Drone photography is a particular type of photography that is enjoying an ever-increasing popularity. The drone market has skyrocketed in past years and, due to the considerable drop in prices, more and more people have had the chance to get that camera up in the air and shoot some truly stunning aerial photos.
Why has drone photography become so popular among both hobbyists and professional photographers? Well, there are two main reasons:
First of all, because of the unique views. This type of photography gives you the opportunity to reach amazing viewpoints that can’t simply be reached using other means. Aerial photography allows you to obtain some truly unique angles and perspectives, which can’t be obtained by taking shots from the ground.
Second of all, because the technology implemented in modern drones gives you the possibility to shoot professionally-looking photos. This means you can choose to shoot in RAW or you have the option to switch from auto to manual mode and individually adjust the ISO, shutter speed, aperture or white balance. At the same time you’ll benefit from great stabilization in the air when taking the shots, thanks to the 3-axis gimbal available with many drones. Even in rough conditions, you’ll be able to get steady, non-jerky shots.
Follow the Drone Rules
But before reaching the skies and taking beautiful shots, let’s consider the safety issues. Yes, it may seem all fun and games, but flying a drone is a serious matter. Flying your UAV recklessly can lead to serious accidents, and that’s why it is important to abide by a series of laws and regulations. Of course, these can vary depending on your country and your local air aviation authority, but the following general rules should apply to any location in the world:
- Fly up to a maximum height of 400 feet (120 meters) above the ground
- Always keep your drone within your line of sight
- Maintain a distance of 5 miles (8 kilometers) from any airport
- It’s strictly forbidden to fly over groups of people, over stadiums or sporting events
- Don’t enter the no-fly zones. Use an app to see exactly where you’re allowed to fly and where it’s forbidden
Choose the Right Software
Taking cool shots with your quadcopter means your half-way there. Next up… the post-processing part. This is an important step, because it gives you the chance to make the necessary adjustments to a picture and to add your personal touch and vision.
In order to edit aerial photography you can opt for various tools. Of course, the first name that comes to mind is without a doubt Photoshop. Indeed this is the most powerful image manipulation software on the market, but at the same time it is truly complex, with a steep learning curve. Moreover, it’s quite expensive in comparison to other software.
At the same time you can take a look at a photo editing tool like BatchPhoto. It’s significantly easier to use in comparison to Photoshop, it places at your disposal a wide array of options to retouch your images in a professional manner, it can easily and quickly process dozens of images at once and it doesn’t break the bank.
Here are the things you can do in post-production in order to make your aerial pictures stand out:
Crop Your Photos
Cropping your images is a great idea from several points of view. It can help you improve the overall composition of an image, create a dramatic effect that will have a certain impact on the viewer or simply remove unwanted objects or people from the image.
BatchPhoto makes cropping photos quite easy, by placing at your disposal two options: Crop and Auto Crop. The first option lets you manually get rid of the undesired content by simply using drag & drop. The second one will automatically crop your picture to a predefined aspect ratio, like 16:9, 4:3 or 1:1, or to a custom ratio defined by you personally.
Make Color Corrections
If you’ve shot your photos in a RAW format, you might have noticed that the unprocessed RAW files tend to look flat and colorless once you import them into your photo editor. This is nothing to worry about, in fact it gives you the possibility to make all the required corrections and create a striking look for your images.
For that purpose you can manually or automatically adjust the contrast and the color levels, change the light intensity, tweak the saturation for a more vibrant and intense feel, sharpen your pictures or reduce the noise if you’ve shot in low-light or night-time conditions. You can spend a lot of time playing around with these options, doing a little bit of color experimenting in order to discover which is the ideal aspect for your photos.
Apply Special Effects
If you want to take things to the next level and further change the aesthetics of your images, you’re free to experiment with special effects. Of course, this has to be done tastefully and carefully, because the goal is to create stunning visuals, not to push viewers away by going overboard.
No matter what you’ve shot, whether’s it’s a beach, mountains or cityscapes, you can find a matching effect. For that purpose you can opt for a sepia effect that will make your picture look vintage using warmer colors or a swirl effect to create a twisting motion. You can also create a horizontal wave effect, make your photos look like an oil painting and many more. The key is to experiment and see which filter matches the type of landscape and your personal taste.
Convert RAW to JPG
Shooting your drone photos in RAW is a great solution, because it allows you to obtain the highest level of quality, considerably better details and complete freedom in post-processing to make the necessary corrections.
Of course, once you’re done with the retouching part, you’ll need to convert your RAW files to a commonly-used format, such as JPG or TIFF. BatchPhoto provides extensive support for RAW files, including the DNG format which is used by many drone cameras. The great thing about it is that you can convert multiple images at the same time, which will help you save both time and energy.