Conventional photography was turned upside down the moment it became possible, affordable and reliable to attach high-quality cameras to remote-controlled quadcopters.
And since those early days the technology has gone from strength to strength: refined apps, autonomous flight modes, advanced safety features - the space is developing all the time and there’s a constant stream of new products and new capabilities.
All of which means there’s no time like the present to ditch the DSLR and buy your first drone.
Here are a few ways in which drones are elevating everyday photography to new heights.
A unique perspective
The most obvious is perspective. Instead of being restricted to the ground with your DSLR, drones have suddenly provided a platform for unparalleled creativity, opening up every possible angle you can think of and allowing you to find perspectives nobody else has seen before.
Aerial footage is something that’s long been used for nature documentaries and sweeping Hollywood establishing shots. Now any keen photographer has access to that same height and speed at the touch of a button.
Many commercial drone pilots started out as photography enthusiasts and now get paid for their aerial creativity.
Just like with photography on the ground, there’s potential to make a career out of what begins as a hobby. But with drones the possibilities are vast and growing. Inspections, surveys, media work, surveillance… even racing is becoming a potential career path.
Accessible shots no one else could get
One of the most magical parts of owning a drone is knowing that some of your shots have quite literally never been captured before, whether you’re gliding over a glacier in Iceland or hovering over your roof to check out the gutters.
One of those options is obviously more glamorous than the other, but the point is that both are possible because drones make previously impossible shots accessible.
Including elevation and movement in your photography is a sure way to add more personality into your shots and create a truly unique portfolio of work.
Focus on the bigger picture
Sometimes you need to zoom out to truly appreciate the scale and beauty of the landscape in front of you. With a camera on the ground, getting that sense of scale can be difficult, but with a drone? It couldn’t be easier.
Sweeping vistas are best appreciated from above. Drones and an aerial view add so much depth to landscapes shots that you’d otherwise not have access to.
If you’re heading to a scenic destination, think about using a drone alongside a DSLR on the ground to capture the bigger picture from a richer perspective.
You can be the subject
Plenty of photographers love being behind the camera and would rather avoid becoming the center of attention. But if you want to do both at the same time, a drone should be your gear of choice.
Most advanced drones now come with subject tracking and autonomous flight modes. These recognize a pre-determined subject, track it and take care of the controls so you don’t have to. Some models can avoid obstacles while doing all of that. The result is that you can be the subject as well as the photographer.
These flight modes are perfect for capturing action-packed days out, whether you’re skiing, surfing, riding a bike or otherwise doing something cool that you want to get on camera.
If any of the above has inspired you to pack away the DSLR and take a drone for a spin instead, check out our recent post with tips for making the most of spring.