Drones have certainly changed the landscape for video producers. What once may have cost thousands of dollars, with loads of gear and crew to pull off, can be done with one competent drone pilot and under $1,000 worth of gear.
Drones are great for all kinds of aerial photography, ultra wide shots, crane style moves, and for getting to places that aren’t easily accessible. But, there are several things you need to know before getting into drones. There are laws in place that need to be followed. And there is new drone gear hitting the shelves all the time in a market that’s expected to hit over 120 billion a year by 2020.
Luckily, there are lots of great blogs on the web dedicated to the love of all things drones, including piloting, shooting, and gear reviews. These blogs cover just about everything you need to know in order to be a responsible drone owner and user, and they might just help you turn a hobby into a money-making machine.
Drone Blogs You Should Follow
1. Tom’s Tech Time
One of the top blogs for drone pilots who shoot video is Tom’s Tech Time. Tom is a dedicated drone pilot with lots to share on his quality blog. On the “blog” side of things, Tom covers a range of topics including gear reviews for new gear like his “DJI Goggles Review”. He also discusses practical advice like “How To Transport Your Drone On An Airplane”.
But, as great as the topics are on the blog, Tom’s Tech Time offers a lot more than just typical blog posts. Tom has a section where he shows off the gear he owns with links for purchasing similar products. He has a free download section that includes free drone footage, LUT’s, and more. There’s also a tutorial section with some helpful videos covering various types of Phantom drones.
Perhaps the most helpful section of Tom’s Tech Time blog is the Filming With Drones courses section. Here, you’ll find all kinds of useful material, including video courses, checklists and guides, and links back to the free drone footage. All in all, Tom’s Tech Time has a little bit of everything for the drone video producer.
2. The Drone Girl
The Drone Girl website is the brainchild of drone enthusiast and expert Sally French. Along with being super into drones, French is also a journalist in the tech industry with her finger on the pulse of what’s new and what’s coming.
The Drone Girl isn’t a site dedicated to using drones for the purpose of creating video, but that’s not a bad thing. Sally and team, post about all sorts of drone related topics including laws, gear news, and general industry perspectives. All of these things are useful for drone video producers to know and learn about.
But, The Drone Girl does cover some topics related to the video industry as well. Take this recent profile post called “Meet New York Filmmaker & Drone Pilot Victoria Sendra” as an example. In this post, we learn about a filmmaker who uses drones in her work.
The Drone Girl website has lots of other great resources like the Getting Started Guide that discusses rules and regulations amongst other things. There’s a Drone Buying Guide section that includes a subsection for professional photographers. There’s also a video section and an upcoming events section, which is really useful if you are looking to get out and meet other drone users.
If you are serious about drones and all of the ways they can be useful to you, don’t miss out on The Drone Girl.
3. From Where I Drone
Another great blog and resource dedicated to the art of drone photography and cinematography is From Where I Drone. FWID is a blog in the vein of Tom’s Tech Time, loaded with all sorts of good material.
From Where I Drone is operated by Dirk Dallas, a designer, photographer and professor of digital media. He’s also a drone expert with a lot of knowledge to share.
The best place to start on From Where I Drone is with the Start Here section. Go figure. This section links to many of the most popular posts like “8 Tips for Better Drone Photography” and “Drone Buyer’s Guide: The Best Drones for Any Budget”. There are also links in this section to interviews and resources for inspiration.
Once you get further into the site, you’ll find more interviews, buyer’s guides, and tips and tutorials to sort through. Along with the regular posts including news and reviews, there are plenty of options to keep you busy. Before you leave the site though, be sure to check out Dirk’s Drone Gallery section to get a little inspiration from his gorgeous work. It’s a great place to see what’s possible with drones.
Drones are definitely becoming a huge industry for a lot of reasons. But drones for video and photography are definitely standing on their own. If you are a video producer shooting live content, it might be worth thinking about adding a drone to your arsenal.
When you do, or even when you start thinking about purchasing, be sure to visit all of the drone blogs above. You’ll be way more prepared if you do. And finally, Motion Array has tons of drone stock footage you could incorporate while you get up to speed shooting your own.