Droning on

Seems like everyone has a drone now right?

Which leads way to more and more drone blogs, websites, tips, experts etc…
Well I’m no expert. But as I sit here enjoying this overpriced cold press coffee, I will gladly share with you some thoughts on what I have noticed over the past year of shooting with a drone. Cause why not just 1 more blog on the subject?

1. You don’t have to be high to get great shots.
    Obviously you should not be under the influence while operating an unmanned aircraft, but what I mean is you don’t have to be 400 feet in the air to get a compelling and beautiful shot. Ask yourself, what am I trying to accomplish with this shot? What perspective do I want to show my viewer?  Some of my favorite drone shots are from 5-15 feet in the air. Basically enhancing and surpassing what you used to need a jib for.

2. Look down.
    And I mean straight down. Maybe you do want to be 400 feet up. If that’s the shot, then go for it. Drones don’t have to be moving across the sky to get awe-inspiring visuals. One of the aspects that makes aerial footage so unique is seeing everyday areas or objects from a different perspective. Has your audience seen a landmark so many times that it’s become wallpaper to them? Show it differently and open up whole new appreciation.

3. The top of businesses aren’t always the prettiest.
    A lot of the local drone video I see in advertising is of business’s buildings, and that’s ok. Show off the brick and mortar. But no one wants to see air conditioners, rocks, or tar jobs. Well, maybe HVAC or roofing peeps… Exteriors of your business can be greatly improved by just a few tweaks. Pick the right time of day when the sun favors the angle. Sorry you may have to get up early or work late. Don’t be anxious to fly so fast, make it a smooth relaxing shot. How ‘bout their signage? Odds are they spent a lot of time and money on their logo, typeface and footprint. Show it off and tie it in to the project.

4. Play with foreground.
   Signage led me to this point. If you are trying to show the size and awe of an object or area you may need to include other things for scale. This goes back to some of the main ideas on composition of photography. If you are strictly going for landscape views then ignore this point. But if it’s a more specific subject, you are probably not going to achieve depth with you basic drone camera. So help the scene seem bigger, badder, and better with more elements in the frame.

5. Set the scene and let it breathe.
    Speaking of landscapes, I still believe that one of the best features of aerial video is the freedom and air that it invokes and portrays. I don’t try to force it or over use it. It’s a great way to set the tone of a TV spot or video and it’s a great way to round everything out and leave your viewer with a good feeling.

Well, I'll get my head out of the clouds and back on the ground now. Safe Flying!!

- Bryon