Photographing Water from Your Drone Above


As a career-long photographer, it has occurred to me countless times that water is an exceptionally attractive subject to capture with a camera. Water photographs are wildly popular with any audience. Even prior to the invention of the camera, water was painted into the vast majority of landscapes by the artist. A simple shoreline scene often represents the drama of contrasting elements; solid versus liquid, static versus motion and sometimes man versus nature.

Why is water so compelling that it rocks our boat, so to speak? Because water is capable of many moods and is able to reflect our own human personalities. Water can become ice or fog, steam, or snow, placid or violent. Without becoming overly philosophical about the subject, it is worth exploring because we are seeing innumerable images of water captured uniquely by small drones ever since DJI began to build cameras into their consumer level drones four years ago.

Flying a personal drone over water conjures up excitement and exhilaration. There is a feeling of risk-taking, or perceived danger, as if the drone may forever vanish into the murky depths, or fly off the edge of the earth. However, those who fly drones frequently over water soon realize that it is generally more simple and safe than flying over terra firma!

There is a new thirst for tips about how to improve above-water photographs using a drone. When the original DJI Phantom (1) was released, Stacy and I attached an inexpensive sports camera and began to fly from our kayaks in the ocean. Mind you, the technology was nothing near what we are using today and we had our share unnerving experiences. Regardless, we flew over the water more than over land because of the allure. We have a list of “how-to’s” to help you create better water images.





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