8 Ways to Perfect Your Aerial Drone Photography Skills

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Below are 8 easy ways to perfect your aerial drone photography skills, and to get the very best and most our of your aerial photography drone. As with everything else in life, always keep in mind that practice makes perfect.

1. Before Heading Up High in the Sky

A few precautions should be taken before sending you aerial photography drone high up in the sky.  (1) Get well accustomed with local laws and regulations regarding hobby drones. Only fly your drone in an area if you’ve become well acquainted with applicable drone laws and regulations, and are sure that its safe to fly. (2) Make sure to always calibrate your drone whenever you change locations. (3) check your drone’s compass sensor index after calibrating, and make sure that the sensor index is between 1400 and 1600. If the  number is higher, this may indicate signal disturbances that can cause in-flight connection problems. (4) Always test your drone at ground level before flying it higher in the sky. Watch our for any abnormalities in flight and control before sending it any higher. (5) Watch out for wild life.

2. Use Longer Shutter Speeds Over ISO Setting

The higher your ISO, the more grain and noise will appear in your aerial drone captures. In broad day light, there is sufficient light available to leave the ISO setting at a minimum. In low-light environments, using a longer shutter speed should be preferred over increasing the ISO. With this in mind, you’ll want to find the perfect, balanced setting for each environment.

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3. Shoot in RAW format

As with normal photography, capturing aerial drone images in RAW format allows you to later bring appropriate corrections to things such as colors and exposure. If you end up capturing that one stunning photograph with your drone, you’ll certainly be glad to be able to have access to post-processing options made available through apps like Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop.

4. Make Good use of Bracketing 

For anyone unaccustomed with the term, ‘bracketing’ refers to the ability to simultaneously shoot to or more photos using different camera settings. Bracketing will ensure you always have that one photo with the best camera settings relative to your subject and its environment. If you’ve also been shooting in RAW format, you’ll be able to apply post-processing options to the best image.

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5. Start from Auto Mode then Switch and Adjust from Manual Mode

The granular control offered through manual mode (M), as opposed to automatic (P) mode, is just another way for you to express you artistic creativity in aerial drone photography. However, doing so can be tricky, especially if you’re a beginner. A good way to learn is to first start in auto mode, to see what settings are suggested relative to a specific subject and its environment. With those settings in mind, you can then switch to manual mode, and making any adjustments according to your own artistic viewpoint.

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6. Low-light Conditions and In-Flight Vibrations

Unique to the art of aerial drone photography is the fact that the device used to take the photos is often high up in the sky, where it becomes vulnerable to vibration and shaking caused by higher altitude winds. This is particularly problematic when shooting in low-light environments, such as night time. To reduce vibrations and shaking in your aerial drone photos, a shutter speed that does not exceed 3 seconds is recommended.

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7. Neutral Density and Polarizing Filters

In well-lit environments, such as in broad daylight, use neutral density filters (‘ND’) as a creative, artistic tool for your aerial drone photography. Using a ND filters the light coming to the drone’s camera, and achieves a result that is similar to shooting with a slow shutter speed of say, 1/50 of a second. The result is a darker image in broad day light settings, which can lead to overall better looking images.

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8. Use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are excellent tools to help you achieve you creative and artistic vision. Use them to your advantage.

 

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DJI’s Ronin 2

DJI’s released the Ronin 2, which it describes as a more powerful, versatile, and intelligent stabilizer for film and video professionals. According to DJI, the all new Ronin 2 offers, among many other things, more power and torque to carry larger cameras. It incorporates more intelligent features, and is more versatile in terms of its ability to be used and adapted to different situations, from a large scale studio photoshoot, to a tightly focused documentary. DJI essentially brought the Ronin back to the drawing board, to come up with an overall better high performance product. The main features of the DJI Ronin 2 are included immediately below.

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Platform

  • High torque encoded motors for larger payloads (without sacrificing speed)
  • Film at speeds of up to 75 mph w/ 30 pound payload; strong wind resistance; all while delivering 0.02 degrees of sub-pixel level precision
  • Improved gimbal assistant App for intuitive control
  • Integrated locks on all three axis provides easier balancing, tuning, transportation
  • New integrated adjustment knobs allow quick fine tuning adjustments
  • Dual batteries that can easily be replaced without interruption;
  • 50mm extendable arms allow full customization; carry larger cameras and lenses, from DSLR to cinematic cameras and lenses
  • Full carbon fibre built

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Mounts and Movements

  • Cross-compatibility with quick release mount (e.g. can easily be mounted/dismounted to and from vehicles, drones, cable cams, or hand mounted)
  • Hand held 2.4/5.8 GHz remote control designed for wireless control of gimbal with minimum interference with an operating range of up to 1.5 km
  • New 2 Axis operation mode with locks allow unique mobility and camera control
  • Easy detachable hand grip and foldaway feet
  • Easy handheld and jib configuration

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Set Up and User Friendliness

  • Refined setup and balancing time
  • Axis locking levers and fine tuning knobs for fast and precise balancing
  • Auto Tune stability feature for intelligent adjustment of motor parameters
  • Integrated touch screen with 1,000 nits of brightness for on-the-fly gimbal and RED camera configuration

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Frame

  • Carbon fibre monocoque style frame with new fold-away feet
  • Splash-proof motor design with internally routed power, SDI, and data cabling
  • Integrated power and data ports
  • Four 14.4 volt ports near camera cage; two 12.6 volt ports near pan motor; one P-Tap 12.6 volt outlet on battery mount

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Intelligent Features

  • New Time lapse mode for programming of multiple movements and camera actions
  • Enhanced SmoothTrack system provides stable images while on the move
  • New GPS module allowing for better performance in high speed shooting
  • New CamAnchor for quick recording of preferred gimbal orientation
  • Gimbal assistant mobile app with easy, user-friendly interface
  • New Panorama mode for still image panoramas
  • New studio-oriented functions

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Price & Availability

DJI has yet to announce a price for its new Ronin 2. The Ronin to will be available during the second quarter of 2017 from DJI, DJI Flagship stores, DJI Authorized Retail Stores, and DJI Resellers worldwide.