How To Use Drones to do Stunning Landscape Aerial Photography

by Klaus on July 27, 2018

in Articles

Drones are changing the way photographers conduct their craft. Before drones became commonplace, photographers had to rely on outdated methods like using aircraft or helicopters to capture photos from above. Thanks to the reduced cost of actually getting your camera in the air, more photographers than ever before are able to stretch the limits of aerial photography to achieve new feats in surveying, 3D scanning, and beyond. So how can you use drones to master landscape aerial photography? This guide will share tips for aerial photography in the digital age.

Choosing the Right Drone

Your first step is to select the right drone for your photography needs. Luckily, there are a large number of drones on the market today that are designed specifically for photographers. They also come at a variety of different price points so you can find the right fit for your budget.

Low-cost models of drones equipped with onboard cameras will likely take low-quality images that might not get the job done depending on your project goals. More high-quality drone cameras are known to take photos that will rival even your best DSLR devices. Another common option is to attach your GoPro or action camera to your drone to capture images from above. If your budget is an issue, do your best to work with equipment you already have. Some of the best drones for photographers include the DJI inspire and the DJI Mavic Air which take HD photos and have high power flying systems.

Once you’ve decided on the right drone, it’s time to take to the air. Take the time to learn how to comfortably navigate in the air with your drone before you attach your expensive camera. Some drones are operated by your smartphone while others have personalized controls. Even the easiest drones take time to get used to. The best places to practice your flying are open parks or even in your own backyard.

Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations about flying drones in your area. New laws are starting to limit the ways you can use your drone, especially in public areas. For instance, you need to keep your drone within your line of sight, and you usually can’t go higher than 400 feet. Finally, never fly over large groups of people or disturb anyone’s privacy. Once you’re comfortable with your driving skills, you can move on to the next step.

Capturing Your Scans

Drone photography takes some getting used to even for the most experienced photographers. Depending on your project, you might need to keep things like lighting, time of day, and weather in mind before going out with your drone. For 3D scanning and accurate landscape measurements, you’ll need to have as many clear variables as possible.

For accurate scans, capture several images from different angles. Depending on your drone, you might be able to view your images in real-time from your smartphone. That means you can review your pictures before you get home to ensure you’ve captured the best quality.

You can use a photo modeling software to turn your aerial images into accurate scans. UAS and Drone Applications by PhotoModeler are perfect for a variety of projects such as inspecting objects high off the ground, surveying landscapes, and even forensic investigations. These types of programs give you the freedom to create exactly the kind of images, 3D renderings, and measurements you need. From there, you can export your project to other applications to utilize your scans.

Aerial photography has come a long way in recent years. Thanks to drones, photographers of all skill levels are able to complete precise scans and measurements with modern application tools. The opportunities for these scans are truly endless, and they continue to change industries as we know them.

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