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Book Review: Masters of Drone Photography

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Masters of Drone Photography

Different photographers discuss their approaches to drone photography


The advent of affordable drones and higher quality cameras gives photographers a different viewpoint for their work.

How you decide to use this and how your photographic style moves on is up to you. Keith has been looking at a book covering the work of sixteen different expert photographers.

If you’re wondering how you’d choose to make use of this new viewpoint, then this collection could well show a few ways you’d not thought of.

Book details

  • Editor: Fergus Kennedy
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Ammonite Press
  • ISBN-10: 1781453314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781453315
  • Dimensions: 28.6 x 22.9 cm
  • RRP £25 | $34.95

Masters of Drone Photography

So, if someone gave me a drone, what would I photograph?

Instagram is awash with a sea of examples that in general show it’s marginally easier to take a bad photo with a phone than a drone. The novel viewpoint is what catches your attention.

However, much as ‘discovering’ fish-eye lenses, HDR or the ‘miniature world’ effect from using lens tilt, the novelty soon wears off and you (hopefully) realise that a poor photo is a poor photo, whatever piece of kit you’ve mastered to take it.

As such I rather liked the approach taken when putting this book together. At one level it’s a great book to browse ‘just’ looking at the well reproduced photos, covering aerial scenes all over the world. Photos that are interesting in themselves, not purely technical examples.

Indeed, my first approach was just that – look at the photos. As I did I started noticing the clear differences in style between the contributing artists. I did wonder about the lack of black and white examples though.

Simple things such as is the drone mainly used to get a higher viewpoint (I have an 8 metre mast for this) or is the point that it lets you look directly down on a subject, seeing a geometry, lighting and colour, not apparent on the ground?

Although full of practical tips, the book is certainly not an introduction to the technicalities of drone photography, there are many others addressing this for specific models.

What it does is address the: “So, you can fly and take photos, now what?”  question.

The Q&A sections with photographers are where the book will truly be of value to people wondering if they should look at drone photography from a business POV as well as a hobby. There are discussions about access and the business side of photography, especially worthwhile as the costs of entry decrease.

Many contributors discuss the environment you’ll have to work in, from a regulatory and practical standpoint, adding in personal details about their work and how they got into drone photography.

There are also plenty of notes on the equipment (and settings) used for the photos, along with some notes on software choices.

Are you buying a drone Keith?

Probably not since it’s rather too much money for me (to get a good one).

However, I loved the photos and the mix of thoughts and advice covering the subject. After reading through the book it actually made me more likely to go out and try new things with all the kit I’ve already got. Many of the tips are just as valid for any photographer looking to expand their horizons.

A photography book with great pictures that inspired me to take more photos (just not in the air ;-).

Book contents page

contents page

 

Book Cover

drone book

Editor info

Fergus Kennedy is a marine biologist, photographer, and filmmaker, and an experienced multi-rotor pilot and camera operator. Through his company, Skylark Aerial Imaging, he provides aerial video, still photography, and 3D modelling services to clients including the BBC, ABC Television, Canon Europe, Love Productions, WWF, and the Royal Navy. He has worked extensively in surveys and environmental mapping projects, and operates a small fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). He is the author of Drone Photography and Video Masterclass.

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