Drone Media is a cost-effective solutions for organisations, individuals and institutions interested in RPAS (Drone) filming and photography through our dedicated focus on SACAA compliance, ensuring safer skies and high quality media.
Whether you’re reinventing your business or adding to your skill set, drones have become an innovative and exciting way to add to your business services and opportunities. From drone photography of your client’s big day to showcasing real estate properties, drones bring so many advantages to the commercial space.
Reasons to get trained for drone flying1. Using your drone’s full potential
Return to home function? Change features whilst in flight? Extend battery power for longer-than-usual flights? While you might understand the basics of flying a drone, advances in technology and the latest upgrades and accessories offer operators the chance to get so much more out of their drone experience than ever before. And the same goes for your client when they see the final product.
2. Learning as much as possible about safety
Set-up, calibration, flight etiquette, regulations.... the list of elements that could mean the difference between a safe and scary drone experience is long and detailed. A good training course will place a premium on safe flight, helping to ensure you not only protect your investment but the lives and property of those around you as well.
3. Keeping it professional
Drone training is about more than learning how to fly your drone (though that’s a major part of what goes on). It’s about understanding the context in which you will be flying – the likelihood is that it won’t just be you and your drone out there. If you want to develop and maintain a professional reputation (as well as ensuring the highest of safety and quality standards), you need professional training. A thorough training course will cover context, environment, rules for interactions with other pilots, as well as the legal requirements for commercial flight.
4. Boosting your reputation
As with most regulated industries, clients are becoming more aware of the importance of property certification when it comes to operations such as commercial drone flights. Proper training that leads to official certification can bolster your company’s reputation as most clients prefer to work with an operator that has been properly trained and knows what they are doing.
5. Engaging with others
Training with others around a topic you are all interested in gives you a great opportunity to network and connect with like-minded individuals. Building personal relationships can be good for business, in terms of referrals, leads, and simply some support from those in the know.
Whatever your business, we are experienced across a wide range of industries and are SACCA accredited and compliant. We use the latest in aerial capture technology and work with only the best trainers and operators (you can see a list of our courses here). Plus, if you sign up as one of our Aerial Media partners, you will be able to promote and re-sell legally procured aerial media as well as fly under our managed Remote Operating Certificate.
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Drones have become big business over the last few years – not only do they offer hobbyists a fun and unique way to capture live footage or scenery from on high, they are a fantastic addition to professional photographers and videographers, especially those capturing a large scale event.
Like any new media, the use of drones has become more regulated over time. Along with legislation governing their use, there are also codes of best practice that will ensure that, if you are operating a drone for commercial reasons, you do so with the care and safety of others in mind. And while there are multiple ways to include a drone in an event you’re part of, there are some guidelines you should follow.
Five start-up guidelines for drone photography at an event
1. Do show off before and after
Put together pre- and post-event videos so that you create a narrative out of the event and make it personal and exciting, adding behind the scenes footage sure to make the final product special to the attendees.
Drone photography and video footage is not the norm and you shouldn’t stick to standard shots when you have the opportunity to do so much more from on high. Take a course or research different drone shots and be sure to make the most of your drone’s capabilities and perspective to get shots that will impress.
3. Do brand your drone
Flying a drone at an event is sure to attract attention. Use this exposure as an opportunity to get your company name and services out there. With the right equipment and operator, you can even use a drone to deliver branded goodies to the crowd, getting your name out there in a way sure to be remembered.
4. Don’t fly without a license and proper registration
All drone flight is restricted by law and all commercial drones need to be properly licensed. It’s also important to understand where and when you can fly, as well as obtain the correct permissions to fly. For example, for safety reasons, flight is restricted at night, at certain heights and speeds, and within a certain distance of airports or airfields. Special approval is required to operate closer than 50 meters from buildings, operate closer than 50 meters from people, operate in controlled airspace, operate within 10 km of an airport, or to release / deploy / deliver any object or substance.
5. Don’t invade anyone’s privacy
As fun as it is to operate a drone at close quarters (with the above provisions in mind), it’s never a good idea to use a drone to invade private space or interactions. Make a plan beforehand about how you will film an event and stick to it, getting all the shots you need to make a great end product. Also, be sure you are on the same page as any drone operators you work with.
Interested in buying a drone for your business? Planning ahead to get the drone you want (and need) is crucial. So be sure to speak to a professional drone supplier and do your research before you make the investment. To kick-start your search, here are five considerations when buying a drone for business that we think are worth considering.
Ask these five questions before buying a drone1. What do I plan to use the drone for?
The purpose of your drone operation will have a significant impact on the type of drone you buy. Consider factors such as the environment (whether you planning on flying outdoors or within a structure can have a bearing on the weight and model of your chosen drone). Also, many drones are now customised to specific experiences – for example, you can get a drone for photography that includes a HD camera with great picture and video resolution for aerial photography and filming purposes.
2. What laws apply to flying a drone as part of my business?
Along with the legal implications of commercial drone flight, the more experienced the drone operator, the easier they will find it to fly a drone. The truth is that certain drones are easier to fly than others. And cheaper drones tend to lack the user-friendly features (such as auto takeoff and landing capabilities) that make drone operation easier, especially if the operator is new to the game.
4. How much flight time do I need?
Recreational drones stay airborne for about 4 – 5 minutes, which is simply not long enough for commercial purposes such an estate showcasing or live event recording. The best (and typically more expensive) drones fly between 15 – 25 minutes and many come with spare batteries to allow you to extend flight times. When looking at flight duration and times, remember to choose a drone with a quick charging time so that you can get up and running as soon as possible.
5. Am I willing to pay for better quality when it comes to my choice of drone?
Cheaper drones tend to be made of cheaper materials such as plastic and, while these might be budget-friendly, they are more likely to experience problems or break down in comparison with more expensive fibreglass or carbon versions. When looking at drone models, it’s also important to determine how easy it is to get replacement parts such as propellers, landing gear, controllers, motors, and batteries. Some drones don’t use universal parts and replacing damaged ones can prove to be challenging if this is the case.
Need help integrating drones into your business operations? Talk to us! When it comes to drones, we are experienced across a wide range of industries and applications, and accredited with the SAAC. Let us help you and your business get the most out of your drone experience!
Whether for pleasure or business, one of the best things about using a drone is the wide range of amazing images (and video) that drones allow you to capture. View from the tree tops? Check. Panoramic shot of your latest show house? Check. When it comes to photography and videography with an edge, drone imagery is the way to go.
And one of the best ways to get the shots you want to get this year is to draw some inspiration from last year. Lucky for us drone fans, Dronestagram has announced the winners of their 2017 International Photography contest – and there are some stunners – take a look for yourself. Embracing the drone’s ability to get a shot from unique angles and perspectives, Dronestagram brings together like-minded drone operators and creatives to share drone imagery in a public forum. And it’s definitely inspiring stuff.
Need more inspiration for your drone photography? Follow these links
Ready to enjoy more stunning drone shots in 2018? At Drone Media, we’re committed to helping drone enthusiasts get their professional drone training underway, especially for commercial purposes. Specialising in aerial media solutions for all kinds of events, we also have an extensive network of drone operators and can help you hire the right team for your drone-driven project. As accredited drone media specialists, we offer a wide range of aerial media solutions, whatever your aerial filming or photography needs. Talk to us about how you want to interact with drones in your business in 2018.
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Looking to create a promotional video for your business or commercial event and want to use a drone to do it? Whatever your industry, drones are becoming an increasingly popular tool in content media creation. Offering everything from a unique perspective to extensive range, drones can capture footage that will make your video unique, helping it stand out from the crowd and wowing your viewers.
If you’re operating a drone for commercial purposes, you need to have the proper qualifications and/or work with a professional drone operations team that can manage the flight and capture process from start to finish. If you are flying the drone yourself, it’s best to think ahead and plan out the shots you need to ensure you get the best possible footage for the final product – one that will highlight the main features of your promotional focus as well as offer viewers something interesting and unique.
Seven tips for creating stunning promo videos using a drone1. Get the settings right
This might take some time, training, and practice but it is important to get your drone functioning optimally to ensure you get the best shots. Examples include – use the lowest ISO possible to avoid grainy footage, avoid the default “.mov” or “.mp4” video codec setting and go for D-Log or standard picture settings that allow for better detailing and more flexible picture editing post-production, aim to shoot double the frame ratewhenever possible for more realistic blur, and use the right filters to prevent a blown-out image.
2. Aim for good weather conditions
While it is possible to shoot in rainy, windy, or cold conditions, it is not recommended. A few drops of rain on your drone’s lens can ruin a good shot. Shoot in calm conditions and try at least three different times of day to see the difference in the shots and give you a selection to choose from for the final video.
3. Shoot and shoot some more
Always shoot slightly more video that you have planned. This will give you some leeway in post-production to add a few more seconds to a shot, create a fade in / out and create easy transitions to other clips. Overshot for 5 -10 seconds and gain so much more than just a bit more time.
If you’re capturing footage with a drone, you might as well do it right and capitalise on the unique nature of video captured from above. Practice with a variety of drone shots – do a panoramic shot, fly backwards, orbit the horizon etc – and get some truly epic footage.
5. Be a ruthless editor
If you’ve got a lot of footage by the time you get to post-production you will have more video that you need. Be ruthless in selecting only the best shots and delete any that are shaky, out of focus, or unclear. Go for the best colour and grading editing software and use it right. Keep scenes short to avoid viewer boredom and be sure to change up the view every now and again, using a series of drone shots for variety.
6. Add a little music
The right soundtrack can bring together a video montage as well as evoke strong emotions. Use music to set the tone of your video and engage your viewers.
7. Work with the experts
From shooting footage to the editing process, an expert is often the best choice if you want to create a promotional video that looks professional but packs an emotional punch – read why it makes sense to hire a professional drone company here.
Creating a promotional video that works and has an impact takes time, skill, and experience. We can help – our team of accredited drone specialists offer a wide range of aerial media solutions sure to suit your promotional filming and photography needs.
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Drones are increasingly finding a place in the real estate industry, especially when it comes to showcasing properties for sale. Not only do they offer a fast, efficient way to survey large properties, they can help you create beautiful videos and promotional materials for potential local and international buyers.
More drone shots designed to show off your property:1. Indoors to outside
Why not get a bit creative when it comes to space and angles? Thus is something you can do if you’ve mastered basic drone flying techniques and are looking to get a bit more technical. Start on the inside of a property and move outside and then up so that you get the feeling of touring through the property just before you get the big picture – using the front door is a neat trick, and an interesting way to show off luxurious properties with grand entrances.
2. Up above and reverse away
Start by keeping the focus wide and taking in points of interest while moving towards the property, then move into a flyover shot, highlighting the property as a whole and the surrounds behind you as you move away. The perfect combination of a slow reveal and flyover perspective. Complete the shot in reverse for the ideal ‘fade away’ end shot to a video montage.
3. Orbit the horizon
One of the best ‘from above’ shots, the key of the orbit is to have the point of focus at the centre of the property. Keep things slow and steady, and always keep the horizon in your shot. Subtly adjust your flight path around natural obstacles while avoiding any jerky movements. Complete the orbit at least once (and, for large properties, don’t forget to pack an extra set of batteries for extended flight time).
4. Cardinal directions
Imagine a compass with the property placed at the centre – the front of the property is North. The aim is to get shots from different points / angles on the compass – the cardinal points. Orbit in equal increments and capture all 8 points on the compass. Use the horizon as your reference point, set the scene by including context, and be sure to keep the whole property in each frame for the best possible effect.
5. The cable slide pan
This shot is a tough one but well worth it if you can get it just right – and by that we mean it needs to feel smooth and effortless (which might take some practice), with no sharp movements or jerky stop-starts. Plot a straight line that slides along the longest side of the property and then simultaneously pan the camera so that it is focused centre at the same time and throughout the shot. It’s like a panoramic moving shot and gives a great view.
Over the past few years, drones have been making a big impact on digital media solutions in a wide range of industries, from corporate to entertainment. And experts predict that the use of drones in commercial spaces will become even more popular this year.
Whatever the business, drone footage (and aerial filming) is becoming an increasingly popular way to capture and report on a project, event, or exhibition. Capture all kinds of events from new business premises for use in a corporate presentation to recording a live company event for promotional purposes and do it all with your drone.
We live in a ‘here and now’ culture where the most relevant news is that which is happening in the moment. Take a live event to the next level by using a drone to stream goings-on to a virtual audience, increasing the impact of the event beyond its present participants.
Weddings, anniversary parties, graduations... our milestones, both personal and professional, deserve to be captured for future enjoyment and future generations. Use your drone to capture these precious times with the highest quality drone solution in town.
Drones are becoming tools of choice in the real estate industry. Drone footage allows real estate agent to highlight the best elements of any for sale property and share those with buyers far and wide. This is a service designed to enhance their offering, making it a sustainable commercial venture for a professional drone operator.
5. Offer inspection services
From infrastructure monitoring to inspecting roof top areas for insurance purposes, drones are increasing being used for surveillance and inspection purposes. They are lightweight, safe, and accurate – and your work could be too.
In this post, we’ll look at some key tips for flying your drone over a property in cold weather. Aerial filming and photography in cold weather is more challenging than in warmer, more optimal conditions. One consequence is shorter flight times as standard drone batteries tend to slow down in the cold, resulting in drops in power and actual time in the air. Very cold conditions can also impact on the sensitivity of the drone’s sensors. And rain is a no-no – if it starts to rain, land and dry off your drone as soon as possible as rain can damage the drone and the footage.
If you’re flying your drone in a very cold area, it’s a good idea to start by checking the manual before you take flight to ensure your drone is capable of handling a harsher-than-usual environment. And, it goes without saying that you should ensure your batteries are fully charged before takeoff.
Practical tips for flying a drone when it’s chilly1. Plan ahead
Because cold weather puts a strain on the drone’s batteries and operating power, try to avoid long flights. Make time to write down a list of must-have aerial shots for the property you’re filming so that you know exactly what you want before your drone takes flight.
2. Be as hands-free as possible
Cold weather tends to mean warmer clothes and, if it’s particularly chilly, you’re probably going to need to wear a hat, scarf, and gloves to avoid freezing when you’re out filming with your drone. When it comes to gloves, choose wisely – you want to be able to handle your drone properly so think about touch screen gloves that allow you to access your device easily, ensuring a much smooth flight and better shots.
3. Keep those batteries warm and dry
To ensure your drone’s batteries operate optimally, it’s important to keep them warm and protected from elements such as wind and rain. Warm and store them properly (for example, in the car instead of just in the boot) and this should help extend their lifespan.
4. Take a moment
Before you take to the skies and start shooting those impressive property shots, let the drone hover for a few minutes, allowing it to warm up. Check the battery temperature (using the app or controller), aiming for at least 15 degrees Celsius. This also gives you a chance to make sure the drone is stable and flying as it should.
5. Keep it smooth
To conserve power and get the best shots, work to operate your drone with smooth, gentle movements. And remember that since the air tends to be denser in the cold, your drone will probably be more responsive than usual.
6. Pack some extra power
Avoid completely draining your batteries in an attempt to max out your flight time. Rather, go to 40% and then bring the drone back and recharge with new batteries to avoid any unnecessary risks. And don’t forget to bring along a mobile charger for the mobile device on your controller, especially if you’re streaming live video as that can take a fair chunk of your power base.
7. Adjust for the perfect shot
Winter and snow can make for a stunning background for drone photography and filming. However, to get the best shot, you might need to adjust your standard camera settings for increased exposure, while taking into account elements such as shutter speed and light levels.
Drones shots designed to show off your property1. Slow and steady
This tip is more about style than type but it will help you get the shots you want. If you’ve gone to the trouble to shot aerial photography of a property, make sure that you have enough material to work with when you get back to the office. After putting together a flight plan (that covers all the bases you want to see in your footage), aim to take long, steady shots of each important part of the property (as per your plan). Aim for a minute at a time of uninterrupted footage. You can cut this down later to create the shot you want.
2. The overhead shot
The overhead shot is one of the easiest to capture, and one of the most effective, giving a complete overhead view of the property. Point the camera directly down and fly over the property. Start by hovering low over a chosen focal point and then increase your altitude while rotating the drone. This will allow you an overhead view of the property as well as its immediate surrounds, giving a sense of scale and context, while creating an interesting visual.
3. The descent shot
This shot gives the viewer a ‘grand entrance’ feel, building a sense of excitement. Start from above and a little in front of the property, Then, with the camera facing down, descend from above while tilting the camera up to track the property. Professional introduction to what you’re selling? Great first impression? Check and check.
4. The sliding shot
A panoramic sliding (or slider) shot used to require a host of complicated filming equipment but advances in drone technology mean that this is no longer the case. Start your drone off at eye level and then move it from side to side to achieve a slider effect. Keeping things slow is important – try to get the shot to look as if the viewer is walking around the property, giving them a comfortable ‘moving around’ perspective.
5. The spotlight shot
This shot involves flying horizontally (in a band) around a property while staying focused on one spot. This kind of shot requires a bit of practice as you have to synchronise the speed of the drone with how quickly you pan the camera to stay locked on the property while moving. If you have an automatic spotlight feature on your drone, this would be the time to use it. And, while this might be a challenging shot, it sure looks great when it’s used right.
If you’re thinking of flying a professional drone commercially, it’s important to remember that commercial drone flight is regulated by law in South Africa. This means that you will be required to get a drone license and comply with safety and compliance regulations.
Three questions to ask before getting your drone license1. I am only going to use my drone to survey my own business and operations. Do I still need to get a license?
Yes. Any drone used in a non-recreational manner is considered a commercial use drone so the same rules apply. And, depending on the type of drone, you might have to register the drone as well.
2. Once I have my license, can I fly wherever I want?
No, all drone flight is restricted by law and it is important to understand where and when you can fly, as well as obtain the correct permissions to fly. For example, flight is restricted at night, at certain heights and speeds, and within a certain distance of airports or airfields. Indeed, special approval is required to operate closer than 50 meters from buildings, operate closer than 50 meters from people, operate in controlled airspace, operate within 10 km of an airport, or to release / deploy / deliver any object or substance.
3. Does Drone Media offer licensing and training?
Yes, this is one of our key services. We can help you navigate through the process of getting your license. We also offer other aviation training – read more about our training courses here.
As aerial photography and filming experts, we are committed to helping media and industry professionals launch and grow their drone initiatives. We can help you understand and enter the drone aviation industry and we invite qualified pilots to join our ROC to complete their flight operations under the supervision of our expert team.
Want to get your drone license? Enjoy industry exposure, RPAS compliance guidance, and a chance to connect with like-minded individuals.
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