Posted on October 20, 2016
With the FAA’s new Part 107 officially in full swing, we can expect an influx of new certified drone pilots to enter the industry (check out this helpful Part 107 guide for more info on this new ruling).
This means it’s going to get tougher and tougher to stand out as a drone pilot that is running your own aerial business. You will need the necessary equipment and skills, but also a brandable business, a clean website, attentive customer service, and new methods of attracting clients.
This is true whether you work locally, nationally, or internationally.
One of the avenues that I see very few pilots fully utilizing is the Internet. Many pilots are sticking to traditional advertising methods and in-person marketing.
While these methods are effective, the Internet can provide a scale that no other channel can match. And odds are, your competitors aren’t taking advantage of it.
In this article, I’m going to show you seven ways to grow your drone business online.
You will learn how to contact prospects effectively, the advertising method that I see all local businesses under-utilizing (not just drone pilots), how to actively use social media to your advantage, and more. Read More
This week I am featuring my friend Vadim Sherbakov’s epic Iceland drone video called Vindur (which is the Icelandic word for “wind”).
Vadim’s video takes you through Iceland’s stark, vast and cold yet beautifully desolated mountain ranges, valleys, waterfalls, glaciers, and canyons that can only be found on this unique island.
Be sure to scroll down before to read more about Vadim’s project and his personal tips and tricks on how he goes about putting together a drone film like this one.
This is a special post done in collaboration with Shabbir Nooruddin who is the founder of fpvfrenzy.com
A lot of aerial photographers get their start with drones by getting ready to fly drones like the DJI Phantom, the Yuneec Typhoon, or even the 3DR Solo.
These drones are really easy to use and very plug and play, but some downsides to a ready to fly drone is the fact that they are limited in the payload they can carry, they aren’t customized to your exact preferences and they can be difficult to repair yourself.
So if you are more of a tinkerer or DYI type of person you should consider building your own customized photography & cinematography drone rig! There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing something you built with your own two hands fly around and work the way you intended it, so building an aerial photography rig can an excellent option.
Another benefit to building your own aerial platform is you really get to customize the rig the way you want, and you have options for building in redundancies which can help protect your drone and keep you flying safer.
This is a special post done in collaboration with me and Vadim Sherbakov who is an independent interactive web and mobile application art director and photographer based in Moscow, Russia. To view Vadim’s work, visit his Instagram feed and Vimeo page.
If you’re looking to take your drone videos to the next level then the tips below were created just for you!
After you implement these tips into your workflow, you’ll capture better looking, higher quality, more engaging, cinematic drone videos.
While a DJI Phantom 3 and DJI Phantom 4 were used to compile the information, the tips included below can be applied to all types of drones models from other manufacturers.
Keep in mind that the tips are divided into 2 sections, Production and Post-Production. Let’s first start with some production tips.
1) Camera Settings
DJI drones use 12mb Sony sensors in both the Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 cameras which is why I always recommend using the lowest ISO possible, preferably 100 to avoid getting grainy footage.
The higher the ISO the grainy/noiser the image is going to be.
That is also why you should use D-Log under Picture Settings opposed to the default “.mov” or “.mp4” video codec setting. D-log captures a flatter, less contrasty image (see image below) which at first won’t look as good as the other options when you play it back because saturation, contrast and sharpness have been dialed back in the profile setting.
However, D-log gives you the best possible image for capturing more dynamic range, which means it keeps more details in the highlights and shadows, which ends up giving you more freedom in post when you go to color correct and color grading your footage.
This is why it is best to select Standard as the Picture Style because you can then add in the exact amount of contrast, saturation and sharpness via your video editing/grading software.
Posted on August 26, 2016
Are you looking to start making money flying your drone here in the US?
Then as of August 29, 2016 it’s a really good idea to get familiar with the FAA’s new Part 107 drone rule for commercial pilots. Otherwise, if you fail to comply with this new rule you could be liable for fines of $1,100 per violation. Yikes!
Maybe you’ve thought about using your drone to capture imagery from the air for real estate agents, weddings, films and commercials or maybe you want to use your drone to inspect homes, construction sites, or to conduct aerial surveying. Or maybe you have been doing all of the above already and have been operating in some of the “gray”.
Well if there is money being exchanged then you will definitely want to make sure you take the necessary steps to become an FAA-Certified Commercial Drone Pilot starting August 29, 2016.
For starters, the new Part 107 rules require drone pilots to get a Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small Unmanned Aircraft Rating, which is basically a license you get after passing an in-person 60 question test that costs about $150.
The test is said to be pretty hard and after researching the sample tests I can see why. The test includes an aeronautical knowledge test, which requires you to be able to read and understand aeronautical charts, understand and decipher aviation weather reports and learn the new operational drone rules.
Check out some of the sample questions via this 40 question FAA sample test to get a feel for what I am talking about or check out a couple sample questions below: