One of the most exciting developments in photography in the last year or two is the drone – high flying cameras that enable you to capture unique viewpoints of common subjects. Recently the cost of getting a camera into the air has dropped dramatically and if you decide to venture down this road I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Apart from the amazing images, you will capture, they are also tremendous fun!
As with most modern technology there is a vast range of drones, or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), on the market. Similar to camera equipment in general, how much you’re prepared to spend will determine the quality of camera on-board, and the flying characteristics of the drone itself. There are low-cost models that will take very basic images, up to the big boys toys that will happily lift your prized DSLR up into the heavens. You can even add your GoPro on to some units that will take advantage of camera gear you may already have. One company has a range of models that has a large percentage of the market – DJI. Their Phantom range of drones are the first choice for many, and though they do make some high end-models, the Phantom 3 series models are the most popular drone in the world, for good reason.
One thing you will love is the amazing patterns you find in the landscape when viewed from above. Drones allow you to get into the area that most planes and helicopters are not allowed to – below 300 feet. Google Maps makes a great starting point for finding locations that look worth visiting.
It certainly beats putting your camera on the end of a ten foot pole (yes, I did that a few years ago).
As a landscape photographer for a number of years now, I can’t recommend highly enough aerial imaging as a unique way to add that extra aspect to your photography. Everyone you share your images with will be amazed and intrigued, and don’t forget how much fun it is. If you ever tire of it, you may like to try herding sheep with your drone – yes, it’s been done!
To learn more go to: Digital Photography School Article