Breathtaking Aerial Shots for Every Season
For many, the coming of a new season simply means a fresh new backdrop for their perpetually-moving lives and a new set of colors to complement it. The first white snow of winter, the red and yellow leaves of fall, the blossoming pinks of spring--nature regularly dazzles us with its ever-changing palette.
For photographers, on the other hand, a new season isn’t just a “well would you look at that” moment at the beginning of your day--it’s a new opportunity. That is, the opportunity to not just admire, but to capture nature’s beauty and immortalize it forever. For the drone photographer, this means breath-taking aerial shots.
In an effort to assist you in these photo opportunities, we’ve compiled a list of some great existing drone footage from each of the four seasons, as well as some tips to help spark your ideas.
The most obvious thing about fall, much like the other 3 seasons, is the way the trees change colors. But flying your drone around a bunch of trees can only remain interesting for so long.
Sure you can get a lot of usage out of some cool over-the-forest shots, or between-the-trees shots if you’re feeling comfortable with your drone flying skills. But how can you stretch it even further?
The above video has some awesome ideas for stuff that doesn’t just highlight the colors of the season, but also feel of the season. The harvesting machines, the train tracks, the river--everything just feels like autumn. Brainstorm some locations or autumn-ish things that’ll really take advantage of that season. Can’t think of any? Do an Image Search on Google for “autumn” or “fall season” or something similar and just start looking.
Don’t be afraid to use some “actors” either, if you want to call them that. It’s tough to get variety in aerial shots when it’s just landscape, but by adding something to focus on you can get an awful lot more mileage out of one location.
Now part of getting that “autumn” feel can also come from using a lot of warm colors--reds, oranges, yellows--to accompany the video, either through filming it during a warm sunset or by maybe pushing those colors a little more in post-production, like in this video:
You can tell the trees haven’t quite changed colors just yet but they can still get that autumn feel just from making the footage feel “warm”, in terms of color.
Same thing there. Yes, it was filmed at the end of summer, with fall just around the corner, but you can tell they really wanted those reds and yellows to show up. Also note the great use of the rising (setting?) sun in their shots.
A forecast for snow might mean curling up in a warm blanket and reading a good book for some, or grabbing your snowboard and heading to the slopes for others. But for photographers, it means the one time when ugly footprints, snowplows, or the melting power of the sun hasn’t ruined the immaculate canvas of freshly-fallen snow.
Much like autumn, snow on trees are going to be your best friend and are sure to get you plenty of usable winter footage. Depending on where you live, snow will only stay on trees for so long so be sure to take advantage of it as soon as you can. But even in the above video you can see that just about anything becomes interesting when it’s delicately covered in snow. The close-up shots of the river are great, as are the sweeping mountain shots, frosted in white.
This video, aside from providing jaw-dropping footage of a ski resort, also gives us an example of looking for things that represent winter outside of just snow. A ski resort, with lots of nice, moving parts, is a perfect place to fly your drone.
Also note the varied camera movement, instead of just the usual forwards and backwards movements, these fliers use objects in the frame to motivate their movements a little more, and to really explore the many axis’ on which a drone--and the camera on the drone--can move.
If you do go film some trees, the video above has lots of really great, varied shots that might spark some ideas on how to really take advantage of the snow.
Aside from the pinks, purples, and light blues of the tree blossoms and flowers (which will vary greatly depending on where you live), it’s hard to really separate a spring day from a summer day. Because of this, don’t be afraid to maybe go filming on a cloudy day, to really get the feel of those April showers. Deep blues and greens will also make your footage look like they’ve been filmed fresh after a big rainstorm.
The above video did a great job finding some purple flowers to start with, but also has some nice deep green shots to make the season feel as lively and “young” as it does. You may not be able to find as much of the brighter spring colors, so just make do with what you can. Also, cows.
Same story for this video, as they really get into the deep blues with some really awesome water shots. And anytime you can get some rainbows in your shot just go ahead and do it!
Ah yes, summer. The season of infinite possibilities. When it comes to filming in summer you really can’t go wrong with any summer-y activity. Surfing? Yes. Sailing? Yes. Fishing? Why not. Basically anything that takes advantage of the warm weather or feels like something you’d take a vacation to go do is prime filming material.
Surfing videos are a popular video drone target because it allows us to get a view of something that’s insanely difficult to film otherwise. The video above does a great job of not only showing the scope of the chosen beach, but also follow the surfers as they carve their way down the shore.
The above video also has some surfing and body of water shots, but adds some great skateboarding and coastal town shots to it. Again, the possibilities are endless for summer--so long as it looks sunny and green or blue it’ll fit the season perfectly.
We don’t recommend many fliers try to duplicate this video’s flight path, but it’s tough to argue against the beauty and wonder of this video’s subject matter.
I can’t recommend this video of Necker Island (owned by billionaire Richard Branson) enough. Sure we may not all have the opportunity to film on a tropical island in the Caribbean, but the technique and views seen above are just stunning.
It’s not always about the beach, either. As this video proves, all you need is an interesting subject matter and you’ve got plenty of reasons to fly your drone up, over, and all-around it.
With these videos and ideas in mind, you hopefully won’t get caught off-guard next time a new season rolls around. Be it in spring, summer, fall, or winter, you’ll be ready to take your drone out and grab that next great aerial shot.
- Jonathan B