Maximizing Your Drones For Photography When You Travel

  1. First and foremost, it is important when traveling overseas, you check local regulations. Other countries have stricter rules and you may find that you can’t even fly at all. The USA and Canada have no-fly zones in National Parks, European countries are more lax but some are starting to have their own regulations. Iceland, for example, are now prohibiting flights in national parks and tourist spots. So research before you travel.
  2. Check your drones before the trip and when you get to your destination. Hand carrying your drone/s can result in a lot of problems Please make sure you physically check your drone for any damages. Some key points when hand carrying your drone;
    • Gimbal guard – make sure you have it. If you can buy the Polar Pro gimbal guard, the better. It protects or reduces any damages/ misalignment to your gimbal. Gimbal guard – make sure you have it. If you can buy the Polar Pro gimbal guard, the better. It protects or reduces any damages/ misalignment to your gimbal.
    • A good drone bag – Lowepro drone bags are well designed and the shell is sturdy enough to offer protection. As a reminder, do not cram the bag with so much stuff, it might cause damage to the drone or accessories.
    • Secure your batteries. – Lowepro drone bags come with separate compartments for batteries. Make sure you drain your batteries to storage mode before traveling when using airlines.
    • All of these accessories are available in-store or online via
  3. Upon arriving at your destination, make sure you do the usual pre-flight checklist like camera calibration, IMUI, SD card storage space, removal of gimbal guard, etc. I usually hover my drone a few meters above my take-off point and wait for a minute or two to make sure GPS lock and other features are working.

  4. Know the correct settings for aerial photography. If you plan to do more still than videos take note of these settings;
    • Shoot in RAW and AEB (3 to 5 shots). No question about it shooting in RAW will provide more tonal information. Bracketing your shots (AEB) will give more room to have the proper exposure between your sky and foreground.
    • Sharpest aperture based on my experience for P4P and Mavic is F2.8 to F5.6, some photographers say F5.6. Do not use F8.0 as this will result to a softer image.
    • Use ISO 100. Do not go beyond ISO 200, I find that there is chromatic noise above ISO 100 especially photographing golden hour.
    • Don’t use DLOG styles, I usually leave it to STANDARD. Despite shooting in RAW, some photographers (including me) find the D-LOG (used mostly for video) to really dull the colors and less color information in the raw file.
    • Use the PANORAMIC mode of your drones. The new firmware updates have provided auto panoramic and I find them very useful. Just make sure you account for this technique in composing your final output. Adobe Lightroom and ACR have photo merge and they do a decent job stitching them.
    • Use CPL-ND specifically the POLAR PRO vivid or cine series. CPL can be useful in removing reflections or glares. CPL also saturates colors perpendicular to the sun and makes wet vegetation more vivid. ND 4,8 and 16 are also useful for slow shutter speeds when photographing waves, waterfalls or motion. These filters are available in-store or online via

Drone landscape photography or aerial photography provides a unique perspective and is really a good addition to your portfolio. We hope this article will provide useful tips, remember to fly safe and enjoy!

(For UrbanGadgetsPh by EDWIN MARTINEZ –

Published by Edwin Martinez

Edwin Martinez is considered one of the Philippine’s premiere Landscape photographer, he has been shooting travel and landscapes from around the globe. His works have been featured both in local and international publications. He also does photography tours in Iceland, Norway, Canada, US, and other locations.

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