Category Archives: Photos

How AEB can help your drone photography

The following blog post is a guest piece from Chris Anderson, the creator of the site The Drone Trainer.

Modern drones often come with the possibility to capture mind-boggling images at several different exposures, and create stunning HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos. But with that comes an onslaught of HDR photos that are far overdone — and basically burn your eyes.

Here’s your guide on how to create natural looking HDR photos with your drone, using AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing).

What is AEB?

When shooting in AEB mode, your drone’s camera will automatically take three or five shots, each at a different exposure level. On their own, these individual photos are going to be under- and over-exposed. That’s okay though; once you merge them together, you’re going to have a thing of beauty!

Let’s work through this AEB example:

These photos were captured by setting my DJI Phantom 4 Pro to shoot in AEB 5 mode. To adjust this, simply go into your camera settings (right side of your screen below the shutter button), and in photo mode select AEB. You’ll be able to choose 3 or 5 once in AEB mode, depending on the scene that you’re looking to shoot. I find that for scenes that are well lit, AEB 5 works well as all 5 of the photos will capture sharp detail. Continue reading How AEB can help your drone photography

DJI and National Geographic launch photo contest, and the prize is a Mavic

Want to win your very own DJI Mavic Pro? Enter and win DJI’s photography contest, launched in partnership with National Geographic.

The contest is open between now and Oct. 31, 2017 and is being conducted via Instagram. To enter, upload your image to Instagram with the hashtag #MyMavicContest and #NatGeoTravel. National Geographic photo editors will shortlist and select the top 5 entries at the end of the contest.

Each winner will be awarded a DJI Mavic Pro, which happens to be my favorite drone to-date.

Need some inspiration on how to take the winning shot? Dronestagram hosts its own drone photo contest in partnership with National Geographic, and here were the winners from this year.

Don’t have a drone to take pictures with? The deal gets sweeter. DJI and National Geographic have also partnered up to offer a free drone rental program. Successful applicants will be given a DJI Mavic Pro, which they are free to use for two weeks. Learn more about that program here.

Good luck, and happy flying!

Eclipse 2017: the best eclipse photos taken by a drone

A total solar eclipse crossed the United States on Monday, bringing people outside in full force to watch the historic event.

Also out in full force? The drones.

Many drone pilots put their drones in the skies to document the first total solar eclipse to cross the nation since 1918, which carved a “path of totality” from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.

Here were some of the best images taken by drone pilots: Continue reading Eclipse 2017: the best eclipse photos taken by a drone

Here are the best drone photos of 2017, according to Dronestagram

Dronestagram just announced the winners of its fourth annual drone photo contest in partnership with National Geographic, and the images are more stunning than ever.

There were three photo categories: nature, urban and people, and the contest received thousands of entries from professional and amateur photographers around the world. The contest also announced a bonus round of winners in what they dubbed the “creative category.”

See the winners from the 2016 Dronestagram Photography Contest here.

Judges included National Geographic Deputy Director Patrick Witty and Photo editor Jeff Heimsath.

The winners played with shadows, like in Luke MaximoBell’s “Two Moo,” and played with light and color in Alexeygo’s “Dawn on Mercury Tower.” My personal favorite? “Waterlily” by helios1412.

Here were the winners of the contest (all images are courtesy of the entrants via Dronestagram):

Dronestagram contest winners: Nature Category

1st Prize: Provence, summer trim by jcourtial

2nd Prize: Infinite Road to Transylvania by Calin Stan

3rd Prize: Ice formation by Florian Continue reading Here are the best drone photos of 2017, according to Dronestagram

The Skypixel best drone photos of 2016

SkyPixel, a drone photo-sharing community operated in partnership with DJI, has announced the winners of its latest drone photography contest. The contest drew in more than 27,000 entries from 131 countries.

Ge Zheng won the 2016 SkyPixel Photo of the Year with this photo titled, “Fishermen close the net,” which was shot in Fujian Province in China. Here’s that image:

Ge Zheng skypixel top drone photo
Photo by Ge Zheng

The winning photos were selected by a jury of photographers, including photojournalists from Time and Conde Nast Traveler.

Zheng’s winning photo won him a DJI Inspire 2 drone, a DJI Mavic Pro drone, Epson Moverio BT-300 smart glasses, an Epson SureColor P400 Wide Format photo printer and an Adobe Creative Cloud photo membership.

Check out the first, second and third place winners in each of the categories: Continue reading The Skypixel best drone photos of 2016

DJI drone arena: check out photos now that it’s open

The 15,000-square-foot DJI drone arena in Korea opened to the public on Wednesday.

The space is located just south of Seoul, South Korea, in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province and is equipped with safety nets, and an LED-lit circuit for pilots to fly through.

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It’s available for individuals to come in and fly for up to 3 hours for an admission fee of $13.50 per person.  It’s also available for corporate events. for $452 for 30 people and $27 per additional participant.  Continue reading DJI drone arena: check out photos now that it’s open

Drone Nationals results (and photos) — as seen on ESPN this weekend

The U.S. has a new top drone racing pilot.

Zachry “A_Nub” Thayer of Laguna Niguel, Calif., won the 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships at Governors Island, New York this weekend.

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All photos courtesy of the Drone Sports Association

The competition  featured 150 drone pilots in the world. Over the last year, 1400 pilots attempted to qualify at 20 regional qualifiers across the country.

Here are the full Drone Nationals results:

  1. Zachry “A_Nub” Thayer
  2. Paul “Bulbufet” Nurkkala
  3. Christopher “M3” Wang

And for the first time ever, ESPN aired drone racing on its ESPN3 live-stream. Continue reading Drone Nationals results (and photos) — as seen on ESPN this weekend

The best drone photos of this year’s Dronestagram photo contest

The best drone photos out there just keep getting better and better.

Drone photography site Dronestagr.am announced the winners of its third annual International Drone Photography Contest.

Thousands of entries were submitted from everywhere in the world by both amateur and professional photographers.

The competition was judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts including National Geographic Deputy Director Patrick Witty as well as Emanuela Ascoli, Photo editor of National Geographic France and Dronestagram.

It’s crazy to see how much more intense the competition has gotten over the past few years. I love the shot “Moab Rock Climbing” by Maxseigal; I’m a rock climber myself and no how hard it is to master rock climbing photography, so it’s even more of a feat to do it with a drone.

Here are all the winners, and their winning drone photos:

Best Drone Travel Photography

1st Prize Winner – Category Travel: Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Umbria, Italy by fcattutoBasilica-of-Saint-Francis-of-Assisi-Umbria-Italy-by-fcatutto

Continue reading The best drone photos of this year’s Dronestagram photo contest