The rise in the technology of the unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, makes aerial videography readily available. People can now film great aerial shots for posting on the web. Many think that it is simple. Fly the drone while filming. However, some find out that without preparation, there are problems. These tips help avoid a lot of issues and increases video quality. Here are our tips in order to prevent problems while capturing aerial footage
Learn The FAA Regulations
If flying the drone is just for recreation, there are some rules to follow. Some basic ones include flying during daylight, fly under 400 feet, don’t fly in national parks, and don’t fly directly over people. If flying commercially, there is certification involved. One needs to get a 333 Exemption or wait until the FAA enacts Part 107. More information is here. Knowing the regulations beforehand prevents problems later.
Learn to Fly First
This sounds like common sense. However, many want to get out and start flying and filming right away. This is fun, yet causes problems. Take the time to master the controls of the drone. Learn the basics, and practice before starting to film. This seems like a waste but actually allows better filming later on.
Choose the Right Drone
There are many to choose from. A good choice is a quadcopter. This isn’t required for filming aerial shots. Though the pricing is usually reasonable. The added stability of four arms with propellers can improve filming.
Choose the Right Camera
Many drones come with cameras installed. Some need bought separately and attached. When buying separately, make sure the camera doesn’t add too much extra weight. This throws off controls which make it harder to film. A lighter camera also means a longer battery.
Know the Settings and Modes
Many drones have different settings. When adjusting, sometimes the autopilot mode can kick in. Some drones have expert settings. This makes tricks easier by making the controls more sensitive. If filming, know the settings, and how they switch back and forth. This prevents sudden changes which can ruin shots.
Use a Gimbal and Prop Balancer
A gimbal is a pivoted support. This allows rotation of an object around an axis. Signals from the gimbal go to brushless motors and adjust a drone’s pitch and roll. A prop balancer shows if propellers or balanced. Many times they aren’t. Add clear tape to the lighter side for balance.
Plan a Shot, Line of Sight, Fly Through, First Person View
Plan ahead of time before filming. Know the terrain if possible. Make note of tree or electrical wires for safety. Consider the flight and keep a direct line of sight. It is easier flying towards and away in a straight line. Remember to leave enough time before and after a flight path to record the best shots. The fly through allows for editing later. A first person view allows the pilot to see the recording while flying. This can make for great shots, but needs a second person to keep an eye on the drone.
Practice Aerial Photography Pan
A good beginner technique is the Bird’s Eye. This is aiming the camera straight down. The drone hovers, spins while rising or landing. The Side-Slide is when the camera points in one way, while the drone moves sideways. It sounds simple, but the altitude stays the same. A more advanced move is the Fly-Through. This is what it sounds like, flying the drone through a gap. This move requires a First Person View. This is an advanced move that takes control and practice.
These tips and strategies will prevent a large number of problems while flying and filming with a drone. It will improve the experience and the footage. If there are any questions or problems, contact us. We are happy to solve the issues.