The days are longer, the skies have cleared and the sun is shining. For drone pilots, the summer months are a relief and an opportunity. No more missions cut short by poor conditions, and a chance to explore the boundaries of your aerial creativity.
Here are a few ways that you can make the most of what's left of the summer.
Free Time and Good Weather
Summer vacations are a great chance to use your drone in new and exotic locations. For scenery-hungry pilots, a couple of weeks away is more than enough to fill up a portfolio for the coming year.
From city skylines to your nearest untamed wilderness, free time in the summer gives you room to be flexible. So chase those sunsets, hike to your heart's content and get out there with your drone.
Not heading to distant shores this summer? Take a look at our rundown of the best US beaches to capture aerial photography. Why not plan a road trip with scenery in mind?
What to Shoot
With the weather at its peak, summer is the perfect season to capture landscapes with your drone. Beaches offer that perfect contrast of sun, sea and sand, but really any body of water - lakes, rivers and waterfalls to name a few - looks great in the sunshine.
Speaking of which, sunrises and sunsets offer your most photogenic aerial opportunities. It's up to you to find a scene that does the light justice and resist the temptation to hit snooze on your alarm.
Apart from the obvious scenes, summer is the perfect season to capture the unexpected. Got a drone that can track your motion and follow as you get up to something ut of the ordinary? This is the time to test out those features, whether you're climbing, surfing or sailing.
So what drone accessories should be packed along with the suncream, shades and snorkel?
Let's start with something completely free: the Sun Surveyor app. This handy smartphone app gives you real-time information on the sun's movements in the sky, meaning you can visualize how the light will pan out and plan your shots accordingly.
Once that's downloaded, one of your most sought-after summer accessories should be a decent set of Neutral Density (ND) filters.
Neutral density filters are easily placed over your drone’s camera, and work by reducing the amount of light the lens is exposed to.
Not only does this allow you to slow the shutter speed down to capture shots that emphasize motion, it also gives you the flexibility to increase your aperture in even the brightest of conditions without overexposing your shots. Perfect for summer.
Speaking of working in bright conditions, you might also want to take steps to make flying easier when the sun is at its fiercest. That could mean investing in a DJI CrystalSky monitor, assuming you fly a DJI drone, or an equally bright monitor to mitigate the screen glare.
Not willing to blow your summer vacation budget on a high-class monitor? At the lower end of the spectrum you've got standard screen shades. These are available in all shapes and sizes to suit whatever phone or tablet you use to pilot your drone. Simply clip it on and get that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with actually being able to see what you're doing!
Want to discover some more accessories to take your summer drone trips to the next level? Check out our best drone accessories blog post today.