Aerial Photography

How /where do I start

i have watched 100’s of YouTube videos on the topic maybe contradicting each other as peoples prefences are different,
I have seen some amazing pics on here
I haven’t got a clue about shutter speeds, exposures , filters etc.

The MP is an amazing bit of kit but at the moment its just a flying toy to me.
is it worth taking photography lessons , are there such a thing.


My advice would be to forget about photography lessons for the time being - leave the MP in automatic everything and get out and take photos/video.

What we like to photo/video is very subjective - so if you’re not yet sure what’s going to float your boat, it’s best to get ideas of the kinds of thing you might be interested in from the photos posted by other members, and then research similar things in your area - then get out and take photos/videos (whichever is your preference).

Most satisfaction comes for getting that shot that’s only available by drone. It doesn’t have to be a competition winner - it only needs to put a smile on your face.

Once you’re used to getting these shots, and if you think they could be better - then start worrying about photo courses and asking people here.


Top advice as always Dave


Paul if you want to learn there are lots and I mean lots of photography sites
What’s is best to hone yours skills it to look at others photos and work out how they did it
Auto everything is the safe way but you will never learn exposure F stop
iSO , shutter speed and how they effect one another to get the best photos
Let me know when your ready


thank you Jeff

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The DJI Drones are capable of making some great photographs and videos, I have been amazed by the the quality of image I can get from the Mavic Air from such a small sensor. But there are limitations. My Mavic Air is fixed aperture, which means it limits some of this (another reason to buy the Mavic Pro 2!).

I agree with Dave that keeping it in automatic while you are starting to learn is a good idea as you will have more chance of success. Also only worry about shooting JPG. RAW needs additional editing skills to get the best and that takes more time to learn, and shooting jpg only give you lots of space on the memory card.

But as Jeff suggests, also start to look at others as well. Start to learn what they are doing and then try some of the ideas yourself, learning what adjusting settings can make to your pictures. Basically, you can beat lots of practice. For me, the a key thing to be aware of is what difference the location of the sun can make on the image.

If you are new to photography but have access to a digital camera, practice on that so you can try things out without worrying about flying at the same time.


My advice would be to shoot jpeg+Raw. It gives you the best of both worlds. If you capture an incredible image while you’re still learning which might benefit from the extra capabilities that raw offers then you have the raw image in your library once you’ve taken on the Raw learning curve - which is definitely worth the effort.

As mentioned, the downside of this is that it takes more space on your memory card. However, with today’s larger capacity card being so affordable that shouldn’t really be an issue.


I agree if you have some knowledge of developing software, and I normally delete my jpegs as soon as I have RAW photos transferred. However, for someone totally new to digital photography and learning the ropes it’s more likely that it will end up with loads of huge files filling up disk space on the computer.

But it’s all down to personal choice and developing workflows that suit

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Well … the key question was… “is it worth taking photography lesson”.
Unless you want to invest in a half decent camera and s/w like adobe lightroom… then the answer is no.
You need to be able to manage your vast library of photos for starters.
If you want to go down the serious photograph road - then there’s lots of info online to learn from.
I think most peeps here have spun off from ground based photography so they already have a good insight into managing their drone shots and the limitations of the fixed aperture and how to work around it.
I can’t see anyone being able to successfully complete a photography course with a drone camera alone.
So as for jpg vs raw vs jpg+raw , at the end of the day ?
If your serious … make sure you have plenty of storage.
Shoot jpg+raw if you have the intention of revisiting your raw shots once you know how to manage and process them. That may be some time away.
Practice and don’t be overly critical of your own work - drone shots give a unique perspective so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever replicate someone else’s photo.
One advise I would give… don’t take your eyes off what your drone is up to while your hunting out “that shot” or footage.


Great advice from everyone.

I started off shooting JPEG & RAW but didn’t do anything with the raw files.

After a couple of months I started using Lightroom and was amazed what I could do with my old images.

On the MP I found processing from raw was the only way to get most out of the camera as DJIs processing on JPEG was a bit odd.

I’ve since moved from the monthly Lightroom subscription to Skylar Luminar 2018.

£60 for lifetime license and they are adding photo management update for free soon.

Perfect for hobbyists like myself and would recommend it for anyone looking to start processing RAW images without the cost of an Adobe cloud package.


I’m still using Lightroom 3 stand alone - refuse to pay OTT cloud subscription…
Definitely going to take a look at this Luminar 2018.


I really like it Joe but saying that I’m not a professional photographer.

Been editing raw images from my A6000, MP and M2P and I find it just as good as Lightroom 2018.

Give the free trial a go. If you do decide to buy it look around for discount codes and you can get it for as low as £44.


Certainly will .


Does Luminar have an ‘auto tone’ option like Lightroom does? I tend to use that button to get 90% of where I need to be in one click, then do the final 10% ‘by hand’ :+1:


Superbly put advice @joe.k

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It works a little bit different.

The auto tone equivelant is a filter called “Accent AI” but once applied you can’t adjust individual parameters like you can in Lightroom. It’s supposed to be a one click solution and works pretty well.

I usually don’t bother with it and start with one of the presets then tweak as I would in Lightroom.

There are some Aerial inspired by DJI presets which I’ve not really tried yet.

I normally start with sky enhancer which is a gradient filter and go from there.

Only thing I would really like to see in it is HDR or pano merge like Lightroom but I have other software for that.

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What do you use for Photo merge as that is a key function I use in lightroom ( though only available in Classic CC and not the new CC, yet anyway)?

For merging panos I use Microsoft ICE then import into Luminar.

For bracketed HDR I’ve got photomatix pro which I previously used as a Lightroom plugin but using it standalone now. Its not ideal and im thinking of buying Skylum Aurora HDR.

You can also overlay and blend multiple images in Luminar if that’s what you meant.

I have heard that ICE is good but when I have looked I think it is for Windows only, unsurprisingly!

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There’s quite a few options, I’m sure others will be able to recommend some mac ones.

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