For those of you who follow us regularly on our various social media platforms the fact that I now have a drone is not new, and if you are reading this for the first time, whoop whoop Scottyphotography now has a drone!
I have had the opportunity to use it a fair bit in the past month or so in various different situations shooting both corporate and personal work and have been loving every minute of it! I have always been a fan of aerial photography and have always tried to do as much as possible when time and budget allowed. Now this is where the drone comes into its own, aside from the cost of purchasing it it doesn't cost me anything extra to fly it, with the added advantage of being able to do so whenever I want and where ever I happen to be.
Yes it may be a bit bulky to have with me all the time but who cares when you can zip it up and grab a few shots from a completely different perspective? As a professional photographer being able to offer my clients a huge variety of images from different perspectives, including some aerial ones, is a big deal that will outweigh any minor inconveniences.
I was in the vicinity of the spectacular Great Zimbabwe National Monument a few weeks ago and couldn't pass up the opportunity to spend a few days there. I have been lucky enough to photograph the monument many times in the past but have never seen or photographed it from the air. Needless to say I had a fantastic time and managed to get some stunning results!
So what have I learnt about the drone and its capabilities over the past month or so? Firstly that planning is key, the battery life on my particular drone only gives me around 15 minutes of flight time, which doesn't give me a lot of time to faf around once its up. This makes me think critically about what I want to achieve before I send it up and this can only be a good thing.
Secondly, the mobility is fantastic! I can hover directly over a subject and shoot straight down in order to get detail or abstract shots and the next minute I can zip off up to 500 metres away to get that distant, all encompassing shot.
This mobility allows me to capture a variety of pics of the same scene, essential for building up a good story board around a particular subject. I can showcase the fine detail and shape of the Great Enclosure above as well as place it in its context in relation to its environment and the valley (below).
Lastly I have to talk about the performance of the camera's sensor, yes its quite small and so suffers from a bit of noise at high ISO but the drone is such a stable platform that I can shoot at 100 or 200 ISO quite happily down to 1/15th of a second and get sharp images. The sharpness of the resulting images is fantastic and the resolution has withstood the stringent attention of the quality control departments at the various stock libraries I supply with flying colours.
Another huge advantage is to be able to shoot in manual mode as well as create 5 stop bracket sets. This allows me to shoot into the sun and use clever HDR post processing techniques to create images full of detail and colour, like the ones below.
So in summary; the drone is an awesome tool that allows me to capture that unique aerial angle without too much fuss, but often with spectacular results!
Do you need some aerial images done? Don't hesitate to contact us with your ideas!