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7 Tips for Creating Stunning Drone Photography

7 Tips for Creating Stunning Drone Photography

Drone photography can be amazing. The maneuverability of a personal drone can get you above the scene, capturing an event or a gorgeous panorama in a way that traditional photography can’t match. Not only that, but the fisheye perspective that most drone cameras produce creates an open feeling – perfect for landscapes, real estate photography, and much more.

Whether you’re a professional looking for a streamlined look in your photography or a hobbyist just starting out, these 7 tips are sure to help.

1. Try FPV mode.

Some drones offer a First Person View mode, which lets you see exactly what your drone’s camera is pointing at. FPV can give you a much-needed sense of perspective when you’re standing on the ground. The technique also gives you the advantage of framing your shots as you take them and can deliver great long-ranged results.

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Drones with FPV will connect to your smart device and relay the image via Wi-Fi, usually up to a range of around 300m.

2. Use a gimbal.

Gimbals are stabilizer systems that connect the drone to the camera, providing shake-free shots. Nothing ruins a great shot like camera blur, and gimbals prevent muddy shots and the dreaded “jello effect.”

Drones equipped with gimbals will shoot stable photos and footage even in turbulent weather or during rapid drone movement. While they don’t come cheap, having one is a must if you are serious about aerial photography – though you could also make your own.

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3. Rebalance your propellers.

Balanced propellers will make your drone fly and hover more smoothly, which in turn will result in better footage and photos. To balance the propellers, remove the propellers and then carefully reattach them, testing to see if the propeller stays horizontal.

4. Shoot from higher up.

While your instinct might be to move closer to your subject, try doing the opposite for a better view. The wide angle of the drone’s camera lens will create shots with more of the subject in frame. The further you are, the more your drone camera picks up, and the better your end results will be.

Getting that perfect panorama is much easier when you put more space between the drone and the ground.

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5. Keep an eye out on the weather.

Weather can affect everything in drone photography, from the way the sunlight looks to the way your drone will handle in the air. On overcast days, shadows will be softer and the natural sunlight will diffuse, giving you a flat light to work with. If you have no cloud cover, expect hard shadows and bright highlights in your photographs.

Research what weather situation will work best with your subject, and plan ahead to make sure your shooting schedule matches the weather forecast. Sometimes a bright, sunny day will give you the best end result; other times an overcast sky will be better.

6. Know what time of day is best.

Similarly, the time of day will affect your aerial photos. Early morning light provides long, softer shadows and a calmer mood — and if you’re lucky, the morning sunlight will filter through haze or fog for a beautiful effect. Late morning and early afternoon light can give you an evenly lit subject with enough brightness to get all the detail you need.

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Noontime light is often avoided for the traditional photographer due to the harsh light, but drone photography can actually benefit from it – the top-down angle of the sun will minimize shadows and maximize visibility. Sunset and dusk will give you warm light that can create a powerful mood.

7. Keep on shooting.

The trick to all photography, including drone photography, is to keep taking photos. The very act of shooting can give you new ideas, and often you’ll be more willing to experiment as you shoot the scene more thoroughly. Try moving your drone to a different angle or altitude – either way, time invested in taking more photos will pay off.

Drones are the upcoming innovating technology to embrace. They give us opportunities to see the world in ways we’ve never seen before and then share those views with others.

Have you used your drone to take photos? What tips would you suggest? Comment and let us know.

Featured photo credit: Small Drone via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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