Looking Straight Down

Straight Down Photography with the Phantom

If you have a Gimbal, such as the Zenmuse H3-3D, installed on your Phantom, you have an amazing feature that can seriously amp up the fun: The camera tilt. Because in aerial photography, since we are operating in an 3D environment, new perspectives open up all the time. One of the most interesting perspectives to me is the straight-down camera perspective. I use it both for video and still photography and produces some of the most rewarding and extraordinary shots. And remember that you can only take such shots with a drone – so they will REALLY stand out!

For straight-down video, I like to fly starting from the ground and moving upwards, moving along the vertical edge of an interesting object, such as a house or tree. You normally see these shots only in movies, so they are always a welcome addition to any video I make.

Another interesting shot, again with the camera pointed straight downwards, is to fly horizontally over an interesting area, such as a park, garden, house, shopping center, football field and so on. They give a nice “floating” effect. Try to fly not too fast, but fast enough to make the scene interesting. If you want to rotate the drone, make sure to do it very slow. Well, this advice goes for all rotation, also in straight-forward looking positions: Do it slower than you would do it intuitively, then you should be fine.

Some of the best photos I took are from a drone pointing downwards, so don’t forget to set your camera to a mode that frequently takes pictures – I prefer every five seconds (the GoPro offers such a setting).


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