Drone photography has become extremely popular in recent years, especially as more compact drones enter the market. Drones provide a bird’s eye view, providing a different perspective than standard handheld cameras because they can reach places you can’t. All types of photography require some planning, but when using drone photography, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the factors to consider. There are some basics and tips to keep in mind when trying aerial photography.

Research and Planning

Research is crucial to any photo shoot, especially when flying a drone. To take incredible aerial photos, it can be useful to evaluate your location before traveling. Satellite navigation like Google Maps is a great way to achieve this. You can see a close-up aerial view of most locations, which will allow the photographer to confirm that the location is correct.

Once you decide on a location, it’s also important to consider the weather. Most drone enthusiasts will refuse to use their drones in wet and windy conditions because the risk of damage to the equipment is high. Plus, bad weather will definitely affect the operator’s enjoyment!

Record in RAW format

Most enthusiasts should know that shooting in RAW format (.DNG files) is preferable to JPEG format. This is because drones have much smaller sensors compared to standard DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Small sensors produce lower quality images. Therefore, shooting in RAW format will give you the best photos. It requires more storage space, but it’s worth it! In terms of offset, the JPEG format is much better because most cameras process the image immediately to reduce the file size. However, this will result in the loss of all visual data characteristic of the RAW file.

As for editing: JPEG files lose quality, RAW does not. Higher quality images provide the user with more usable data in the post-processing stage. Apps like Adobe Lightroom are great for fine-tuning RAW formats as they usually have an auto-optimize button that does most of the work for you. This is great for beginners!

Check your drone settings

In terms of setup, the drone is just like a regular camera. You can shoot automatically and manually. The Auto feature gives you preset settings that the camera thinks will work well with the surrounding landscape. These changes depend on the amount of exposure the lens receives. Manual mode allows you to fine-tune settings, sometimes resulting in sharper images than automatic settings. In manual mode, there are three different settings you need to know: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

Subject finding and Image Processing

When taking drone images, you need to find your subject. This is usually the most eye-catching object or person in the image. No matter how much you edit an image, if it doesn’t have a good subject, it won’t attract as many viewers as you want. But don’t be afraid to try!

Once you’ve chosen a subject and thought about how to emphasize it, a composition guide or the “rule of thirds” comes into play. This setting exists for most drone applications and is very easy to use. The rule of thirds divides the picture into 9 equal rectangles by two horizontal and vertical lines.

Important: The four points that intersect to form a rectangle are called “performance points.” Topics are usually placed on these points, but not always!

Choose the right storage

When choosing a microSD card for a drone, users typically focus on read/write speed and, most importantly, storage space. Kingston offers a range of memory cards for a variety of devices, including the Canvas Go! Plus, microSD memory cards are a great choice for action cameras and drones, with capacities ranging from 64GB to 512GB1, so you don’t have to worry about running out of storage. Canvas go! Plus delivers U3 and V30 performance and incredible transfer speeds of up to 170MB/s2, allowing you to capture flawless 4K Ultra HD video without slowdowns and dropped frames.

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