Winter Drone Photography Tips

Winter Drone Photography Tips

Aerial photography in winter: Useful tips

The Internet is already full of the first winter photos. It’s December outside, the sun and frost are outside, and now, it’s time to get out your flying devices and take off the embellishments of a winter fairy tale in such weather. 

To make your flight even safer, while you enjoy a bit of photography, here are some tips for using your drone in winter.

Preparation Before Flying Your Drone

Be sure to charge all batteries, remote control, and mobile phone before flying. It is better to prepare the drone for launch somewhere indoors, and insert the battery into the device just before takeoff.

Even if you are using the remote control, the smartphone must also be charged for operational communication. Especially if, for example, you are shooting in the mountains and other hard-to-reach areas.

A little more preparation

Check your surroundings before flying. It is better to study the place where you are going to shoot in advance. Ask yourself what you want to shoot, from what angles, in what light. Make a rough plan.

Finally, just before the start, you will choose the most suitable site for take-off and future landing. Better if it is a hard, level surface.

Tips: Activate the “Return To Home” mode in advance. This way you can be sure that in case of an abnormal situation the drone will return to you.

Weather is also a factor!

It is great when it’s cold outside, calm and sunny. So first, see what the weather is expected on the day of the planned shooting. If suddenly the cyclone overtook you at the most inopportune moment, postpone the shooting until the best time. Finally, if this happened while shooting, immediately land the aircraft and wait for the weather to improve.

Winds that are stronger than 10 m / s are dangerous for any drone. There are threats of losing control or dropping the device.

Flight

Try flying at a low altitude first so that the drone and all of its components get used to the environment. It will be quite enough 30-40 meters from the ground. If there are no warning signals, fly forward boldly.

Remember that the device must be within the operator’s line of sight. Therefore, even if there is a function of video transmission of the OcuSync signal, do not try to use it to the maximum, flying immediately 10 km to nowhere. Also, be aware of the risk of flying in urban environments and among high-rise buildings. Avoid power lines, wires, tree branches. In winter, when everything is white and white around, the sensors may simply not notice small, subtle details.

Remember that the highest risk of dropping the device is during takeoff and landing, at a level of approximately 1.5 – 2 meters from the ground. Here the air currents are the strongest, and it is not known where the drone can throw: to the side, to the nearest tree, or to the pilot.

Battery

Do not attempt to fly until the aircraft battery is completely depleted. And neither in summer nor especially in winter. Always leave a margin of 15-20%.

Follow the notifications: information about the imminent discharge is always promptly sent to your remote control.

And while most batteries are stable and frost-resistant, it’s not worth the risk. They can also behave in completely unpredictable ways.

Helpful Tips: Keep the drone freezing for 10-15 minutes before launching. This is necessary for all devices (barometer, accelerometer) to adapt to the environment and work correctly

After the flight

When you land, take the quadcopter straight into the warmth. Take out the batteries. On average, the device needs 1.5 to 4 hours to rest after a winter flight. Also, avoid condensation on the aircraft and its components. Water can get inside, which is risky for further use.

Monitor your smartphone

Even the latest iPhone 12, as it turned out, is practically unsuitable for prolonged use in cold weather. It is worth making a few calls, exchanging SMS-kami, and a little more flipping through the pages on the Internet when suddenly the device turns off. And most often at the most unexpected moment.

Already when the device is moved into heat, the “apple” turns on and continues to work as if nothing had happened. When you use an iPhone to sync with a drone, there is a high risk of the connection being dropped due to the phone disconnecting.

In this case, it is better to use Android devices. The models Xiaomi and Huawei Honor are considered frost-resistant. Samsung is unlikely to let you down either. Finally, a reliable guarantor is the use of remote control to control the drone.

Watch yourself

It would be worth starting with this because the main object and subject of any shooting are yourself. Dress for the weather, because no one knows how long you will have to stay outside. Warm jacket and trousers, as well as reliable shoes with good soles and a hat. Even if you habitually stick your hands in your pockets, it is still better to use gloves when flying with a drone in winter.

Shooting tips at a glance

– On a sunny day, snow may be reflected in the camera unstably, with excessive brightness, or, conversely, look gray. Use exposure settings. On a bright sunny day, the indicator should be raised a few divisions higher. In cloudy weather – leave in the standard position or raise one division.

– Use ND filters to create even more interesting shots. In winter, ND 32 and ND 16 are best suited.

– Adjust the white balance manually, or better, leave it in automatic mode. In the second case, it is best to use the RAW format for shooting.

– But the focus is better to adjust manually. In cloudy weather, the camera may incorrectly detect light and adjust focus incorrectly. The image will appear dull and desaturated.

– Play in contrast. Use or look for vivid details in the frames. Shooting one white snow is certainly beautiful, but not ideal for the frame.

– Shoot panoramas. It’s generally a great way to saturate any of your shots. You can use automatic modes, or choose a panoramic view from the available ones (for example, spherical (360 degrees) or interactive panoramas). Use the RAW format for shooting if the aircraft supports it.

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