11 Tips to Help You Take Better Drone Photos

Just when I was beginning to think I was the only person out there who owns a drone primarily for still shots instead of video work, this helpful video came along to show 11 ways to take better drone photos. If you just bought your first drone or are simply looking to improve, I recommend giving it a quick watch!

Coming to you from Cooperative of Photography, this video shows you 11 tips to get better images from your drone. In addition to everything the video details, I also recommend changing the way you think about aerial imagery in general and not trying to superimpose a ground-based thought process. For example, from the ground, this scene looked like a very boring reservoir with a bridge going across it on a cold winter day that I would have rather spent under the sheets with Netflix. 

However, from the air, the road provided a lovely dividing line between two very interesting sets of ice patterns. When you drive or walk somewhere, try to practice envisioning what that place might look like from the air; you'll quickly realize there are a lot more visually stunning locations than you might have suspected!

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vineet khatri's picture

Thanks for the video. It would be a great fun taking photos with a drone


Jonathan Reid's picture

Thanks for the video.

I would love it if someone could take a look into using a drone for commercial purposes. My stock agency recently rejected images of mine because I didn't have a commercial license. When I looked into it, most European countries, the US and a few other countries require a specific commercial license for drone photography, even if you're photographing an empty coastline. What makes matters more complicated is that each of these countries requires a license specific to that country. So even if you have a commercial license for the US, if you go to Italy on holiday and create drone images, you may not sell them.

This seems completely unreasonable to me - the process of taking a photo and uploading it to Instagram is basically identical to uploading it to a stock site. Why is one fine and the other illegal?

What can we do in protest?

alex kooistra's picture

Why should anybody look into drone usage for commercial purposes? Shouldn't be that hard to figure out yourself. I find it completely logical that a stock agency refuses images that are not allowed to be used in any commercial form because the operator doesn't have the proper paperwork, insurances etc.
And if you have the right certificates etc in one country... that doesn't say you know the rules or have insurance in another now does it?
This is not tailored to the UK, but gives a good overview of the basic knowledge a pilot needs in the USA:

Jonathan Reid's picture

Like I mentioned in my post, I think someone should look into the fairness of the laws - should the air traffic departments be allowed to place limitations on commercial use. Again, like I mentioned in my post, there is no difference in shooting stills for instagram vs stock in terms of health and safety.

I would like to add that the UK specifies commercial use as any transaction where payment takes place - even editorial use such as magazine articles or f-stopper posts.

Deleted Account's picture

It's also incredibly easy to get a commercial license, I've done it. The hardest part is forking out the ££

Jonathan Reid's picture

That may be so, but have you tried getting licensed for countries where you don't speak the language? Just finding the official laws can be difficult enough.

Secondly, what are you getting for your license fee? A pathway through a wall that they created is all I can see.

Deleted Account's picture

I've not tried anything outside the UK but I can imagine it can be tricky.

What do I get for my license? Exactly that, a pathway or the "permission" to earn money from using the drone. :/

Jonathan Reid's picture

My problem with that is that the barrier was put up by them in the first place. What is the justification. It is the same as HMRC saying that any images created with a tripod on British soil requires a commercial license.

Deleted Account's picture

I totally agree, I understand they want to educate and make sure people are responsible with drones but that's not going to be the ones that are using them for commercial purposes, it's the ones using them to dick about with that cause the issues, and they don't need a license!