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Common Mistakes

Some basic pointers for those that are new to flying and photography

Going to get the obvious and to some degree boring bit out the way first! If i'm honest i don't think there is a single flyer among us that can hand on heart say they have never broken the rules. Not looking into and understanding the rules properly before going off and flying is unfortunately fairly common. Currently there are a number of apps available to assist you not least of drone assist (can be downloaded here) while your there take a look at the drone code as well to understand the rules better. Get comfortable with the drone your using and competent enough to control it safely

Right now that's out the way I can concentrate on what this is really about. Probably the biggest error I see among new flyers is that they take it to the max height and start taking photos, which wile sometimes it yields good results, more often than not the results are that the subject is too far away. Just because a drone can got to 400 ft high and 500m away doesn't mean it should! Think more along the lines of using a drone to capture an angle that you would other wise struggle to get of a subject, to the left is a shot that was taken at around 11m up but captures a view that simply wouldn't be possible from any other camera. Had i tried to get that shot from 400ft i doubt it would be anywhere near as pleasing to see. The purpose of this shot was to get the sunrise and the pier in shot at the same time, of which the only way to get it was with a drone out over the water. Another aspect specifically around photography is the post production process, most people have done this so don't panic if your one of them, but all too often I see photos where hue and saturation have been over adjusted, making the colours look odd and unnatural, i'm not saying don't adjust them but what I am saying is adjust a little bit at a time if you must, then take a break and come back to it and see what you think. All too often our eyes and brains adjust to whats in front of us and play tricks on our senses, taking a break and coming back allows you to see your work through fresh eyes.

Framing is often something else that can be an issue, think ahead of your flight what is it that you want to capture and how? lots of people go off and fly with no real idea what they want to capture and become snap happy and take pictures of nothing in particular, this often leads to lots of photos with no real purpose and no real subject. If you go with an idea in your mind (or written down for that matter) it makes choosing the angle and subject framing far easier and results in far better shots, this also allows you to consider better the settings etc you need for that shot. When it comes to video though framing is slightly different, you need to think about the shot you want and how and when its going to start and finish. A good rule of thumb for video is capture the footage on the lead up to the shot and again a few seconds after, for filming a scene, consideration and preparation are going to be you biggest friend. If you can turn up knowing what you want the chances are you'll get the footage you set out to get!

The time of day also plays a huge part in how things turn out. If you new to photography then you may have heard the term "golden hour", this is simply the hour after sunrise and the hour around sunset that has the best light to shoot in, typically there is more red in the light spectrum around these times which gives a nice warm glow to your shots, take the above photo for example, the morning i took that it was around -1°C and was incredibly cold, yet despite the air temp the photo as a warm look about it.

Specific to drones though time of day and simple preparation should be things you consider, typically early morning there are less people about (apart from the occasion mad dog walker!) this means your less likely to cause a nuisance and stay safer, consider your location as well and just steer clear of areas that are likely to be busy when your there.

In summary think ahead, consider the shots you want, the location and time of day, follow the simple rules and above all get some stunning shots and have fun

Happy flying...................................................

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