How Do You Take Good Pictures With a Drone?

Every type of photography is an art, and drone photography is no different.

This article will discuss some specific actions that will allow you to take good pictures with a drone. At the very least, you will take better pictures than you are now.

Two factors will improve your drone photography instantly:

  • Understanding how to minimize drone shake
  • Making proper camera adjustments

While this may sound simple, there is more involved than meets the eye. Don’t worry, it’s not hard, and it will improve your images. Now let’s discuss both of these factors.

Understanding how to minimize drone shake

Camera shake is why professional photographers use tripods. It’s the best way to remove that variable.

However, when shooting images or footage with a drone camera, you won’t have the luxury of using a tripod. In fact, you’ll have even more variables. Let’s look at six significant variables that can cause the shaking of your drone’s camera. Notice how five of these six variables listed below are controllable.

Lighting

Light is the energy behind photography and always will be. Whenever the lighting isn’t supplied, the camera has to compensate to get a quality image. Most of the time, the result is not a desirable one. When the light is adequate, you and your camera have many more options to create good images and footage. You control this by ensuring there is ideal lighting before taking drone pictures and videos.

Weather

Common sense should rule the day when it comes to weather. For starters, it will significantly affect the lighting conditions that we just discussed and could create even more shaking of your drone. And precipitation is never a good ideal for drones. As with lighting, you control this by waiting for optimal weather conditions.

Pilot skills

As you might imagine, a skilled drone pilot can fly drones straighter and smoother. Thus, they’ll get better images and videos from their drone camera every time.

Mechanical issues

This is the one variable that you cannot control, as mechanical issues and failures can randomly occur and mess up your pictures. However, you can minimize these events by performing proper pre-flight checks and post-flight checks.

Quality of camera

This should go without saying; a higher quality drone camera can overcome less than ideal conditions better than cheaper drone cameras.

Quality of gimbal

A gimbal is a device on your drone to which the camera is mounted. Its sole purpose is to stabilize your camera when the drone itself is moving about. A high-quality drone camera usually cannot overcome a poor quality gimbal. So you must ensure that your camera is paired with a good gimbal.

Making proper camera adjustments

Depending on the particular drone camera you have, there are typically several adjustments you can make to enhance your images and videos. These adjustments will help you minimize several environmental variables.

Drones with integrated cameras may be different, and you’ll have to consult your drone manual for your options. If your drone has this, the chances are that your drone manufacturer has provided features that allow you to take crisper images.

However, when you have added a camera to your drone, you’ll have access to typical camera settings, significantly improving your images. You’ll need some basic understanding of them.

Shutter speed

Your camera’s shutter speed determines the amount of time that its shutter is open to allow light for recording the image. In motion photography, faster shutter speeds are needed to capture images. Slower shutter speeds may cause blurring. So if your drone images are blurry, then a faster shutter speed may be the answer. This may require testing to determine which setting works best.

ISO

The ISO setting determines the speed at which your camera’s sensor receives light. Action photography will usually need an ISO of 800 or higher. When lighting conditions are low, a higher ISO is required to adjust for that.

However, lower ISOs create images that are richer in color and more vibrant.

Lens

A camera’s lens can be a huge variable in the overall quality of images. So it’s a good thing to have a camera that supports interchangeable lenses. For maximum image stability on your drone, you’ll want a lens with a low F-stop number. The lower the F-stop, the greater the amount of light – which gives you more options and better pictures.

Final thoughts

If you are both new to drones and photography, then the above information will be somewhat overwhelming. The good news is that it isn’t that difficult. I recommend that you review the information a few times and do a little research. In a short time, you’ll be surprised at how well you understand the concepts.

Remember, the overall goal here is to learn how to take good pictures with your drone. That is more than achievable – regardless of your skill level.