UAVs and Aerial Videography: Tips and Technique

Story by Ralph Bendjebar

In my previous articles on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs/drones) in aerial photography and videography, I concentrated on the ethical and legal considerations, the hardware capabilities of some popular brands, and exposure techniques for both still photography and video clips. In this article I describe some techniques that can enhance your shooting style when in video mode and can result in some dramatic and interesting footage.

First, satisfy all of the legal and ethical requirements for where you intend to launch.

Don’t start recording at takeoff and fly around without a plan until you run out of battery life. Before the launch, work out a plan for what you intend to capture during the flight. Sometimes it’s best to use a first flight to reconnoiter the area before hitting the record button. Decide on an interesting perspective, and practice the maneuver before recording a sequence. Continue reading

UAVs and Aerial Photography: Tools and Techniques

Story and photography by Ralph Bendjebar


Frame grab from Ralph Bendjebar’s video, “Gitche Gumee,” which can be found at:

UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/drones) capable of recording unique and memorable images and high-quality videos are becoming ever more ubiquitous and affordable. Their capabilities in terms of stability, camera control and image quality have multiplied at a dizzying pace over the last few years. There are a great many choices in terms of equipment, and it is outside the scope of this article to attempt to cover them all. What I will do, however, is provide some helpful tips that will ensure that your photography and videography will produce successful results.

I currently use the DJI Inspire and Phantom 4 UAVs to obtain both video and still images. They are far and away the most widely used UAVs, and while there are many other capable drones on the market, I will limit my discussion to how these two have distinct roles in my UAV toolbag. Continue reading