March 16, 2023

A Beginner’s Guide to Aerial Photography: Tips and Techniques

By Morkven

Aerial photography is an exciting field of photography that involves capturing images from the air. This guide will provide you with the necessary techniques and tips to get started with aerial photography. The use of aerial photography has grown exponentially in recent years, and beginners can take advantage of the technology available.


One of the most important things when it comes to aerial photography is equipment. You don’t need to have the most expensive equipment when starting, and a basic camera will do, but having a high-quality camera is essential. Drone photography is the most popular aerial photography method today. Choose a drone that has a high-resolution camera and a stabilized gimbal to ensure that your images are sharp and clear.

Another thing to consider is the environment you will be photographing. Different cameras and lenses are suitable for different types of aerial photography. For instance, if you’re flying a drone over a forest, capturing a wide field of view will help you capture the entire area. In contrast, if you’re photographing a smaller subject, like a building, a telephoto lens can help you capture it more clearly.

Camera Settings

When taking aerial photos, it’s essential to have your camera settings adjusted accordingly. Shooting in RAW is recommended over JPEG to capture the highest quality possible. In addition to shooting in RAW format, turning on the histogram in your camera is essential. The histogram will help you ensure you don’t have overexposed or underexposed images.

Set your camera’s ISO to its lowest setting to reduce noise in your photos. Furthermore, using a higher shutter speed will help eliminate motion blur. For drones with a high frame rate, you could also experiment with shutter speeds from 1/1200th to 1/2400th to obtain a sharper picture since drones tend to vibrate during their flight.


Composition is one of the most important aspects of aerial photography. When you’re taking aerial photos, you’ll likely have a more significant area to cover. Start by looking for patterns and shapes that fit well together, such as natural textures or cityscapes. Look for striking colors, like brightly painted buildings, in the environment surrounding you.

Try different angles when photographing landmarks, such as turning your drone 90 degrees to get a vertical shot of your subject. When photographing large areas like cities or national parks, incorporate layers into your shot to create depth. A good rule of thumb is to include foreground, middle ground and background elements in the same frame to achieve this.


Lighting is another crucial factor of aerial photography. While lighting can be less difficult in aerial photography since you’re high above any object or subject, it’s essential to know how the camera is behaving to handle lighting conditions.

When you’re shooting during sunrise or sunset, these times offer stunning, natural light for aerial photography. Take advantage of the stunning color palette of these moments, the soft pink and orange that illuminates the sky, and create dramatic images. Afternoon and midday are the least favorable times for aerial photography because the light is often too bright and harsh.


Safety is the most important thing when it comes to aerial photography. Always ensure that you fly your drone responsibly and within the legal bounds of your country or state. Also, make sure you’re operating your drone in a safe environment and follow all regulations for preventing crashes.

If you’re flying your drone in areas that you’re not familiar with, consult official maps and be mindful of laws and restricted areas. To ensure that you capture clear and well-composed images, it’s important to keep your drone steady and avoid any hazards at all times.


Aerial photography is a thrilling and rewarding field of photography that requires practice, patience and careful study. As a beginner, focus your efforts on the basics such as composition, lighting, camera settings and equipment. With time and practice, you’ll develop new skills and techniques that will help you to create stunning aerial photography that tells a specific story. Remember, though, to have fun while flying your drone and never compromise your safety or the safety of others.