11 Drone Photography Tips & Ideas

It’s no secret that drones are all the rage among professional and amateur photographers alike. However, those who have operated an aerial camera know that capturing a stunning shot is not nearly as easy at it looks. Even after mastering basic controls, it can be a challenge for many photographers to adjust their viewpoints accordingly:

Luckily, there are a few tricks that can provide some direction for those just starting out and seeking a starting point with their drone. Lorenz Holder illustrates just how some simple adjustments can produce impressive results.

Flip the perspective

Bird's eye perspective 

Using a drone can open up entirely new perspectives that simply wouldn’t be possible on ground level. Consider taking full advantage of your bird’s eye view. Lying a subject on the ground and shooting straight down from above can create a graphic, almost two dimensional look.

Look out for symmetry

Symmetrical mirror image

As mentioned before, drone photography lends itself well to creating very graphic compositions that sometimes resemble drawings more than photographs. Be on the lookout for symmetrical lines; they can potentially make for interesting mirror image photos.

Find dividing lines

Leading line composition

Line plays a huge role in forming a composition and determining how a viewer’s eyes move through a photograph. A bold dividing line can make a photograph infinitely more interesting and provide your audience with some direction on how to navigate your image.

Capture unique patterns

Organic asymmetrical pattern

Always be on the lookout for locations with eye-catching shapes or features. Whether they’re artificial or occur naturally, they will likely lend themselves well to the camera.

Create an aerial panorama

Panorama from above

More likely than not, you’ve tried your hand at creating a panorama of your own. But have you ever attempted making one several dozen feet above the ground? All there is to it is getting your drone up to a suitable height. From there, you can take a shot, rotate your drone slightly, and repeat. Once you’re working with the images in post, they can be stitched together to create a sprawling landscape.

Find contrast colors

contrast color blocks

Shooting from up high forces photographers to focus on form rather than minute details. Color is a great way to really bring out a subject’s form and create a dynamic image. Seek contrasting colors in your environment.

Take a selfie

aerial drone selfie

Loosen up and have some fun with your drone. Challenging yourself to take a self portrait can be an excellent way of getting the creative juices flowing. By utilizing a relatively minimalistic background or isolating yourself against an empty sky, it’s possible to really make yourself stand out in a scene.

Seek repetition

repeating patterns

If you’re not sure what would make for good subject matter, start out by seeking repetition. Consistent patterns, formulaic lines,  and similar shapes can make for a very geometric, visually satisfying composition.

Get abstract

abstract landscape

As fun as pattern and repetition can be, irregularities can make for unique, eye-catching views. Again, seek out bold lines and strong colors to help bring out organic shapes.

Take advantage of the shadows

graphic shadowplay

A good photograph is dependent on good light. Drone photography is no exception to this rule, and you may want to consider what time of day you choose to take your drone out. Shooting late in the afternoon can produce elongated shadows, for instance, and totally transform a plain photograph into something quite dramatic.

Shoot the horizon

Horizon line

Last but not least, don’t feel compelled to stick to a bird’s eye view all the time. Drones can effectively propel cameras to normally inaccessible heights and angles. Don’t be afraid to experiment and get the horizon in on your shots.

What other tips do you have for drone photography?

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