Photos and videos taken by drones have been in the spotlight a lot these days. From drone photography contests to social media feeds, we are sure you have seen quite a lot of some amazing footage. And, perhaps, you are wondering how would you go about making some yourself.
Here’s a quick guide on how you get started in drone photography/videography.
First things first, you will need a drone and a GoPro. We will assume you have those ready 😉
Mounting Your GoPro
Make sure your action camera is securely mounted before take-off.
- Gimbals are essential for UAV photography. They will help keep the camera steady and ensure that your footage won’t come out looking too shaky.
- Your quadcopter may already come with a GoPro-compatible gimbal, like the DJI Phantom 2 or you may need to purchase one separately. Check out Solo Gimbal, made specifically for GoPro-drone shooting.
Setting Your GoPro
While you may know exactly what you want when shooting action videos, things get a quite different as you lift off into the air. Here are a few recommendations for adjusting your GoPro settings for aerial photography.
- Shoot in 4K whenever possible. This will not only give you highest quality footage, but also lots of flexibility when it comes to editing.
- You can set your GoPro for automated photo capture. Set the time lapse for every several seconds and you will be able to capture a series of still shots throughout the flight.
- Starting from GoPro HERO3 and up, you also have the option of simultaneous photo and video capture — which is the perfect feature to have enabled for drone GoPro recording
- Mind the colors. Set your white balance for around 5,500k. Leaving it in Auto, may lead to a significant color shift when filming
- Turn your wireless off: it will use up battery power and can also interfere with your drone controls
Flying for Photos
Of course, it is recommended that your GoPro movie making does not fall on your very first quadcopter flight. After you’ve had a little practice, follow these simple tips.
- If you are still exploring drone piloting, make sure you start slow and steady. Practice take offs and soft landings before attaching your GoPro to the drone.
- When you do take off, make sure you fly the quadcopter with its nose out. This means that both the drone and you should be looking in the same direction.
- If you turn the drone to face you, controlling it can quickly get confusing.
Getting The Perfect Shot
There are two main things to take into account as you try out aerial photography: how high you fly and how fast you fly.
- The higher your quadcopter goes, the faster you will need to fly to make sure your viewers perceive motion.
- Then again, flying too fast can ruin your shot. Your camera has to remain steady and stable to capture that perfect moment or shoot a cool a video.
- Do your best to master smooth and slow camera movements, so that even if you lose your photo target, you can adjust the frame without too much damage.