Easy Drone Photography Tips for Beginners
Drone photography doesn’t need to be hard – but with all the add-ons, options and hardware available for drones, it can get overwhelming.
Luckily, you can still take stunning photos with just some basic drone gear and practice.
Here are some key tips we believe are important when taking photos with your drone.
Know the area you’ll be flying in
Although there is a fun aspect of exploration when flying your drone, you should be generally aware of the potential hazards in the area.
It’s good practice to survey the area and make a mental note of the layout and things that may interfere with your photos or flying experience.
It’s a good idea to start somewhere relatively open and safe, like in a park.
When you’ve successfully gotten the hang of it, you can try areas near lakes, forests and rivers.
You can get some amazing shots of nature and have a lot of fun – just make sure you take a general overview of where you’ll be flying!
Carry extra batteries
It’s known that most drones do not last very long. Most drones last around 10-15 minutes – with higher-end drones lasting 20 minutes or longer.
Because of this, we recommend investing into a few sets of extra batteries for your drones so you can quickly switch out an empty battery for a fresh one.
Needless to say, make sure to charge them all fully before you head out!
Furthermore, 10-15 minutes can go by quickly when you’re flying, so make sure you keep track of your drone’s battery status.
We recommend finding out how long your drone’s battery life is, then getting additional battery packs depending on how long you’d like to fly for.
For example, if your drone lasts 15 minutes and you’d like to fly for an hour, you’ll need to carry 3 extra batteries.
A gimbal can help stabilise the camera
Add-ons and other upgrades can help enhance your photography or recording sessions with your drone.
In particular, a gimbal can make a big difference. Gimbals allow you to tilt the camera up / down, regardless of the drone’s movement. It also gives you more angles you can take photos or video footage from.
It also stablises the camera, so you’ll end up with smoother footage.
If you’d like to use a gimbal with your drone, make sure to check to see that the gimbal is compatible with your drone model.
Be familiar with drone regulations
It’s critical that you know the drone regulations and follow them – for your own safety and for others.
Here are direct rules from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Rules.
- Not operate an aircraft that is 25 kg or larger and always ensure that it is safe to operate
- At all times, take all practicable steps to minimize hazards to persons, property and other aircraft (ie, don’t do anything hazardous)
- Fly only in daylight
- Give way to all crewed aircraft
- Be able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (eg, not through binoculars, a monitor, or smartphone) to ensure separation from other aircraft (or use an observer to do this in certain cases)
- Not fly your aircraft higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level (unless certain conditions are met)
- Have knowledge of airspace restrictions that apply in the area you want to operate
- Not fly closer than four kilometres from any aerodrome (unless certain conditions are met)
- When flying in controlled airspace, obtain an air traffic control clearance issued by Airways (via airshare My Flights)
- Not fly in special use airspace without the permission of the controlling authority of the area (e.g. military operating areas or restricted areas)
- Have consent from anyone you want to fly above
- Have the consent of the property owner or person in charge of the area you are wanting to fly above.
For more, check out the NZ Civil Aviation website.
Get used to flying first
If you are a complete beginner with drones, you’ll want to get used to flying first.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to fly your drone safely here.
Fly low for the best shots
Most drones can fly up to 100m in the air, but it’s best to keep it relatively low to the ground for the best shots.
Shots taken from too high up can make your photos look like a Google Earth picture.
Try to take pictures from around 30m in the air for the best foreground shots.
Check the weather first
The weather can be a big hindrance for an outing with your drone.
If it is too windy, it might make your photos shaky or de-stablise your drone.
Otherwise, rainy or stormy weather might cancel your outing altogether.
That’s why we recommend making sure the weather will be agreeable first, before taking your drone out to fly.
Good beginner drones with cameras
If you need a beginner drone to learn flying and practice taking photos with, here are some recommendations from us:
.Material: ABS + Electronic components
.Functions:Forward, Backward, Up, Down, Left, Right, left/right sideward flight, 3D Roll, Headless Mode, One key Return, Speed Switch, 2.0MP camera
.Gyro: 6 Axis
.Remote Frequency: 2.4G
.Control Distance: About 50m
.Charging Time: About 60mins
.Flight Time:more than 5mins
.Camera Pixel: 2-mega-pixel
.Battery For Quadcopter: 3.7V / 300MAH(Built-in)
.Battery For Transmiter: 2 x AAA Battery(not included)
.Product Size: 28*28*8cm
.Product Weight: 610g
.Package Dimensions: 29.5*12.1*27.7cm
.Package Weight: 650g
.Packing: Colorful Box
It has an attached HD camera to deliver high definition, real-time images that allow you to have a clear view from the sky.
Equipped with a 6 axis gyro the quadcopter has strong stability in flight. Adopted 2.4G technology for anti-interference, multiple copters can fly at the same time without interfering with each other.
You can control V686K UFO by transmitter or phone (Android and IOS compatible).