Going from The Ground to The Air - Michigan Fly Photography

Here are some thoughts on transitioning from being a traditional landscape photographer to a drone landscape photographer. I have been a landscape photographer for about nine years. You can check out my "ground" work at www.22northphotography.com. Here are some things to think about:

- Drone photography takes a commitment of time up front to take and pass the FAA Part 107 examination and get licensed. It's not a particularly difficult process, but certainly more than it takes (nothing) to put yourself out to the public as a regular photographer. If you use a drone for commercial purposes (i.e., taking and selling photographs), it is illegal to fly without a Part 107 license.

- You will love the new perspectives that a drone gives you! Shooting directly down on the earth is blast, especially for photographers who love focusing on unique compositions, shapes, colors, etc. And think about all the ground photographs you've wanted to take but there was just a little too much brush in the way. Now you can dominate those shots.

- Although the technology is advancing rapidly, it is still inferior to a professional level full frame camera. Most of the sensors are APSC, and there will be a lot more noise in the images.

- Along the same lines, the technology is quite limiting if you are used to long exposure times. It takes an absolutely calm day and a shutter speed of no more than a half to a full second to get crisp long exposures with a drone. Any wind or longer shutter speed and the images just will not be crisp enough to be marketable (but still could make for some nice web or social media images)

- Learn to shoot without planning. Some landscape photographers like to scope out their shots for a while before hitting the shutter release. Others have accepted that digital is a free medium and shoot first think about it later. If you are in the latter category, you will get more out of the drone. This is because flight time is limited. You simply cannot afford to think too long about your shot. You are better off learning to adjust quickly and shooting a lot.


Looking Down on Point Betsie
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