
Drones are relatively cost-effective when compared to traditional methods of capturing aerial footage such as using a helicopter as drones are inexpensive to purchase and operate.
Since drones are small and portable, it makes them easy to travel with or store. Moreover, as drones require relatively little space to take off and land and can also hover, they are also quite flexible.
Different Types of Drones
When it comes to using drones for photography, there are a variety of drones available, depending on the need and use. In this section, we will discuss the different types of drones, including consumer drones, commercial drones, industrial drones, and selfie drones.
Most of these drones are made for beginners, and they cost less than professional or industrial drones. As the demand for advanced features does not really exist in consumer drones, they are, as a result, easy to operate and come with basic flight controls. Consumer drones are appropriate for personal use or for small gatherings such as weddings. Examples of consumer drones include the DJI Mavic Air and the Autel EVO II.
In contrast with consumer drones, these drones are primarily used by professional videographers or photographers as they offer advanced features and controls and often come customized as per the needs of the user. They are also more expensive than consumer drones. Professional drones are more suitable for commercial uses such as real estate or construction and for capturing action scenes or wildlife. The DJI Inspire 2 and the Freefly Alta 8 are some examples of professional drones.
Industrial-grade drones are specifically designed for commercial and industrial use. They are used in a wide range of scenarios, such as surveying mine sites, capturing thermography data on solar panels to assess any damages, and stockpile estimation. Industrial drones are made of heavy-duty material, can withstand harsh environments, and carry heavy payloads. Since industrial drones offer a lot of customization and advanced flight controls and features, they are quite expensive but also an investment in efficiency. Examples include the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro and the DJI Matrice 600.
As the name suggests, these drones are used to capture selfies from awesome heights. Selfie drones come with basic features and flight controls. As a result, they are easy to operate, flexible, and small. One of the most popular selfie drones are the DJI Spark and the ZeroTech Dobby.
Using Drones for Different Types of Photography
Coming to the main part of the post, let’s now look at how drones can be used for different types of photography and the benefits they offer
Commercial and Construction Photography
Drones are widely used to capture aerial images and videos of commercial and construction sites. They provide a detailed view of a project’s progress and allow insights from a perspective that would have been difficult or impossible from ground level. Moreover, drones can cover large areas efficiently, which makes them cost-effective site monitoring devices. Since drones can fly quite high, they can also capture the entire expanse of a project in a single frame, which can help with any area-related calculations.
In addition to being used for construction photography, drones are also used in real estate, where they capture the exterior of properties such as office buildings, shopping centers, and warehouses, allowing clients to view the property from different angles, including the parking areas, entrances, and exits, without physically visiting the property itself.
Additionally, drones can be used to evaluate the safety of buildings, bridges, and other structures. By delivering detailed photographs and videos of these structures, drones enable early problem-solving and help avoid any financial or human loss in the future.
Wedding and Event Photography
Drones have increasingly become part of a wedding photographer’s daily equipment. Photographers can get a unique view of weddings and other events by using drones to take photos and videos from above. Drones can be used to create dramatic videos, such as the bride or groom making an entrance and walking down the aisle or the guests celebrating at the reception.
Furthermore, if the wedding is taking place in a beautiful location, a drone can capture not only the event but also the scenery, such as the beach or the castle. The drone can also capture the wedding preparations, such as the groom and bride getting ready, venue decorations, and the flowers, which can allow photographers to compile a beautiful package at the end that covers the entire event from start to finish.
Drones have also impacted how selfies are taken, as they introduce a new dimension to them. As drones capture selfies from a height, they can take pictures and videos from above, offering a more creative and dynamic view. Drones installed with wide-angle cameras can also capture a panoramic view of the surroundings they are in.
In addition, since drones can move in different directions quickly, they can also be used to click action-packed or “dynamic” selfies. For example, while the user is jumping or doing a backflip. These selfies capture the excitement and energy of a particular moment.
Drones have high-resolution cameras that can record 4K videos that are stunning and give viewers a cinematic and immersive experience. They can be used for a wide range of videography tasks, such as commercials, real estate, and making movies and TV shows.
Drones can be used to take videos of landscapes, cities, and other places for use in movies and TV shows. They can also be used to take videos of products and services for ads that show the products and services in interesting ways, which can help companies market their products more effectively. Also, drones can be used to film real estate listings from above, giving viewers a full view of the property and its surroundings.
Camera and Lens Options
Here are some general camera and lens options for the different types of photography, even though the exact choices depend on how the camera will be used, where it will be used, and what will be photographed.
For Commercial and Construction
Since commercial and construction photography needs to show details, the drone needs a high-resolution camera. Moreover, the ability to capture RAW footage is also needed. With both high-resolution and RAW footage, a photographer can get a lot of detail and then edit the image to get the result they want. Depending on the situation, a wide-angle camera may also be required.
For Weddings and Events
For wedding and event photography, it’s best to use a 4K camera and a stabilization device because the drone needs to take shots that are smooth and visually appealing to capture the beauty and grandeur of the event. The drone must also have advanced flight controls so that it can be used to take shots from different angles in a stable way.
Most of the time, the built-in camera on a drone is good enough for selfies because it can take pictures and videos with decent quality. Most of the time, these drones come with basic flight controls that let you change the angle and take the aerial selfies you want.
Tips and Tricks for Getting the Perfect Shot
When it comes to capturing the best shot with a drone, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to get the best results. Let’s look at some of these tips and tricks.
Before you take off, make sure that you have a plan in mind. You should consider the time of day, weather conditions, lighting, external threats, battery use, and any other factors. By planning ahead, you can avoid any potential problems and get the perfect shot you want.
Use the Right Angle
With a bad angle, even a good picture can be ruined. As such, ensure that you are getting the right angle before capturing those images and videos. You can experiment with different heights and angles to find the one that best suits you.
Get a Gimbal
No photographer wants a choppy or rough shot; it’s nothing that a gimbal cannot solve. A gimbal is a device that can be attached to the camera of a drone and helps keep the shots steady. This will save a lot of time, as every other shot will be guaranteed to be smooth and stable.
Learn Manual Flight Controls
Although most drones come with automatic controls that get reasonable shots, learning to use manual flight controls gives you more control over your shots and helps you get the shot you want. But it takes time and practice to learn how to fly a drone manually, so don’t use manual controls if you aren’t sure of your skills, as it can lead to crashes and damage.
Understand the Rules
Most territories have enacted regulations and laws that govern the use of drones, and as a result, you should always check and know the regulations before flying your drone in an area. Sometimes, an area is a complete no-fly zone, and flying in such a zone can lead to legal prosecution. As such, it is crucial that you do your research before letting that little bird take off.
1. What are some of the benefits of using drones for photography?
Drones allow you to capture images and videos that are difficult or impossible to capture from the ground level. They can also reach places that are hard-to-reach or dangerous for humans to go into. They are also a more cost-effective method of capturing aerial images or videos than the traditional method of using a helicopter.
2. What kind of camera and lens should I use for drone photography?
The camera and lens you should use are determined by the type of drone photography you intend to do. For example, action sports and wildlife photography require a drone with a high-speed camera, and a fast frame rate is recommended.
3. Do I have to follow any regulations while flying my drone?
Yes, in almost every country around the world, drone laws exist and must be followed. The restrictions in these regulations vary from place to place; thus, you should always check your area’s regulations before flying.
4. How can I get the perfect shot with my drone?
By following some tips and tricks, you can get the perfect shot with your drone. These tips and tricks include planning ahead, getting the right equipment, understanding the rules, getting the right angle, and learning the manual controls.
Drones have truly revolutionized the photography industry and added a completely unique dimension to it. They are now used in a wide range of applications, including commercial, construction, real estate, weddings, events, and selfies, and offer many benefits over traditional photography.