Drone photography: technology, possible uses and permits

Multicopters are no longer just a small, insignificant branch in photography. Highly developed algorithms in control and sensor technology, compact and at the same time powerful image sensors and reliable gimbal technology have revolutionized the market within a few years. The step of getting a flyable copter nowadays hardly requires any more in-depth basic knowledge of model making. Not least because of this, more than 900,000 semi-professional drones were sold in 2017. But how do you get the most out of your copter? After a few years in the industry, we would like to share a few recommendations and tips that should make it easier for beginners in particular to use multicopters. Legal background With the new drone ordinance from 2017, the operation of multicopters was uniformly regulated for the first time. It is essential to consider whether the copter is used for leisure or commercial purposes, what it weighs, where exactly you want to fly and whether you are violating personal rights. You can find an illustrated overview and a detailed description on the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). A general and individual permit can be applied for from the responsible state aviation authority in your state. The control Get to know the controls at the beginning! The zest for action when unpacking is always great, but a large number of crashes are caused by pilot errors and lack of experience! The leading manufacturers provide a simulator on which you can practice. Here you can also try out which of the four possible assignments on the remote control is the best for you. Perspectives and possible applications Top down Top Down is arguably the best-known setting when it comes to drone photography. Here the gimbal is swiveled down by 90 °, whereby the camera points vertically at the subject. This creates a 2-dimensional impression of the motif, which is also the origin of the name “Flatlay”. This technique is particularly suitable for photographing high-rise buildings or forests, as these are symmetrical to one another and so interesting perspectives are created from the center to the edge. Landscape photography In landscape photography, just like on the ground, it is advisable to use short focal lengths in order to be able to locate the surroundings as a whole. The combination of low temperatures and high humidity / fog can, however, lead to the copter’s propellers freezing up! You should therefore always take a look at the weather on site to avoid the risk of falling. Quite a few spots are also in nature reserves where flying may be prohibited. Night pictures Images at night, especially of cities, have a very special charm from the air. However, long exposure times have to be used here, which is why good camera stabilization and a low-vibration drone are essential in order to obtain an acceptably sharp and at the same time correctly exposed image. Especially the latest generation of DJI copters achieve very good results and exposure times of up to 2s can be achieved without any problems. Image format and sensor utilization The apps of the drone manufacturers often offer the option to change the format of the photos. Find out in the technical data sheet of your copter what format your sensor has and choose this aspect ratio for your pictures. This is the only way to use the entire sensor and get the maximum out of your copter – you can then still crop afterwards. Iris and ND filter for drones If your multicopter has a variable aperture, you have another option in addition to the ISO and shutter speed to regulate the amount of light that hits the sensor. In various tests, however, it was found that with strongly closed apertures, the sharpness suffers particularly in the edge area. For small sensors as well as for Micro-Four-Thirds sensors, a value around F4 is recommended for the best results. If this leads to an overexposed image, the use of ND filters (gray filters) will help you to reduce the amount of light. These are available for almost every copter model from the manufacturer directly or from third parties. Here it is worth spending a little more to avoid unwanted color falsifications. Battery care and use Almost without exception every copter today flies with LiPo batteries (lithium polymer). Compared to older battery generations, these are characterized by a high cell voltage and capacity with low weight. This means that flight times of over half an hour are possible. The disadvantage of this battery technology, however, is its susceptibility to temperature, mechanical impact and overcharging. At low temperatures, the chemical processes in the batteries run more slowly than normal, which is why their voltage drops and your copter can crash. In the event of external damage or overcharging, the battery can catch fire or even explode. Therefore, it is essential to find out about the proper use of your batteries and, for example, think about preheating your batteries in winter. We hope that we were able to give you a small impression of drone photography with this article and look forward to your opinions in the comments.

Portrait photography in the flow – the 7 most important tips for authentic portraits

From Benjamin Wohlert In the flow – what does that even mean? For me, the photo flow is a state in which you practically no longer think about it, but only do it intuitively. The photographer and model are completely on the same wavelength and the photography is completely coordinated – I think that can best be compared with making music together. Both know what to do and when and “are in time”. In my experience, the very best 1% of photos succeed in the flow – that’s why you will find 7 tips here to take photos in the flow and to photograph people in an extraordinary and authentic way. Adapt yourself and your communication to the model What you will see in your photo later is what communication you do! Does the person like to talk a lot or do they prefer to listen? Accordingly, you should behave appropriately, i.e. be a good listener, if the person likes to talk. Conversely, it is your job to lead the conversation yourself more if you notice that she prefers to take on a listener role. In order to have good conversations during the shoot (or during the breaks), it is important that you get to know the person. Get away from boring small talk quickly! Ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with just a “yes” or “no”. In this way you build up a better relationship of trust and are more likely to actually capture “the person himself” in the pictures. Your portraits will be more candid, authentic, and real when you do that. Be genuinely interested in your counterpart. In my experience you can learn something from everyone, broaden your horizons through each person or get to know a different, new perspective on many things. This is incredibly enriching not only for the pictures! Increase the well-being of your model Devote all your attention to the person in front of the camera, listen carefully, notice every little sign, give her security, encourage her, make her feel that she is exactly right and good as she is. That sounds so natural and simple, but I often hear from models that it is neglected by many photographers. And it’s not at all easy, it takes a sure instinct and a lot of experience. Because everyone is different, and that’s what makes it so exciting! If you can make the person feel like the most beautiful person in the world while standing in front of your camera, you’ve made it. Praise and compliments are very important, but of course they have to be honest. After my shoots, I often get the feedback that I “exude such calm” when taking photos. And after a while, this is carried over to the person in front of the camera. One thing is very important to know: emotions are always mirrored between people. You have probably heard of it before. Therefore it is important to show security and relaxation to the outside world, then your model will quickly feel in good hands, even if she is still very unsafe at the beginning. Furthermore, you should try to avoid anything that could make your model feel negative. For example: Unwanted “spectators” during the shoot of any kind (assistants can also be included), clothing that the person does not feel comfortable in, time pressure / stress, uncomfortable seating, too bright light, cold or heat … Develop a feeling for noticing, eliminating, or, best of all, preventing such things in advance, even before the person feels them and speaks to them. Train to be able to see and appreciate light In order to be good in the long term and to achieve the best possible image results in all situations, it is essential to learn to see and “read” the light. But one thing should not be underestimated: It can really take some time! It is, however, that you decide everything in this regard. This is your job alone. Whether hard or soft light, a lot of light or rather little, from which direction it should come and so on – this of course has a direct influence on the appearance of your model in the picture. You can only make these decisions correctly when you have seen how the currently available light is falling. They are the basis for many other things that you determine, such as the cropping, direction of the picture and posing instructions. It is therefore advisable to initially only work with the available light, because you can see it directly when taking photos. I recommend working with flashes later, if at all. Because with the latter you can no longer see the light before it is triggered, but you have to be able to imagine what effect the flash has on the image (or check this afterwards on the camera display and then improve it if necessary). So how do you learn to read the light? Here are a few things I’ve done: During a shoot, you can let your model move in the available light (e.g. turn slowly around itself once) and walk along yourself and track how and where the shadows fall and where, for example, highlights arise. When you come to a scene or situation in which you want to take a picture, first identify the main light source and its properties (direction, color, strength, etc.). Think about what effect you want to achieve on your photo and whether and how this is possible with the available light. You can also train your eye for light in everyday life, wherever you are, without a camera, by analyzing existing lighting situations. You can do it anywhere! Whether you are sitting in the office, waiting in line at the checkout in the shopping center or just taking a walk outside – always try to be aware of, classify and evaluate the light. Ask yourself, “How would I take a portrait here and now if I had to?” And try to imagine what the result would be. You can do all of this anytime, anywhere to learn to read the light. If you can think of another exercise on this, I would be very happy if you write it to me! Experiment with perspective Always try out new perspectives – the positioning of the camera to the object (in this case to the model) is one of the most important and powerful tools of the photographer. Sometimes take photos from high above, sometimes at eye level, sometimes take a very symmetrical face, or also from the side. You will definitely develop a lot as you do more such experiments. And what if a perspective doesn’t work out and looks ugly? No matter! Then you’ve just used a little space, nothing else. But you are smarter than before! Also analyze the shooting angles, image sections and perspectives of other photographers. Just start with the photographers whose pictures you like. Then try out these angles yourself during your shoots. So photograph the same pose of your model from different perspectives, because everyone without exception has angles from which they look the prettiest and some that look less advantageous. People with big noses, for example, are less likely to like themselves in a picture if they are photographed from the side. A frontal image is often better here. One of your main jobs behind the camera is to find those best parts of a person. I personally enjoy this task a lot and I always recommend taking the time to do it. It is always exciting to get to know people and their different sides in this way. Don’t look at the camera screen that often and don’t show pictures in between I know it’s tempting. You take a photo and want to see how good it turned out. Just take a quick look! You’re out of the flow again. Now do you think the model wants to see pictures in between? I always explain beforehand that it is my way not to show any pictures during the shoot. This has always been accepted so far. As long as you don’t constantly hang on to the display, that’s no problem at all! And yes, here, too, I sometimes make exceptions if I am absolutely sure that the picture shown gives the person additional self-confidence and does not unsettle them (see below). Many photographers say that their models want feedback about the pictures, how they look in the photo and what they should possibly do differently when posing or printing. You say that gives the person security. However, I take a different approach: I am responsible for everything when it comes to photography, and trust between the photographer and the model can grow precisely by letting me control that. Also consider: The “wrong picture” that you show in between can create a lot more uncertainty than a “correct picture” would provide for security. My advice: Set the review time of photos on your camera. Take picture series of 15-20 pictures and check in between with a quick glance whether the settings of the camera are still correct. The more experienced you become, the longer your series of images can be before you look at the display again. Try the creative, the crazy and the unusual Use props and things that not everyone can simply buy. Just look for what you can find in the household. This way you save money and train your creativity! In addition, your results will be more individual and you will automatically stand out from the image results of other photographers. For example, if you use a curtain from your grandmother’s attic for light and shadow play, nobody can imitate you exactly! To get your creativity going, here are some things from the household that I have already used when taking photos: curtains, broken glass, mirrors, pasta sieves, sheets, sand, water, drinking glasses, flowers, flashlights, cell phones … The only limit is your imagination! Leave your photographic comfort zone Yes, you’ve read so often that you should leave your comfort zone. It’s already coming out of your ears! But there is something to it. When I started portrait photography, I was the most introverted guy (can you even improve it?) You can imagine. My communication, if it existed at all, was, in German, horrible and full of uncertainty. And today? I’m still an introvert, but I really enjoy getting to know new people through photography and I’m confident in my demeanor. I’ve learned that being good or bad at taking photos has NOTHING to do with it. If there was only one thing I could give you on your way, it would be this. Don’t let anything stop you, grab your camera and go! I wish you a lot of fun, success and good light in our hobby and exciting encounters with great people!

Looking for photo locations?

For me, the search for photo locations is part of a trip, just like packing your suitcase for others. Eye-catching photo locations usually represent spectacular landscapes, breathtaking viewpoints or very special places. Did I forgot something? Many countries have very well-known photo spots: Iceland the Kirkjufell, the Lofoten the village Hamnoy or Germany the Eibsee . You don’t have to look far for these. In addition to photos, there is also a wealth of information on the Internet. But how about lesser known photo locations? How do you search for them or how do you find them? I want to describe to you today how I go about it.For More Information Click On Travel blog. Finding photo locations Often my first step is to search in popular photo portals. There is almost nothing that has not yet been photographed. My contact points are 500px and Flickr . I use the search function and enter my travel destination. I just scroll through the pictures and let myself be inspired. If I discover images with potential, I check … .. whether a geolocation is stored. If this is the case, I make sure via Google Maps. Check whether the landscape in the picture corresponds to what you can see in Google via satellite image. .. or whether the photo location is mentioned directly by name. Then I search explicitly for the name in the Google image search or in the photo portals in order to get more impressions. In fact, it is usually the case that neither the geodata nor the designation is given. Then only the Google image search helps. Here I use the opportunity to search for similar images. Often you will find the recording again or something like that and then with geodata or the name. If the search for similar images is also unsuccessful, I look for keywords that describe the image in the image search. For example, a search term could be “Lake Reflections Drei Zinnen”. Then it is time to scan the search result for name or geodata again. However, this only works reliably if I know the rough location. Photo location portals Another way to find photo locations are portals such as locationscout or 22places . These offer several advantages: In addition to the location, there is also information about the reception and accessibility of the location geographical representation of the photo locations Opportunity to comment on inquiries with the photographer From my point of view, however, the disadvantage is that often only very well-known locations are entered there (… although a lot is happening now). This should not diminish the added value that the portals offer when finding photo locations. However, if you are looking for a little less known motifs, 500px could be a good option. At 500px.com/map you can find a map of the world where all, really all images are stored that were stored with geocoordinates at 500px. Awesome, isn’t it? By zooming in or searching for individual regions, you can enlarge the view and more images become visible. However, it is always worthwhile to search for and verify the locations again using Google Maps. We only recently had the case that we wanted to go to a street art location in Lofoten. We went to the geo-data, searched the area, all in vain. At home in Germany it turned out that the information on the website was simply wrong. Last but not least .. Sometimes you should just leave things to chance, because as Wilhelm Busch said so beautifully: “But here, as in general, things turn out differently than you think” And while we are already with quotations, a necessary note for behavior on location : Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints Please leave the photo location as you found it. Please adhere to the local prohibitions and respect private properties, nature reserves and the like.

Photographing with a filter – the gray filter

Taking pictures with a filter enables exciting picture effects to be achieved. A filter that is often used here is the gray filter. In this post I will show you what the neutral density filter is all about, how you use the neutral density filter, what to look out for when buying and how this affects your exposure time. The neutral density filter The neutral density filter is also often referred to as a neutral density filter or ND filter. These are glass or plastic panes of optical quality. Depending on the filter system, this can be used as a disc or enclosed in a metal ring as a screw filter. What is the difference between slide-in and screw-in filters , I explained in an older post : Taking photos with filters: screw-in or slide-in filters? While searching for neutral density filters in online shops, one often comes across a wide variety of names. ND3.0, ND1000, ND64x, etc. This usually means the neutral density or the extension factor of the exposure time. Using the following table, I would like to show you three common neutral density filters and their different names and modes of action: Sales description Neutral density Light transmission Extension factor of the exposure time ND8 0.9 12.6% 8-fold ND64 1.8 1.6% 64-fold ND1000 3.0 0.1% 1000 times In addition to different names, the neutral density filters are also offered in different sizes. Basically applies here: With screw filters, the mm specification refers to the lens diameter In the case of slide-in filters, the information relates to the height and width of the filter and thus relates to the width of your slide-in filter holder system The areas of application The neutral density filter is mostly used when you … .. cannot darken sufficiently using the aperture to overexpose the image .. you want to blur movements with the longest possible exposure time The first case usually occurs when you want to take photos with the aperture open to highlight an object and the light (usually daylight) is too bright. For example, this could be the case during a photo shoot on the beach. When blue sky is required and the sea and the beach also reflect the light and the shutter speed cannot be set any shorter. In the second case one would like to artificially lengthen the exposure time in order to achieve a motion blur. The stylistic device is often used when photographing bodies of water, e.g. a waterfall or a stream. I would like to show you this using the example of an Icelandic waterfall : The purchase When purchasing gray filters, make sure that they have the greatest possible color neutrality. This means that the filters should not falsify the color information. With cheap products, long-exposure photos can turn milky purple. However, cheap does not mean bad. So far I have had good experiences with Haida products (in the test: Haida filter holder for the Nikon 14-24mm ). A neutral density filter from B + W also serves me well (but this comes from the expensive segment). Only applies to screw filters : In addition to the falsification of color information, when buying gray filters, you should also pay attention to the frame thickness. Particularly “thick” frames can lead to strong shadowing of the edges when taking pictures with a wide angle. Where can you check the criteria mentioned? Before buying, I check sample photos and read testimonials. Blogs and a search on Google are of course good sources for all kinds of experiences. On Amazon you can also find numerous testimonials and sample images for selected filters. Take a photo with a gray filter When taking photos with a neutral density filter, everyone will certainly develop their own habits, so I do not want to presume to speak of “correct photography with a neutral density filter”. Precisely for this reason, I will simply show you how I use them and what I need for it. Basically, three things are necessary for photos with neutral density filters: Camera (including lens of course ;-)) tripod Neutral density filter .. and now the procedure for landscape photos with a “light” gray filter (e.g. ND64) : Set up the tripod and camera and point them accordingly at the subject For optical viewfinders, attach the eyepiece cover and set it to live view Set self-timer with 2 seconds Set automatic timing (mode A, Av) Determine the composition of the picture and focus on the subject ( tips for better photos: the composition of the picture ) If no back button focus is active, switch off the autofocus Attach filter Trigger If the image becomes too dark or too light with, correct it using exposure compensation and take the shutter again Iceland waterfall on the ring road – ND64 filter – EXIFS: f11, 0.6 sec., ISO100, 24mm With really thick filters, the so-called big stoppers (ND1000) , I proceed as follows: Set up the tripod and camera and point them accordingly at the subject For optical viewfinders, attach the eyepiece cover and set it to live view Set self-timer with 2 seconds Determine the composition of the picture and focus on the subject ( tips for better photos: the composition of the picture ) Set automatic timing (mode A, Av) Read off the determined exposure time Set manual mode (M) Calculate the exposure time of the photo using the app ( ND filter calculator ) If no back button focus is active, switch off the autofocus Attach filter Release and expose the picture according to the calculated exposure time (the arbitrary or bulb mode is often necessary as well as a remote release) If the image becomes too dark or too light with, expose longer or shorter accordingly Iceland’s famous plane wreck – ND1000 filter – EXIFS: f14, 30 sec., ISO50, 24mm FAQ Why do you need a tripod? With the gray filter, you aim for long exposure times (often more than half a second) when taking landscape photos. This makes it impossible to take photos freely by hand. Why do you need an eyepiece cover with optical viewfinders? The eyepiece cover is required to prevent unwanted light entering the viewfinder. Even small amounts of light can make long-term exposure unusable when entering the housing. Why don’t I use a remote shutter release? I rarely use a remote release because I’m usually too lazy to take it out. It is quicker to simply set the camera to a 2-second self-timer and then release it. This also avoids the risk of blurring. In my experience, however, when taking pictures with Bulb, you can hardly avoid a remote release. Why do I apply the filter to the subject after aligning it? Strong gray filters darken the picture so that you can neither see the subject in Live View nor in the viewfinder. Therefore, it is better to align beforehand. This saves a few attempts to align the camera with the filter. Why do I turn off the autofocus? The autofocus needs contrast in order to focus. At the same time, the gray filter significantly reduces the amount of light. If you’ve ever photographed in low light conditions, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. The autofocus simply works worse in low light and hardly works at all in absolute darkness. Therefore, before attaching the gray filter, it is better to turn off the autofocus and point the camera at the subject. Which neutral density filters do I use for my pictures? In the beginning I took photos with B + W. However, they were quite expensive, so I sold my B + W ND1000 and bought the Haida gray filter set for it . So far I have not been able to determine any qualitative difference. In terms of price, however, the difference is enormous. What are common problems and mistakes when taking photos with gray filters The most common mistakes or problems I read about are the incidence of extraneous light during long exposures. This usually occurs in two different ways: The eyepiece is not properly closed or covered The body, the lens or the filter (holder) are not 100% tight How to recognize this is very simple: This is how it looks when extraneous light enters Usually the incident light is reflected and leaves purple traces on the pictures. Depending on the intensity of the incident light, the reflection can be seen more or less strongly in the photos. What helps? If light enters through the viewfinder, simply use the eyepiece cover. If light comes through the lens or body, you should contact the manufacturer. Actually, these should be 100% lightproof. What many photographers do to prevent light entering the lens or filter holder: They buy a black tube scarf. Sounds fun, but it actually seems to help.

What Glamor Photography Entails

Evеrу figure photography model muѕt оr ѕhоuld bе able tо appreciate glamor photography. Aѕ thе nаmе wоuld suggest, thіѕ іѕ thе аrt оf making оnе look spectacular аnd vеrу presentable fоr photo shots. remember thаt thе photos thаt аrе taken оf уоu wіll gо a lоng wау tо еіthеr build оr break уоur modeling career. Fоr thіѕ reason thеrеfоrе, уоu muѕt bе аt уоur best аnd thе best wау tо know whаt level іѕ уоur best іѕ tо hаvе thіѕ glamor photography dоnе, nоt just fоr thе sake оf іt but tо bе able tо identify аnd deal wіth аnу flaws thаt mіght bе working аgаіnѕt уоu. At thе end оf іt аll уоu ѕhоuld bе able tо соmе uр wіth a vеrу unique style, posture оr look like оnе уоu hаvе nеvеr seen bеfоrе. Fоr thе best results, thіѕ photography requires thе uѕе оf special light stands thаt ѕhоuld bе easy tо operate durіng thе photo shooting. Thіѕ allows fоr room fоr movement іn thе camera operation. Remember thаt thеѕе аrе shots thаt аrе taken іn a span оf a vеrу short tіmе аnd interference ѕhоuld bе kept аt bay. Sіnсе thеѕе models thаt feature іn glamor photography аrе features аѕ cover models іn magazines аnd аrе аlѕо associated wіth catwalk, film stars, musicians аnd оthеr celebrities, іt іѕ оnlу іn good taste thаt thеу gеt thе photography dоnе bу professional photographers fоr reliable аnd excellent results. Thеrе іѕ good money іn photography world, bоth fоr thе photographers аnd fоr thе models tоо.