Eyes on the Sky: Quadcopter Aerial Photography Tips for First-Timers

Aerial Photography

There are so many innocent things you can do with drones that don’t involve spying on other people. And, for enthusiasts who love flying around, but don’t want to bother with a pilot’s license, the perfect hobby is: drone flying.

Here’s how amateur drone enthusiasts do it and capture amazing footage.

Get Altitude

Most of the time, people want to take drone shots really close their target. And, sometimes this can be a good idea. But, you should also take a lot of raised shots. By flying to a higher altitude, you’ll get more into the camera’s view, which will give you a lot more spectacular video.

It can mean the difference between taking a picture of a beautiful field with horses running or just out-of-context horses that look amateurish and “too close” to the camera (since you probably don’t have a macro lens on your drone camera).

If you’re going to do high aerial shots, consider that professional quadcopters provide much better footage.

Go GPS Mode

GPS mode is awesome. Many ‘copters will come with a mode that helps with stabilization. When flying, choose a location. Then, fly to it and let go of the controls. With the GPS mode activated, the ‘copter will hover and stabilize itself. Pretty neat, huh?

When you’re taking pictures, it means the difference between a crisp, clear, image, and one that’s shaky and blurry.

FPV System

There are FPV systems allowing for first-person views. You’ll need to learn how and when to use them and when not to so that your videos and pictures come out better. FPV also works really well with ranged shots, but not well with close up shots.

Buy a Gimbal

If you’re serious about aerial photography, you need to buy yourself a gimbal. It takes precision pictures. And, even though it’s very expensive, it’s also the best way to get the pictures you want.

What’s a gimbal? It’s a joint that the camera can be mounted to during flight. When you fly, the gimbal allows you to point the camera at a specific location and keep it in focus while compensating for the vibration, wind, and all the other “noise” that would normally cause a camera to “shake” or vibrate while you’re trying to take a picture.

If you’re a real estate professional, or your job depends on taking aerial photos, there’s no excuse for not having one. Certain drones don’t accommodate them very well, though, due to the added weight. So, check the specs of the drone before you buy one.

Get Your Setting Rights

Every camera is different and comes with settings that need to be adjusted or changed. You’ll want to become familiar with your camera and its settings. There are some settings that work better than others, depending on whether you use a gimbal. Usually, the settings should look something like this:

With a gimbal:

Lower resolution (720p).

Medium zoom.

Without a gimbal

The highest possible resolution.

A wide zoom.

You may also want to change settings so that you can learn more about your camera and how to get the most out of it.

Play with the frame rate, resolution, and zoom.

Choose a Location

Location is one of the most important things you can remember when taking aerial photos. If you don’t use a good location, you’ll find your pictures are not very clear or sharp. Choose a location that’s open, not wooded, no buildings, and free of birds flying everywhere.

Watch The Weather

Weather is a big one. If you’re flying you want to make sure that your drone isn’t going to be knocked out of the sky by high winds or lightning.

Often, with smaller drones, the wind will cause it to struggle when trying to maintain a steady shot. And, you don’t want to fight the elements when taking pictures. Choose a clear day that’s not windy.


Put your propeller on a balance. Place the balance on an elevated surface. Then, find out which blade is heavier by judging the way the blade lays. Now, sand the bottom of the blade just slightly until you get it perfectly balanced.

This will help you when you’re up in the air and trying to hold the ‘copter steady.

Night Photography

There are a lot of things you can do to take night pictures. First, lighting is one way you can take pictures you otherwise wouldn’t be able to take. Some front lights are available that allow you to take pictures even when it’s pitch black outside.

Hi, I’m George Greenwood. I’ve always been a fan of RC flight, so when quadcopters and multirotor drones started to become popular it wasn’t long before I discovered them and started to play with them. Flying a drone is one of the most fun things you can do, so to get more people interested I started a website to take the confusion out of first-time drone buying.

About Andrew

Hey Folks! Myself Andrew Emerson I'm from Houston. I'm a blogger and writer who writes about Technology, Arts & Design, Gadgets, Movies, and Gaming etc. Hope you join me in this journey and make it a lot of fun.

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