Fall is one of the most beautiful times to take your drone for a flight and take some excellent photos. The colors are more intense, more contrasted and the light is almost always perfect. Think about it – you don’t really have a time of day where light is too extreme to take beautiful pictures! And the “golden hour” lasts that much longer. Welcome to fall, officially my favorite drone photography season!
The best drone photography season
When the trees turn their leaves into hundreds of different brown color tones, fall invites us to go out and fly. And so I did, in one of the most beautiful areas in the mountains. A mountain river – crystal clear – meanders through a verdant landscape. The contrast of green together with red, brown and the whitish color of rocks and first snow on the hilltops gives a magical and very colorful image.
Photography tips for fall pictures
One of the best reasons to go out with your drone in fall is the light. In landscape photography in general, we like to avoid hard light such as it occurs during midday. In summer, this period of overly hard light can take several hours. In fall, the sun is usually so low (at least in northern hemispheres) that the angle is almost always a good one. Also the famous golden hour, when light becomes more yellow-orange toned, is much longer.
Despite the more angled and seemingly perfect light, I still recommend an ND filter for video purposes. The sun is quite intense, and without an ND filter most drone cameras – such as the Mavic Pro or the Phantom 4 – will create some occasional horizontal stripes and shakiness. This is due to the breakneck shutter speeds of 1/1000 or less. While no problem for photography, in a video you want to bring that down to a healthy 1/100 or less (while still at ISO 100).
Another thing in fall is timing – as beautiful as the season is, it changes daily, and it usually doesn’t last very long. Be sure to go out plenty during the sweet spot days, and shoot away!