Drones now offer you the chance to capture Drone Photography, video and photos of some of the most beautiful and difficult to reach places.
If you are considering buying a drone there are many factors to consider – budget is probably number 1 on the list.
We have put together some top tips and techniques to help you decide.
Your First and Second Drone
We recommend you buy a small cheap drone at first like a Tello with prop guards, learn how to use it and the basic flying techniques, before you buy an expensive drone.
Starting slow will not only keep you and others safe, but it will also prevent you from damaging you expensive drone it on it’s maiden flight.
A drone is a small aircraft normally a quadcopter with 4 motors and propellers. It is flow using a remote control on the ground. Specifications vary between different drone manufacturers, although there are some common factors to be aware of:
GPS – Drones once they are in the air should hover without someone moving the sticks on the controller. Drone’s have ‘autonomy’ which helps them hold positions based on a GPS, as well as stabilise their movement. Many drones have the same GPS technology that comes with smartphones and tablets. It determines the exact position of the drone and this information is fed to your controller so that you know exactly where your drone is.
Propellers – Most Drones are quadcopters with four propellers which enable them to carry cameras for aerial photography. Two opposite propellers rotate in a clockwise direction and the other two rotate in an anti-clockwise direction.
There is no redundancy so if you loose a propeller or a motor stops working on a quadcopter it will fall out of the sky , it cannot fly and land on three motors.
Battery – This is the power source , they are easy to change and typically give a maximum flight time of up to 30 minutes. Many owners buy and carry extra batteries. Giving flight time of over an hour.
Controller – Another essential element of a drone is a controller as it needs something to make navigation, launching and, of course, landing possible. Controllers can come in all shapes and sizes. Tablets and smartphones are just a few examples of what the controller can look and feel like. Radio waves are use by the controller to establish communication with the drone. Wi-Fi communication is also a possible alternative.
Choose A Drone Based On Your Needs and Skills
When you understand the basic features of a drone, there are still a number of other aspects to consider when you’re actually purchasing one yourself.
Consider how well you can fly a drone. If you are a beginner, think about getting some basic drone training.
If you are an experienced drone pilot then look at the type of drone photography you plan to do. Then look for a drone that matches your skill set and photography needs.
For instance, some drones can only be flown indoors, some are better equipped in terms of camera specification and stability in windy conditions. Once you have decided what you want to do with your drone, check out the features you have in mind, your ideal budget and then choose one that satisfies your needs.
Be Familiar With the Drone Regulations and Laws
Because of the growth of the drone industry in the UK, we now have laws regulating or prohibiting the use of drones in certain areas, especially within 5 kilometres of airports.
The UK government have a Drone Code you can view here.
Knowing where you’re legally allowed to fly your drone will help you avoid a possible fine or in the worst-case prosecution.
Drone registration has now been introduced in many countries including the U.S, Canada, Australia and France. Now in the United Kingdom a registration scheme for any drone over 250gms will be introduced in November 2019. You will also need to take and pass an online competency test before you can fly your drone. Try three online drone tests here.
Many countries now require drone operators to conduct specific aviation training to fly proficiently and professionally.
Currently, in the UK, there is no official legislation or requirements for those with small drones and who are using them for hobbies to have any drone training.
However many people have completed Drone School UK’s half day drone training course, now understand the rules and regulations and are flying their valuable dorne with skill and confidence.
if you are intending to use a drone for commercial purposes it is a regulatory requirement to obtain CAA permissions and therefore beneficial to undertake Commercial Drone Training and gain certification at a ground school.
Prepare A Pre-Flight Checklist
We strongly advise that you create a pre-flight checklist. This will not only ensure that you have everything that you need before you fly, it also establishes that you, your drone and everybody around you will be safe.
It will confirm that you bring all of your equipment to your flight, fully charged and ready to go.
The pre-flight checklist asks yourself a series of relevant, important questions prior to your flight to make the operation as smooth and as stress free as possible.
Learn Drone Photography Techniques
It is very frustrating to travel to an amazing location get your drone into the sky to have an unclear photo.
Keep it simple: Just like ground level photography, simple compositions can result in incredible shots that celebrate the subject.
Don’t forget the ‘basic photography rules’: when you’re doing aerial photography, they all still apply to the world of drones. If you’re not familiar with beginner techniques such as the rule of thirds and leading lines, then study the basic rules of photography
Look for symmetry and patterns: Whilst you’re in the air, lookout for interesting scenes of colours, shapes, sun shadows and repetition.
Light is so Important: The right light is a huge advantage for drone photographers – sunshine can transform a landscape from the air. Look at shooting in the golden hour or at particular times during the day that create long shadows and striking patterns.