Photography is one of the most exciting things you can do with your drone. You get to see things from a whole new angle and create stunning shots that everyone admires and maybe even make money from.
But every drone photographer will at one point experience a sudden drain of creativity. After you’ve shot the sunset from all the angles you could think of, flown over winding roads and photographed countless buildings, you might be wondering where to go next.
Everything suddenly seems so mundane and boring. You feel like your photos don’t have that wow factor you are used to.
I call it shooter’s block, a term I borrowed from a somewhat similar experience writers go through called writer’s block.
It’s normal so don’t panic or think that you are a terrible photographer. It’s just that you have run out of inspiration.
Not even an expensive photography drone will get you out of the rut. What you need is new inspirations and ideas. Here are 5 ways to get them and refresh your creativity.
1. Use Google Maps & Google Earth
If you are tired shooting the same locations, use Google maps and Google Earth to scout new places. It’s a great way to get inspired from the comfort of your couch.
If you want to shoot nature landscapes, look for places with interesting features such as rivers, lakes and mountains. If you are looking for unique urban photography ideas, scout abandoned industrial parks and buildings.
You can also scout for places with wind farms, winding roads and other interesting scenes. Just make sure it’s legal to fly a drone there.
To get an idea of what the place looks like, check the satellite imagery on Google Earth. Using these images, you can plan precisely where you are going to fly and which scenes you are going to shoot.
2. Look at other People’s Work
Sometimes, the best way to get inspired is by borrowing other people’s ideas. By looking at what other drone photographers are shooting, you might just get a new idea or two.
Stock image and video sites like iStock, Getty Images and Shutterstock are good places to start. Use search terms like ‘drone images’, ‘drone videos’ and ‘aerial photography’ to find submissions from drone photographers.
3. Travel More
You can only shoot the same location for so long before you run out of things to photograph. Start travelling more with your drone, looking for interesting scenes and landscapes.
Sometimes you can find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. So don’t limit yourself to famous locations. Just hit the road and see what you find.
If possible, you can even get out of the country. But remember to check the drone rules of a particular country before going there.
4. Browse Instagram
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✩ ✩ DRONE ✩ ✩ ┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈ ✩ Photo @pauliusor #team_pauliusor Congratulations!!! ❂ Chosen by : @manos_gkm ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ✦ Founder : @kostasboz ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Official tag : #DRONE_GREECE ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ❂ Follow & Tag @Team_greece subgroups ⠀⠀⠀ ◎ Nature_greece ◎ Sunset_greece ◎ Bw_greece ◎ Travel_greece ◎ Minimal_greece ◎ Hdr_greece ◎ Life_greece ◎ Vintage_greece ◎ Artistic_greece ◎ Drone_greece ◎ Abandoned_greece
There are hundreds of drone photographers on Instagram who showcase their work every day. There’s no shortage of photos to get inspiration from.
Don’t limit yourself to aerial drone images only. Shots from the ground by tourists, campers, hikers and travelers can also give you some ideas about where to go next.
You can search Instagram by location like “Timbuktu”, by scenery such as “beaches” or “roads” or by season (summer, winter etc.).
5. Use an App
There are several apps and websites that can help you scout new locations to shoot. Here are a couple of the best.
ShotHotSpot – this website uses location tags to search different databases including Flickr and Panoramic to find the best images from a particular place. You can search a city, town or region.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris – if you already have an idea of new places you want to shoot but aren’t sure how good the photos will be, this app will help. It simulates how your shot will look in different light situations such a morning, afternoon or night. There’s an iOS and Android app available.
Something Else to Try…
Sometimes all you need to do is take a break, clear your mind and you might just see things from a new perspective.
It works for writers. It can work for drone photographers too.