10 Tips for Taking Stunning Landscape Photos With a Drone
1. Plan Your Drone Photos
Before you take off, take some time to plan your shots. Check local laws and restrictions (you can use the app Airmap to check this information). Look for interesting angles and compositions, and think about how you want to use the landscape to create a visually appealing image. Also, look at images that have been taken before so as not to copy what's already been done. There's nothing worse than getting the same image as 20 or so other photographers when you can create something new and exciting.
2. Use the Right Settings
Your drone's camera has a number of configurable settings that can affect the quality of your photos. Make sure you understand how these settings work well before time so as to maximize the battery life and your time in the air and how to use them to your advantage to get the shot you want. Choose the right shutter speed, ISO, and f-stop. Also, DJI drones have several options that include HDR mode, Panoramic, etc. Use these to your advantage. Where possible, save your settings to a profile so you can load that in rather than changing every setting while the drone is in the air.
3. Shoot in Raw Format
The raw file format gives you more control over the editing process, so it's a good idea to shoot in raw whenever possible. JPEG is a lossy format, so you're always going to get a compressed image, which is fine if the photos are going to stay on your phone, but if, like me, you want to print your images, then raw will give you the highest quality possible with the greatest and widest possibility for editing and adjustments.
4. Be Patient and Aware
Be patient, but also be aware of your time in the air and battery life. Don't be afraid to experiment and take your time if you have spare batteries. The best drone photos often come from patience and perseverance. Sunset and sunrise shots are literally about turning up and waiting.
5. Be Safe and Legal
Always fly your drone in a safe and responsible manner. Follow all the rules and regulations for drone flying in your area. If you are planning on selling your images, make sure you have the correct license for your country. Basic information in the UK can be found on the CAA's website here. You will need to register a flyer and a pilot ID. It is against the law to fly a drone or model aircraft without having the required IDs. You can also be fined for breaking the law when flying. In the most serious cases, you could be sent to prison (although this very rarely happens unless it's the most serious breach of regulations).