Topdown drone shots are some of the most fun and creative types of photos you can take with your drone. Read these quick tips by Paul Anthony to learn how to take interesting topdown drone shots.

1. Positioning

This has to be the single most important aspect of achieving these types of shots. You want the viewer to instantly assume what they are looking at is a structure and you’re performing some sort of act on it. To achieve that, make sure your body is loose. For the image below the keys to it are my hand placement, making sure my hand looks like it’s actually holding on to the edge. My back arch, a slight bend in my back gives the illusion that I am leaning and the natural momentum that occurs if I was actually doing this! My feet are pointing. Again, if I was actually doing this my feet would naturally be pointed in this direction.  Lastly, the act of balancing would put my free arm in this naturally lose, floating like motion away from my point of contact!

topdown drone shots

2. Perspective

You’re using relatively straight and symmetrical lines and shapes to create these shots. So be sure you position your drone directly above the subject and area you’re capturing. Being even slightly off on centering will cause this weird warp to the final image that some will notice.

topdown drone shots

3. Get a Volunteer

Bring a spouse, friend, or in my case my two sons to help! Trying to achieve these shots while flying the drone is hard! With a volunteer, you can direct them to get the look you’re going for!

topdown drone shots

4. Props

Be creative! Achieving these shots are fun and different so extend on that and really push the limits. Props can really add to these shots and set you apart from others!

topdown drone shots

5. Lighting

You’re trying to create an illusion. The last thing you need is hard shadows messing with the eyes of the viewer. For these 2D shots, I try to do them on overcast days. Eliminating the shadows help create the illusion you want!

topdown drone shots

6. Clothing

You can have your subjects or yourself in really any clothing unless you’re going for a certain theme or idea. But you really have to watch out for loose clothing. If anything you’re wearing is too loose it will go against the eye’s perspective of what it is seeing and you will begin to notice that it is not a structure but a flat surface. Tuck loose clothing in where you can!

topdown drone shots

7. Coloring

Now I’ll be completely honest, every shot in this series is from only 2 different courts. One is a basketball court and one is a tennis court. Neither of the two looks anything like these colors. With that being said, there are plenty of courts out there with some interesting and amazing colors to use to your advantage. But, if you just have boring courts near you just simply change the colors! It is a little easier said than done but if I can do it with Lightroom mobile then it’s very possible and fairly easy. Take your time, make sure your colors make sense and mesh well together, and don’t fight against the colors your subject(s) are in!

Want to learn more about editing drone shots in lightroom? Check out our post about 10 basic and easy steps in Lightroom to improve your drone photography.

topdown drone shot

8. Wind

A drone’s worst enemy in so many ways! This doesn’t change with these types of shots and if anything it’s more impactful to the final image. Going hand and hand with perspective from above, you don’t want to try to fight the wind to maintain your perspective and symmetry.

topdown drone shots

For more, check out Paul Anthony’s Instagram page here.