Unleash Your Creativity: Landscape Photography with Drones

By Wiley Stickney

Published on

Image Credit: B&H Photo

Hey there, friend! When you think about drones, you might picture something invasive or concerning. But let me tell you, these little flying machines can be super fun for landscape photography.

For about two years now, I’ve been super into aerial landscape and cityscape photography, and I absolutely love it. The best part is the freedom it gives you. You can capture shots from heights and angles you could only dream of before.

No more being limited to specific locations or viewpoints. That elusive shot you’ve always wanted from up high? Now you can grab it with a device that costs less than a fancy DSLR lens.

What about the Image Quality?

You’d be surprised at how capable even basic drones (or “flying cameras,” as I like to call them) can be:

  • They can shoot in RAW format and automatically bracket multiple shots.
  • Burst mode lets you capture 3, 5, or even 7 frames in rapid succession.
  • D-log mode gives you greater dynamic range in your images.
  • Shutter speeds up to 8 seconds? No problem!
  • They can fly up to 2km (1.2 miles) horizontally and 500m (546 yards) vertically.
  • Flight times of up to 25 minutes on a single charge.
  • Able to operate in extreme cold or hot conditions.
  • Climb to crazy heights of 5 km if you need to.
  • Software apps include auto HDR functionality.
  • Live video feed lets you frame your shots perfectly during flight.
  • Built-in gimbal stabilization is as good as using a tripod.
  • Wide-angle lenses are ideal for landscape shots.

And that’s just the basics! Some higher-end models let you use interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lenses. If you’ve got a bigger budget, you can even get drones built to carry full-frame mirrorless or DSLR cameras.

But let’s focus on those affordable, portable drones. They’ve come a long way from being mere toys. These things are solid, capable, and super user-friendly – perfect for making your landscape photography dreams take flight (pun intended).

Image Credit: Amateur Photographer

Exploring Landscape Photography with a Drone

So how do you actually do landscape photography with a drone? If you know the basics of photography already, it’s pretty much the same deal as using a regular camera. You’ve got manual mode to adjust all your settings and get that perfect shot. A remote controller connected to your phone or tablet lets you see exactly what you’re capturing in real-time. It’s just like shooting traditional landscape photos, but better!

And get this – you can even use filters with drones! Polarizers, ND filters, ND polars – they’ve got ’em all. Heck, there are even little lens hoods you can use. Wild, right?

With a drone, so many landscape photography opportunities open up for you. No more excuses! But the real magic happens when you can soar up and capture fresh perspectives on familiar scenes, explore new angles, and just let your creativity run wild.

I really think aerial photography is going to keep getting bigger and bigger. Soon, we’ll probably see even better cameras and more affordable drones that can haul our full-frame babies into the sky. With how lightweight mirrorless cameras are getting, I bet it won’t be long before we’ve got drones handling them just as easily as they do point-and-shoots right now.

These are exciting times for aerial photography, my friends – for pros and enthusiasts alike. I can’t wait to see all the breathtaking landscape shots that start popping up.

But most importantly, fly safe out there!

Wiley is a former commercial pilot and flight instructor, who has flown over 50 different types of aircraft, from small propellers to large jets. He writes about the technical aspects of flying, such as aircraft design, aerodynamics, navigation, weather, and safety.