Drone Photography Tips

Step up your skills.

Over the past years, drone photography has emerged and gained immense popularity and acceptance. This will explain why everyone is looking for drone photography tips to hone their skills. You may be wondering why this is the case, but you are about to find out.

Drone photography is an aerial form that allows image and video capture using remote-controlled drones, unmanned aerial vehicles. There are many types of drones, but all play the same role of capturing spectacular images and transforming the photography scene at an affordable and cost-effective price.

Drones have taken over the photography scene by storm and opened a myriad of possibilities to all videographers and photographers. Drone photography allows you to take shots from a new level that's not possible on the ground. It will enable you to take photos from all imaginable angles in first-person view. To achieve that, here are some tips to bear in mind.

Drone tips

Drone photography tips

1. Shoot in raw format

Taking aerial images in the raw format is drone photography tips that gives you more flexibility if you plan to process and edit the pictures much later using the existing photo editing apps. Pictures in raw form contain more detail, dynamic range, and resolution that may not be captured in other formats.

Images taken in raw format have better exposure, and the color adjustments make the photo so natural. Furthermore, images captured from the camera sensor in raw form are lossless and uncompressed, unlike JPEG images which are compressed, leading to loss of information and responsible for unnatural photos.

2. Make use of the Auto Exposure Bracketing feature.

Modern drones come with an auto exposure bracketing feature that increases the dynamic range of your image, thereby resulting in very realistic photos. The feature allows you to shoot the same image severally with different exposures and settings, hence choosing a wide variety of prints.

When the AEB feature is enabled, you can shoot in high contrast scenes severally then later select the one with the best exposure level. This is one of the drone photography tips that has an option of choosing the best images and merging them into one photo using Lightroom or photoshop apps to produce a high dynamic range final image.

3. Pay attention to the UAV forecast.

Another one of drone photography tips to consider before taking out your drone for a photography session is to check the UAV forecast. The forecast provides you with information to guarantee your safety, the drones, and that of other people or buildings in the surrounding.

UAV forecast shows off-limit areas, airports, weather forecast, estimated active GPS satellites available, and the geomagnetic distribution caused by solar activity, otherwise known as Kp index, a storm measure. The forecast enables you to plan for shoots accordingly.

The best weather to achieve a productive photography session is less windy with very good lighting. Extreme windy conditions make shooting very difficult and drain the drone's battery very fast. This is because a lot of energy is used to keep the drone stable. Cold temperatures also drain batteries fast, while rain and snow destroy electronic components of the drone.

4. Discover new locations using Google maps

When using a drone, it can be challenging to find new locations to shoot because many restrictions limit where you can fly. Flying the drone randomly while identifying a suitable location is very hectic and will drain your batteries.

Instead of just turning up to a location with the hope of capturing interesting shots, use google maps to research a potential shooting location. Google Earth is also an essential tool in planning as it gives the topography of the identified site in 3D. 3D enables you to explore the area from all angles, thus a fair idea of how the shot will look from above.

5. Pay attention to the Rule of Thirds overlay.


The most important aspect of an image is its composition. It dictates the arrangement of visual elements and the balance of colors in the frame. When composing a shot, it's important to pay attention to the Rule of Thirds, a tested composition guide for terrestrial and aerial photography.

Most models of drones have an overlay function which is enabled through the drone’s application settings. If your drone settings allow, switch the overlay grid to a 3×3 overlay to position elements within a third of your frame, giving a more well-composed shot.

The overlay grid allows you to take an image with epic composition. This is among the drone photography tips that reduces  the need for cropping in the post-processing stage, thus retaining precious pixels contained in the picture.

6. Keep ISO speed at less than 100

Drone cameras have very small sensors, which don't work well in ISO settings higher than 100. High ISO introduces grain and unwanted noise to images hence the need to stick to low ISO.

When taking shots, you should set the camera to auto mode, and when ISO begins to increase, reset it manually to keep the image exposed properly. In windy and shady conditions, use a slower shutter speed, usually a sixth of a second, to maintain low ISO and produce sharp images. Another option of drone photography tips available is opening the aperture to increase the chances of an epic shot.

7. Explore the panoramic mode


Most drones have built-in panorama mode, a feature that allows you to take images of more expansive landscapes with higher resolution and more megapixel count. This is one of the drone photography tips that lets you capture an entire scene that would otherwise not be possible in a single wide-angle shot.

 Some drone cameras don’t possess the feature, but that should not worry you. You can take several shots while rotating the camera to capture the specific scene you want, then stitch the photos together to achieve a high-quality panoramic image.

8. Make use of filters

It is not possible to shoot with the right lighting conditions all the time. Sometimes, the time of the day and the environment you are shooting in influence lighting conditions, thus using filters. The use of filters is crucial in drone photography tips. They control the amount of light reaching the sensor, enhance colors and also suppress reflections.

There are several filters for drones, but natural density filters and polarizing filters are the most common. The two filters control the exposure and saturating colors to increase scene contrast and produce stunning images before buying filters for your drone, its important to consider the type of photos you take and consider the environment, thus avoiding the purchase of unnecessary filters. 

9. Consider the general composition of the vicinity.

 Among drone photography tips this one allows you to realize the beauty of some scenes which are unrecognizable from the ground view. Some locations you should consider when looking at general composition are;

  • Lines of symmetry and patterns

Repetitive patterns and lines of symmetry are some underrated scenes that have a magnificent look when taken from above. Examples are a neighborhood with houses in rows or a town square. Capturing the scenes from above gives a perfect image.

  • Curvy, irregular shapes and leading lines

Sharp lines shape the composition of your spot, thus capturing the viewer's gaze. Similarly, curvy and irregular shapes such as roads give an intriguing image when shot from the top and should not be ignored.

  • Light and shadow scenes

Light determines the composition and mood of your picture. When the sun is low, drone photography allows you to view lights and shadows differently. Shots taken at sunrise and sunset are the best; you can see the shadows distinction very well.

  • Experiment with height

You don't have to fly your drone at the recommended 400 feet to achieve a good image. Consider taking the photo and different heights within the accepted range and see how it affects the image. Once you find the size that gives the best shot, you can take your photo.

  • Take photos in selfie mode.

Modern drones are integrated with user-friendly features such as selfie mode, allowing users to take photos of themselves easily. Modern drones have a feature that allows users to instruct drones using hand gestures. The drone can place you in the middle of a frame and take an incredible photo with a few gestures.

10. Carry extra batteries


Drone batteries do not have a very long life. Batteries could run out before you get the perfect shot of the scene. Furthermore, harsh weather conditions like wind consume a lot of energy, thus reducing battery life. Carrying extra batteries with you is one of the most drone photography tips that is always recommended.


Drone photography brings out a whole new perspective that has not been explored before. Discover new shapes, symmetry, patterns and take magical shots. You'll discover many tricks during your photography journey, hence the need to buy a drone camera that best suits your interests.

With all these drone photography tips, there is no doubt that you’ll explore and appreciate drone photography like never before. Drone photography has become very popular and has a wide variety of applications, and your knowledge of these tips will prove very beneficial.

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