To a non-videographer, drone videography seems easy. To such a person, taking videos using a drone simply involves fastening a small camera on a remote-controlled UAV, setting up a shot, and taking video coverage. Actually, drone videography isn’t as simple as that. It entails more than simply climbing a few hundred feet into the air. Getting a clear, compelling and non-squiggly UAV footage demands significant effort. Advancement in technology has, however, made the use of drones to capture videos a relatively approachable task. 

Below are the 10 tips to getting started in drone videography:     

  1. Understand the UAV regulations in your locality:  It is important to understand the laws regulating the recreational and commercial use of drones in your neighborhood. For instance, in the U.S., flying of commercial drones require certification from the FAA, while a recreational drone owners are only mandated to abide by the standard safety guidelines (no need to register). It is worthwhile to note that it is obligatory for owners of both commercial and recreational drones that weigh over 250g to register with the FAA before flying. 
  2. Develop your drone pilot proficiency: It is advisable to become a proficient drone pilot before going ahead to use your quadcopter shoot videos. There are many training quadcopters, including Hubsan X4, available.
  3. Choose your quadcopter: For beginners and aerial videographers, there are many quadcopters to choose from. One of the most popular around are the DJI Phantom models. They have features such as ready to fly (RTF) and out-of-the-box built-in cameras. 
  4. Choose your video camera: DJI Phantom series have built-in video cameras, while many other flying machines require attachment of a separate camera. GoPro cameras offer quality images at reasonable prices and are compatible with third-party accessories like vibration isolators and gimbals.
  5. Exhibit caution during flight: It is recommended for first-timers to understand all the hazards associated with flying over crowds and ensure that they keep the flight path under control.
  6. Always slow down: To get a quality video, a videographer has to learn to move slowly, gradually, and steadily. This is to attain a subconscious increase in the value of production. Also, remember to accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid distortions on your footage.
  7. Shoot at sunset and sunrise: To achieve improved visibility of shadows and features that aren’t so visible during the afternoon, the video is advised to be shot at sunrise and sunset. Also, it is noteworthy that filming during a bright day with the sun overhead could overexpose the camera to sunlight, thus resulting in wash out images.
  8. Use two axes of movement: Flying backward and downward concurrently at a steady rate will increase the quality of your footage.
  9. Watch out for cold and wind: On a cold day, the condensation developed on UAVs can affect the movement of the propellers. This can cause the propellers to freeze during flight at high altitudes. Try avoid shooting your videos when the wind speed is over 25mph to prevent the production of “jello” effect on the footage.
  10. Lower your shutter speed if possible: When taking shots close to the ground, lower your shutter speed to avoid “strobing effect.” High shutter speed produces sharper pictures, but it can cause undesirable strobing in videos.

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  • Alex R
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