4 Aerial Photography Tips for Shooting in Winter Fog

I often work with video and photos in post production where it gives the imagery a nice touch to ad some fog/smoke.

In the summer mornings as the sun is about to rise nice fog can be found over rivers, wet land and lakes. Its a awesome site to see and its really creating a mood. During winter fog can cloud mountains as well as cities. Out by the coast just bellow the Arctic Circle mountains covered with pine forest and deep fjords create a stunning landscape.

Here the fog often builds up in the fjords and raise up the mountain sides as the get lighter. As they also spread gives to some perfect locations.

1. Over the fog

Over the fog
Aperture2.8     Shutter Speed1/100     ISO100     TypeInspire 1

Here you see how the fog is just bellow me. Its light in color so its not a wet fog as its already climbed about 500 meter (Im standing at about 550 meter above the ocean) Its not a perfect shot but it illustrates how to look at the fog for darker color. This usually means more wet conditions something I don`t fly in. If you are unsure but want the fog in the frame try and fly around it into a position where you never have to go through it. I shoot most video so this stills are for illustration.

2. Using light and fog

Using light and fog

Aperture2.8     Shutter Speed1/100     ISO100     TypeInspire 1

In this frame I use the road as a center point in the frame. The dark clouds to the right with the light coming through on the left and front center. The trees are crystal clear in the cold. Then some small parts of the fog is over a open area that have a small river through it so its not that dens then the other one. This creates a more soft effect.

The fog covers the island to the right in the image and the one straight ahead but on the left you see the mountain raises but not the top. This frames in the photo and gives it place for the one who sees it to use its imagination for how high is the mountains and to imagine how the landscape would look like free of fog and clouds.

3. Filming + some advice + Spotter’s

Filming + some advice + Spotter`s

Aperture2.8      Shutter Speed1/100      ISO100      TypeInspire 1

I shoot a film here as a pitch for a project. I cant upload the film here but you find it here.

I want go into much details about video here now just to say that I try as much as I can not to turn (Yaw) but if needed use Left/Right (Roll) when I film and try to only use cuts that are without to much camera movement. I try to look to great Movie pilots like the late Alan Purwin for how he fly and do the most amazing takes. He like all pilots get directions from the main Director like Michael Bay. For those who are interested see his tribute here.

FPV is great and its where you need to look to get the framing right. But head and eyes down in the screen we all know can make for a dangerous mix, So I use at least one spotter on jobs where I feel I need it and on this mountain 2 spotters. I could also see from my point the drone visually all the way but we also know that having line of sight and seeing on the map and video where the drone is located is not the same as you see it when you raise your eyes from the screen. I use radios and not mobile phone to communicate. We also plan the flight in advance and talk about risk.

In the video you see me flying through the fog. If anything would have happened there it would have gone into the forest or all the way down the ravine. But I saw it as soon as it got close to the road and the first spotter could see it all the way from it passed over me and down to the first large corner and then down until the car went around the last corner. The second spotter was above me to scout for the take from above and into the “sun”.

You also notice that the first car I follow is not the same as the one going away. This was due to that the top spotter saw a Ambulance pass by. There was not blue light and it was most likely to come back from a trip to the city but I take no chances so I moved the drone away from the road just in case.

4. From another side and spotters + winter conditions tricks

From another side and spotters + winter conditions tricks

Aperture2.8      Shutter Speed1/100      ISO100      TypeInspire 1

Here is a frame from the movie and it show the mountain from another side. I used a red arrow to point out where I was standing on the other shots/video. Here you also see the lover fog is darker like I mentioned above. This image/flight was taken without spotter as I fly just 100-200 meters away and see it all the way.

Winter is a issue that is more and more talked about for all drone operators and most of us has got the “low” warning and that the propulsion is lower. DJI give you the tips to heat the battery in the car, or their Battery Heater. I also use the brand “hothands” You can get 40 Pairs of Hand Warmers for about 30USD and each last for about 10 hours and is longer then you usually ever need. I use a small fabric between the battery and the warmers and not directly on the battery. I just do this cause I feel its better. When using this I never get any issues. But remember that the IMU need to heat up before take of so give it some time to do that before you go into the air.

Hope this was of some help to some of you. ALWAYS love to hear back and get tips from you out there. We never stop learning! 🙂

PS: The images was edited in Lightroom and the video in After effects. If interested I can post the presets so you can download them 🙂

Author:Rune Wold
Articles fromSkyPixel
All the footage is captured by Inspire 1 Check the deals!