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Choosing subjects to capture?

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I’ll start by saying that I live in what we here in the U.S. refer to as a “fly-over state”. One of those places that you just fly over on your way to someplace more interesting. So I don’t live near an ocean, mountains, rocky cliffs or other jaw-dropping spectacles that I see in the forums here and on Youtube. I’d like to photograph and capture subjects that are interesting to look at though. I guess I’m going to have to get a bit creative when capturing footage near home.

Anyone else in this situation? And if so, any inspiration to share? I’m pretty new to this aerial photography thing, so I probably just need to get into a different mindset and think a little differently. Of course buildings and other man-made structures can be interesting, but they can also be tricky to get at sometimes.

Thanks for any thoughts.
 
Yes living where I do it’s mostly woody . You just have to find what interest you and do the best you can. What I find to photograph
Is what I do as we do have the waterway here. So I do have barges in blue water so I have boats. I do what I can but it’s mostly for my own viewing.
 
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With creativity you can make virtually any subject interesting. A back road, a farm field, a lake or pond, an old church etc. I fly everywhere from beaches, to mountain areas, cities, to farm towns. Sometimes you need to just challenge your creativity. Get inspiration from other photos or videos from like subjects or places.

I will sometimes force myself to free style a bit. Drive around and look for something new or original and do my best to get something good out of it. Sometimes I will go back to the same places in all four seasons to get different perspectives.
 
When I click your location Google shows lots of things to look at. You don’t always need high altitude grand vistas to show. Find interesting buildings, parks, bridges, water ways.
 
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Fortunately aerial photos can be really interesting simply because the view is a totally different aspect to what people normally view.

There's a guy called Tom Hegen who specialises in photography of human impact from the air with drone photos.

This is his page, I googled a few terms and found him, pretty sure it was his gravel pit photos I saw in a news story about a year ago, he made the symmetrical patterns look so cool from the air, basically flying around looking down until he found something to shoot.

The list of his projects, scroll down for an overview photo and check out some of them . . .

Tom Hegen Work

Just saying, old infrastructure is just about everywhere, always interesting to film / photograph, early morning late day light on fields, across grain fields etc, just about anything that from the air will look different from the ground aspect.

People always think their location is boring, but to someone in Alaska, or the coastal regions, Ohio might look so different it makes your images interesting to them.

Look around, you'll find them.
 
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You're drone is a number of different photography tools. It's a gimbal. It's a crane. It's a slider. It's a dolly. It's an arial camera. Play with all kinds of perspectives. Play with movements. Work the scene. What we watch today is a collection of three to four second clips in a sequence. Tell everything you can about a subject. You will make the subject interesting just in how you portray it.
 
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Look through the lens like a photographer would. There are great opportunities right in your backyard, I'm sure.

 
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Everything is more interesting with the right lighting. Learn to see light before subjects.
 
Yes living where I do it’s mostly woody . You just have to find what interest you and do the best you can. What I find to photograph
Is what I do as we do have the waterway here. So I do have barges in blue water so I have boats. I do what I can but it’s mostly for my own viewing.
Exactly, I have waterways around me as well in South Alabama. I ride a bike quite a bit, so I see them ground level, but flying up gives a whole different perspective.
 
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I’ll start by saying that I live in what we here in the U.S. refer to as a “fly-over state”. One of those places that you just fly over on your way to someplace more interesting. So I don’t live near an ocean, mountains, rocky cliffs or other jaw-dropping spectacles that I see in the forums here and on Youtube. I’d like to photograph and capture subjects that are interesting to look at though. I guess I’m going to have to get a bit creative when capturing footage near home.

Anyone else in this situation? And if so, any inspiration to share? I’m pretty new to this aerial photography thing, so I probably just need to get into a different mindset and think a little differently. Of course buildings and other man-made structures can be interesting, but they can also be tricky to get at sometimes.

Thanks for any thoughts.
Surely there is a website out there which has a weekly challenge for drone photographers. I am in a regular photographic site which has a different topic each week. It is amazing to see what some folks come up with. In the last couple of weeks we have had: Back to School, Yellow, Solitary Tree, A tight crop. With topics like that it doesn't make any difference how scenic your location is. You can find something to shoot.
 
Why is the video unavailable to me? It says, "private."

I'm signed in here on this site and I have YouTube Premium. Not sure why I can't play it. Grr
 
any inspiration to share?
In photography, it's all about the light… :)

Scout out locations during golden hour (roughly within an hour of sunrise/sunset) to get the best lighting. This is when ground textures pop and shadows work their magic.


Don't waste autumn colours or spectacular skies. Accept that not every flight will produce great pictures and keep flying.


Accept that the best pictures are often taken at socially inconvenient times, and often a solitary activity. As a photographer friend remarked to me, never travel with someone who doesn't understand what "waiting for the light" means!

Read up a bit on photographic composition. I like Michael Freeman's classic book The Photographer's Eye, which I've read several times and keep learning new things each time, but there are other books on the subject.

Get a few books on aerial photography from the library, as inspiration.
 
You need a subject. A compelling subject or a subject you can make compelling. I live in the Sonoran Desert, a half-hour drive from trailheads into Tonto National Forest. Tonto NF allows drones as long as you follow FAA rules & don't harass wildlife.

Turns out video of flying over the endless desert can be pretty boring, even if it is fun. What I needed was a subject.

From above, I noticed seemingly endless roads through the desert that on the weekend are used by off-roaders driving giant pickups, Jeeps, ATV's, home-built desert buggies & dirt bikes. There were my subjects. I fly up high enough to see where they are & attempt to fly down & film the closest vehicles zooming down desert roads. It's not as easy as video clips make it seem, but it's fun & I'm improving my flying skills at the same time.

I launch my Mini 2 from the dirt parking lots the desert rats .enter the desert from & after I'm done flying I like to hang around the lot & video the returning desert-crusted vehicles & drivers with my phone on a monopod thrust into the air to get a different angle than eye-level.
 
I really appreciate all of the helpful suggestions! This thread has given me a lot of new ideas and inspiration. So thanks for them!

I think I was trying to scout for things that would look good from 300-400’ AGL, when in fact probably not that much really does outside of some very grandiose locations. I’m now starting to think about how interesting things might look at lower altitudes, but from unique angles, and when lighting is premium. The possibilities are starting to open up. Hopefully I’ll be posting some examples soon.
 
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Sunsets are always good. 150' is about all the height you need for that. I do Hyperlapses almost every evening.
 
I think I was trying to scout for things that would look good from 300-400’ AGL, when in fact probably not that much really does outside of some very grandiose locations.
From that height, look for patterns and contrasts in what's directly below.

Things like a plowed field with a lone tree in the middle can look really neat from above, especially if you have the shadow of the tree stretching over the straight furrows. (Again, the light of golden hour is your friend!)

Checking Google maps for your location, you've got what look like some really interesting gravel pits along the Great Miami River that would be worth exploring. The fields around St. Charles Methodist Church show promise, as do those up around College Corner. A straight-down shot of farm machinery in action could be fantastic, under the right light. An isolated farmhouse surrounded by fields. Up around Brown Run Cemetery there are some fields with what look like eroded streams running through them that could be interesting subjects as well.

Come to that, what about a series on small-town Americana? It may be ordinary to you, but exotic to someone who's never been there.

As I said before, see if you can lay your hands on a copy of The Photographer's Eye. Unlike most photography books this is about composition, colour theory, perceptual psychology — all the stuff that goes into making a memorable picture that isn't 'how to use your camera'. I have the complete series.

 
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Things that appear 'ordinary' from ground level can look great from above, even something as simple as a car park. And, choose the time of day to best effect too. I saw a great picture on another forum a couple of weeks ago of, unusually, an industrial estate. The photographer uploaded a photo taken during the day and you wouldn't have given it a second look. He then redid it from the same location but took it at dusk just as the lights were coming on and the photo was just amazing. If you'll excuse the awful analogy, the difference truly was like night and day.
 
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