Aerial Landscape Photography: How to get the Perfect Shot
Aerial Landscape Photography: Get the Perfect Shot
Here in Northern California, one thing we are not new too is incredible landscape photography. We have some of the greatest areas for photographing nature, wildlife, and terrain. Coruscating Images brings the most creative Aerial Landscape Photography to Sacramento, and our work speaks for itself.
I hope this blog will bring some insight to creating amazing Aerial landscape Photography! We will discuss how you can improve your Aerial Landscape Photography, to get a whole new view. Specializing in Sacramento Aerial Photography & Cinematography, Coruscating Images produces high quality Aerial Landscape Photographs.
We are going to discuss some of the shots you weren’t able to get before the Aerial Drone platform came out. How you can use ND or Polarizing filters for slower shutter speeds, and some post processing tips to get the most out of your Aerial Landscape Photography.
Aerial Landscape Photography: ND Filters
One thing that changed my Aerial Landscape Photography was the use of Neutral Density (or ND) filters, and Circular Polarizing filters. These filters are pieces of glass which reduce the exposure stop of your camera, making it easier to shoot at slower shutter speeds, or wide open apertures. Since the Dji Phantom 4 has a fixed aperture of 2.8, these filters are game changing for Aerial Landscape Photography.
On a bright sunny day its very difficult to shoot a scene with slow shutter speeds, and 2.8 aperture. Keeping the exposure correct between the foreground and sky was a struggle for me. Even worse is filming at a low iso and shutter speed of around 1/30th of a second. My Phantom 4 will almost always have a 16 stop, 8 stop, or 4 stop Neutral Density filter on it while shooting anything.
Aerial Lanscape Photography: Drone Camera Settings
On a day with moderate weather, using these filters will really make your sky, clouds, and colors pop. Here are tips I found useful on my drone’s camera settings. I strongly suggest playing around with the various modes yourself. With features like HDR, Exposure Bracketing, Picture Styles, you can easily fine tune to your personal preferences.
Here is the basic Drone Camera Setting I find most useful when shooting Aerial Landscape Photography, and filming Aerial Landscape Video.
- ND 16 or 8 Neutral Density Filter
- Image Quality Set to DNG RAW
- Auto White Balance
- Picture Style (-2, -2, -2)
- No Color Style
- ISO 100-400 Max
Why Shoot Raw, and Why have a Flat Picture Style?
Our Phantom 4 Drone do have its limitations, being a fixed lens, with relatively poor low light capabilities compared to our bigger Full Frame or Mirrorless Cameras. I always shoot in the Raw Digital Negative format on my drone. Being able to pull out shadows and highlights from an Aerial Landscape Image is crucial.
Using a flat image profile for photography and video with the Dji Phantom 4 has given me the most flexibility in post production to put my signature style look onto an image. I like vibrancy, strong colors, bright blues, deep greens, and this setting allows me full control of the color information left in the file. Here is a before and after example of shooting with a flat profile.
Getting Great Vantage Points: Using a Drone
One thing that I’ve always had a great passion for is creating art through photography. Since I was 15 years old I have had a DSLR in my hand. When Dji announced the Phantom 4 Aerial Drone I was incredibly intrigued. A platform that can take high resolution pictures from the sky. I knew this was the perfect way to show people Sacramento in a way never seen before.
Aerial Landscape Photography: A final thought
There is no right or wrong way to make an image. I wanted to give other pilots a view of my process when shooting Aerial Landscape Photography. Using ND filters and the Camera settings to get you perfect shot from the sky. We have thousands of hours shooting Landscape Photography from Northern to Southern California. You can take a look at most our recent work here.
If you have any questions regarding Aerial Landscape Photography feel free to Contact Us at any time!