10 Drone Photography Tips

November 2020 issue Tech

If you’re thinking about broadening your services with drone photography, this article is for you. These tips are based on unmanned aerial system (UAS) FAA rules in the United States (though other countries’ rules are often similar) and my experience with DJI drones.1. EquipmentFor professional use, consider a model with a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor such as the DJI Mavic 2 Pro (with its Hasselblad camera) and the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. The improvement in image quality over a 12-megapixel... Continue Reading >

Brad Walls’ Aerial Images Look Like Modern Art

November 2020 issue News

These aerial shots of swimming pools are part of aerial photographer Brad Walls’ series “Pools from Above.”“I fell in love with the lines, curves, and negative space of the pools,” Walls says of his inspiration, which created nostalgia for his childhood summers.He made the series with a DJI Mavic 2 drone with a 1-inch CMOS sensor. His biggest challenge, he says, was in post-production: “Considering the series relies heavily on the use of geometry, lines, and patterns, it took... Continue Reading >

DJI Mavic Mini Review: Fun Flyer

8.20.2020 Tech

Most people can’t hide a grin when they hold the DJI Mavic Mini in the palm of their hand because they just can’t believe how light it is. Battery installed, this diminutive drone weighs just over a half pound—249 grams—which means you don’t have to pay to register the drone with the FAA. DJI has done it again. They’ve literally redefined the concept of a take-anywhere aerial camera by designing a feature-rich drone that will fit in the most compact spaces.Key FeaturesLike... Continue Reading >

Product Review: DJI Drone Smart Controller

May 2020 issue Tech

Sunlight: The bane of vampires and drone pilots trying to capture photographs using the dimly lit screen of a smartphone or tablet. Enter the DJI Smart Controller, the fusion of a remote controller and a sunlight-readable built-in display. With a hefty price tag of $749, it might be easy to disregard the Smart Controller, but to do so could be a mistake considering the number of potential must-have features it includes.© Courtesy DJIKEY FEATURESDJI says the Smart Controller boasts a... Continue Reading >

High-flying art: Using technology to pre-visualize drone images

February 2020 issue Profiles

The best drone artists steal their ideas right from satellite imagery—and improve on them. That’s the strategy of artists J.P. and Mike Andrews, two U.K.-born brothers known for their incredible aerial images. They’re some of the world’s best drone photographers, but the time they spend flying drones is minuscule compared to the time they spend researching their shots.© Abstract Aerial ArtThe two brothers will drive for hours to remote corners of the earth to photograph bizarre... Continue Reading >

Photographer uses light-carrying drone to draw shapes

February 2020 issue Documentary

What’s more captivating than the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in southwestern Bolivia? The Salar de Uyuni salt flats illuminated by a light-toting drone flying a perfect circle.Last summer photographer Reuben Wu had the opportunity to test the Phase One XT camera during a weeklong Bolivian road trip. He used the camera plus his Rodenstock HR Digaron-W 70mm f/5.6 lens and a tripod. His goal was to build on his photo series that features geometric shapes of light above natural landscapes. He... Continue Reading >

2019 Drone Awards Photographer of the Year

10.25.2019 News

Polish photographer Jacek Deneka was named 2019 Drone Awards Photographer of the Year for this aerial shot of cross-country skiers at the Bieg Piastow Skiing Festival in Jakuszyce, Poland. The 2019 Drone Awards contest honored winners in six categories: abstract, nature, people, sport, wildlife, urban, and video.The contest’s more than 4,500 submissions were judged by 44 photographer jurors from 34 countries. A gallery of the winning images will be displayed at the “Sky’s the Limit”... Continue Reading >

Review: DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone

July 2019 issue Tech

© Justin Moore The 20-megapixel sensor on the Mavic 2 Pro gives aerial photographers more creative cropping options, including vertical crops like this photo of the USS Lexington anchored at Corpus Christi, Texas.Go anywhere, no compromiseA 20-megapixel Hasselblad camera in a foldable drone with 360-degree collision avoidance—too good to be true? Welcome to the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, the latest incarnation of DJI’s wildly popular Mavic series.A couple of years ago, DJI acquired a majority... Continue Reading >

Filters On High: Tiffen Mavic 2 Zoom 6 Filter Kit

1.31.2019 News

Kudos to Tiffen for a well-designed collection. I tested the Mavic 2 Zoom 6 Filter Kit that’s part of the Tiffen ND (neutral-density) Aerial Collection for drones. My tests were of the six ND filters in the set— three ND and three ND with polarizer (PL) filters—which are housed in a nice tin case.© EDDIE TAPP Neutral density filters and polarizers are an essential tool in any photographer’s equipment bag, and they’re particularly important for creating long-exposure drone... Continue Reading >