We are experts at aerial filming using drones, especially when it comes to getting the shot in locations where others can't fly.
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Getting the most from aerial filming is like getting the most from almost anything in life, a little planning can go a long way.
It's best to just start by deciding what you need from your aerial filming.
In order to maximise the number of flights we can undertake and therefore the amount of content we can capture for you, planning is everything.
The shots you want to capture may also impact on the kind of drone we use to do the aerial filming, as well as the number of people needed to do it.
If you are unsure of what is possible or what you want to achieve, we are more than willing to help and share our experience.
We also offer a recce service where we can meet you on location and help plan through your needs in more detail.
Many drone operators love to quote pixel counts and resolution as a way of convincing you they have the best gear, but these numbers are meaningless if it's not what you want or need.
Although all of our cameras are capable of shooting ultra high definition 4k, it's worth asking if that is what you want, or even if it is what you need? In fact we find many of our clients only want to record 1080p at 50fps, as the files sizes make for much easier editing, while also offering the option for a level of slow motion.
Instead consider the type of image you want to capture.
Scenario 1: Capturing content to maximise editing flexibility.
The key to creating high end media content is not just having the right pixel count, but ensuring all of the footage is consistent. You want to make sure as you move from shot to shot, that it feels like it was all meant to be together.
Our main cameras all have the ability to shoot a form of 'Log' content if preferred, where the colour is captured in a much flatter profile, which allows for far better colour grading later in editing.
We then have a range of camera brands, with various size sensors to ensure the feel of what we capture can be matched to footage you already have.
Scenario 2: Capturing footage ready to use.
If the goal is to minimise editing or stream live for a direct broadcast, then the main criteria may be a having footage where the colour is already right as shot in the camera.
File size may also play a key part in this decision.
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Not all aerial filming with drones is the same.
The type of shots you are after may determine the type of drone required, as well as how many people might be needed to operate it.
Scenario 1: Basic shots and simple pans.
Almost any drone is capable of these types of shots, so your choice here comes back to our previous consideration around quality.
Scenario 2: Complicated transitions and tracking shots.
For these types of shot, the key consideration is going to be the range of movement in the camera gimbal.
If you take the Mavic Pro drone as an example, the only camera movement option is to tilt up or down. So the only way to pan the camera is to turn the drone, which doesn't always make for the smoothest shots. You may also find the horizon needs fixing in post editing.
In comparison we have drones where we can adjust all 3-axis of the gimbal in flight, with our bigger drones having continuous 360° panning ability.
Scenario 3: Capturing dynamic content.
If you are looking to shoot something at high speed, or while flying through small gaps, then standard drones probably won't be the right option. Instead you may want to look at our FPV filming drones.
The size of drone team you need is very much linked to the style of shot you require.
As a simple guide, a single drone operator set up, where the pilot also operates the camera is fine for more basic shots, such as a view across countryside, but they may struggle if required to fly the drone and direct the camera at the same time.
Dual operator team: (The recommended minimum for aerial filming)
A dual operator team of a remote pilot and camera operator will improve the quality of your footage considerably, as each person is able to focus on their dedicated task.
As the remote pilot flies the drone across the sky, the camera operator is able to ensure the camera is kept pointing at the point of interest, producing smoother and higher quality footage.
Triple operator team:
A triple operator team allows for the additional control over the focus of the camera, which can offer yet another level of detail to footage.
Extra team members:
For high risk jobs, we always use a minimum of a dual operator team, as our camera operators are also remote pilots, which adds an extra level of safety to our flying, but we may also require a dedicated safety observer.
In some locations, it may be important to consider crew to marshal areas on the ground for safety. This is something we can teach you or your team to do, but likewise we have experienced people available to hire if they are needed.
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®Altitude Photography and Altitude Photos are registered Trading Names of Altitude Aerial Photography Ltd.
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We hold an advanced UAS OSC permit from the CAA that allows us to fly our drones with massively reduced restrictions.
This means we can fly and get your shots where others can't.
Minimum separation to the public and property:
Standard - 50m / our UAS OSC - 5m
Minimum separation to crowds of over 1,000 persons:
Standard - 150m / our UAS OSC - 50m
Maximum altitude above surface:
Standard - 400ft / our UAS OSC - 600ft