Johan Vandenhecke is a professional drone photographer based out of Belgium. He’s traveled the world for the perfect shot – and now, he’s developed the Drone Adventurer Masterclass to share his skills with drone enthusiasts and pros who want to up their game. Here, Johan shares his top three tips for amazing drone photos.
“It takes more than these 3 tips to take amazing drone shots,” says Johan. “You need to learn about settings, filters, composition, subjects, story telling, editing in Lightroom, and selling yourself to partners/brands.
However, these are 3 easy strategies that anyone can apply today to improve their images.”
1) Shoot during golden hour
“This one might seem cliche, but I can’t stress the golden hour enough,” says Johan. “I still see so many drone shots taken during the day with harsh sunlight.”
“Golden hour happens during the first hour of sunlight in the morning or the last hour in the evening,” Johan explains. “The big advantage is that you’ll have soft yellow-orange light and long shadows which will add a touch of magic to your photo. Of course, shooting during golden hour takes a bit more planning, but I assure you the result will be so much better!”
2) Use AEB photo mode
“I discovered this one quite early on in my drone career, but I don’t have the impression it’s widely used among drone photographers,” says Johan. “AEB stands for “Auto Exposure Bracketing,” and it basically means you’ll take 5 photos at the same time, instead of just 1,” he explains. “Each photo will have a slightly different exposure, so you capture all the highlights and all the details in the shadows. Afterwards you can merge them into 1 HDR photo, which will have so much more dynamic range to work with.”
“A good example is a drone photo that includes a subject with some shadow bits and a beautiful sky in the background. If you don’t want your sky to be blown out and still have those nice clouds, that’s where AEB comes in handy.”
3) Don’t be afraid to fly (legally, of course.)
“I know it’s an expensive piece of equipment and yes, it can crash,” says Johan. “But that doesn’t mean you should treat it like your grandma’s porcelain dishes! Your drone is definitely smarter than you. It will stay in the air and even come back when you lose the connection.” (Johan uses a Mavic 2 Pro.)
“So, practice a lot, push it to its limits, fly out even when its windy, fly over water, behind trees or rocks … because that’s where you’ll take your best photos.”
Johan Vandenhecke is a professional drone photographer from Belgium. For the last 2 years, Johan has traveled all over the world to take the most beautiful and creative drone shots with his Mavic 2 Pro.
Over the last 6 months, Johan has developed the first ever Drone Adventurer Masterclass, where he teaches you exactly how to take those amazing drone shots and cinematic videos. “I take you from drone pilot to confident Drone Adventurer, just like me!,” says Johan. Follow Johan at his website, www.johandroneadventures.com or on Instagram.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.