So you bought a drone? Great! Here are our top 10 tips for drone flying if you’re new to the field!
1.Know the Rules!
Yes, it’s tedious and boring but this one could save a few lives so it’s numero uno. There are some super helpful articles out there if you don’t want to go through the CASA (or equivalent for your local area) website. It’s amazing once you spend 2 minutes reading these rules just how many drone shots on TV and online look very suspect. At the end of the day, whether you’re planning on following these rules or not, KNOW THEM!
2. Get Comfortable Flying
There is enough to think about when you’re starting out, so get comfortable flying first before you think about executing some tracking shot! Choose a spot that gives you a nice bit of space to zip around and don’t fly too far away to begin with so that you get comfortable with the controls and how the drone reacts.
3. Keep it Simple.
Yes it’s obvious but very important nonetheless. This not only goes for learning but a philosophy I abide by as an experienced pilot. Simple moves are often way more cinematic than someone panning all over the joint.
4. Don’t Touch That Left Stick When Recording!
It can be tempting especially when you’re starting out but leave the the left (or yaw stick) alone if you can. This will create the jerkiness you really don’t want and will often ruin a good shot.
5. Time of Day
Get up early and get that sunrise! The golden-hour (shortly before sunrise or after sunset) will cast a more even light and gives you some amazing colours, so If you want your shot to pop, shoot at these times! But more importantly, be aware of where shadows will be during the day, as your client will most likely want shots when the property is in sun 🙂
6. Composition is key
There are so many resources out there today on photographic composition, so get to know the basic rules and your drone game will excel. Rule of thirds, symmetry, balance and leading lines can really turn your shots into works of art!
7. Get Some ND Filters
ND filters act as sunglasses for your camera, so you can see why these become crucial for drones.
8. Shoot in Manual & Keep an Eye on your Histogram!
The light is often constantly changing whilst flying and the exposure difference between shooting into the sun versus and epic top-down shot can be huge, so keep an eye on your exposure at all times and watch them clouds, they can be a real pest!
9. Try to Shoot Flat
Shooting flat essentially means shooting with a low contrast by using the “cine” picture profiles. Doing so will give a lot more options in post production and make your shots look a lot better.
Get out of the city, where you’re most likely going to get abused by self-righteous drone-phobes and into nature where you can capture some truly beautiful shots no one has ever seen.