Across each splendid page of Mother Nature’s story, the thrill of adventure is yours to own. Islands around the Pacific Ocean offer abundant ocean resources and sublime photographic inspiration. In this article, we take you through the essential photography and videography tips to help you make the most of your tropical paradise. 

Note: Some descriptions in this article are related to the practice of flying over water. Please fly responsibly and with caution!

Scenery I: Sunrise & Sunset

Sunrise and sunset offer the perfect lighting conditions for photography. We recommend arriving at your destination early to prepare for the perfect shot. With all preparation done, kick back and listen to the lullabies of the summer breeze.

Photography Tip 1: Use Water Surfaces to Create Unique Reflections

Nature is your open easel, where vast water surfaces reflect everything above it to create mesmerizing compositions. During sunrise or sunset, this effect givƒes you pictures that look like beautifully constructed oil paintings.

To achieve this effect, you must first ensure there are stable winds and then proceed to place the horizon in the middle of your frame. Turn the contrast settings up a notch to really bring those colors alive.

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Valentin Valkov


Photography Tip 2: Use the Texture of Waves

Islands offer the perfect opportunity to take in the wonders of nature. The texture of waves reflect light and create unique compositions.

To make the most of this effect, keep the sun in the center of your image. If the textures don’t come out clearly, you can adjust the contrast during post-processing. For the perfect composition, focus your perspective on the sun to create a stunning depth effect in your images. And for those truly stunning memories, a Hyperlapse enables the camera to move while taking a series of timelapse images, bringing splendid motion to your shots. Explore this brilliant feature and make the most of those special moments with the Mavic 2!

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: George Visio

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Colin Smith

Photography Tip 3: Use the Foreground to Create Depth

Framing is a technique used in photography to create depth and make an image more aesthetically pleasing. On an island, coastal details or objects in the foreground are perfect for this effect. Keep exploring new locations and discovering new interesting angles to get the most out of your photography.

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Edward Felton

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Valentin Valkov

Videography Tip: Fly Towards the Horizon

During sunset, the lighting conditions are ideal for filming. You can take a selfie with your loved one during this period of time. To achieve the perfect shot, lower your gimbal down to focus on yourselves, and lift the gimbal up as soon as you disappear from the frame. This is a great shot to place at the end of your travel video.

Footage from Skypixel    Photographer: ucchow

Scenery II: Beaches & Coasts

Lively beaches offer up great scenes for aerial photography. And now you’re about to discover why!

Photography Tip 1: Align Beach Items in Your Shot

With a drone, you can gain an aerial perspective of human activity, as well as the contrasting colors of the beach and the sea. Remember to fly with caution and be respectful of others around you. Click here to find out more about drone safety tips!

We also recommend taking a test flight to determine how items are aligned from an aerial perspective. Be patient and really take the time to compose your shot. Composition is an important photographic element to understand. Below are two examples of how you can use different compositions to create unique photos.Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Valentin Valkov

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Valentin Valkov

Photography Tip 2: Discover the Coastline

Another great scene for all you aerial photography enthusiasts is the contrast between the coast and the sea. The striking juxtaposition of colors provides for a brilliant image.

To obtain this kind of shot, the drone has to be positioned relatively high and it’s critical that you are aware of local laws permitting to altitude restrictions. It’s also important to pay attention to lighting conditions; with stronger lighting conditions, the effect will be exaggerated. The following photos demonstrate how lighting conditions can affect coastline photography.

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: TserBeeR

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Philip Lima

Scenery III: Oceans & Waves

The movement of oceans and waves also provides an excellent source of creativity for photography and videography. Let’s explore this further:

Photography Tip 1: Get Silky Waves with Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure shots, achieved by using a lower shutter speed, can be used to produce images with silky-smooth waves. To achieve this effect, set the camera to Manual mode and adjust the shutter speed accordingly. You can start by changing the shutter speed to 2 s, and increase or decrease it for your desired effect. Also, don’t forget to adjust the ISO and aperture, as they both influence this type of shot. Professional photographers also use ND filters to enhance lighting conditions in their photography. For more information on long exposure photography and ND filters, check out six things you need to know about using filters for long exposure.

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Anders Carlson

Photography Tip 2: Capture the Texture of White Waves

When waves crash into each other they form a stunning wave formation, which can be captured in all its glory from an aerial perspective. Even though it’s easy to spot white waves, it’s slightly harder to find a really creative formation. Try heading to an area with watersport activity to capture this phenomenon. You might also want to adjust your white balance and use ND filters because white waves can be extremely reflective.

Photography Tip 3: A Dress Made from Sea Foam

For a really creative idea, you can also use an aerial perspective to make a dress out of waves. White clothing works best for this effect. Find a beach and determine a comfortable position for this type of shot. When you take off with your drone, adjust the camera so it’s facing directly down onto the beach. Capture the moment when the waves slide over her body. 

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Inwood Photo Air

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Sungjoo Son


Scenery IV: Wildlife 

Photography Tip 1: Interaction Between Aquatic Animals and Humans

In your island adventure, your drone is the perfect tool to help capture unique interactions and bring them to life. 

Before you take this type of shot, always be cautious about the potential risks, as drones may scare the animals around you. We do not recommend flying too close to the surface of the water. A safety distance of at least 2 meters from the water surface is advised (approximately 6.5 feet).

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Stacy Garlington

Photography Tip 2: Record the Behavior of Aquatic Animals

During your exploration, you may discover rare animals, and a drone helps you to capture these stunning moments with ease.

As previously mentioned, your drone should always be kept a safe distance from the ocean surface. Make sure you capture a shot when natural light is abundant.

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Stacy Garlington

Scenery V: Watersports

Islands also offer a plethora of options for adrenaline seekers, with surfing, jet skiing, and snorkeling all providing plenty of creative inspiration.

Photography Tip 1: Trace the Movement

One of the most fascinating things about watersports is the transient marks that are left on the water surface. You can have fun playing around with the composition for these types of shots. In the photos below, the traces of movement have been positioned in the center of the frame. 

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Liridon Bytyqi

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Mike



Photography Tip 2: Capture Moving Objects

It can be very difficult to obtain a clear photo when your subject is moving relatively quickly. Burst mode is designed for this exact situation, allowing you to rapidly take successive photos and capture moving objects with incredible ease. Discover more information about drone photo modes with this article.

Intelligent Flight Modes bring out the best of your aerial adventure. For example, you could use ActiveTrack to film a subject jet skiing or surfing. In these situations, the composition is important for determining the theme of the photo. Discover how to bring your creative projects alive with six tips to make your drone photos Instagram-ready.

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Alex ILIN

Scenery VI: Hotels & Villas

Photography Tip: Investigate Unique Shapes

Your hotel or villa also offers an interesting aerial perspective of holiday life, which you can incorporate into your creative projects.

To obtain higher-resolution photos, you can take photos of different parts of your hotel or villa and combine them together in Photoshop or Lightroom. An even simpler option is to get yourself the Mavic 2 Zoom, which can automatically perform this function with Super Resolution.

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: NAVA inc.

Videography Tip: Use Intelligent Flight Modes

Intelligent Flight Modes allow you to capture stunning footage with ease. But before you decide on the perfect shot, please pay attention to overcrowded areas.

QuickShots add a creative element to your projects, which allows you to create interesting scenes when you’re relaxing at your hotel. Taking the Mavic 2 Pro as an example, you can take advantage of six QuickShot modes: Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket, Boomerang, and Asteroid. Each mode makes creative aerial photography more accessible to users at all levels. The following gif is a great example of using Helix while having breakfast at a hotel villa pool.

Photo from Skypixel    Photographer: Rhys Taylor

Recommended Drones

Unstoppable Fun: Mavic Air

The Mavic Air is a perfect drone for your travel adventures, offering an impressive balance of power and portability. It features a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with a 24mm f/2.8 lens and is capable of capturing 12MP still images and 4K 30fps video. Coming in as the lightweight champion, this is the smallest DJI drone to feature a 3-axis gimbal. The Mavic Air also comes with 8 GB of internal storage, which is super convenient when you can’t find your microSD card or run out of space. Available for only $799, the Mavic Air is the drone that brings your adventure alive!

Click here for more creative inspiration for your travel adventures. 

Buy Mavic Air

Aerial Photography: Mavic 2 

The Mavic 2 is an excellent choice for those that wish to redefine their aerial perspectives and turn their creative projects into reality. It comes in two versions: the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom. The Mavic 2 Pro features a 1-inch image sensor and a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera that shoots up to 20MP high-resolution photos. The Zoom version has a 1/2.3-inch image sensor, a 24mm-48mm focal-length lens, and can perform DollyZoom and produce Super Resolution photos.

With a maximum speed of 72 kph, both versions can also fly up to 31 minutes. Additionally, they can both shoot 4K videos at a bit rate of 100 Mbps. They also share similar intelligent features, like Hyperlapse and ActiveTrack 2.0. Both models offer huge improvements compared to the Mavic Pro, which you can discover here.

The latest addition to the DJI drone lineup, the Mavic 2 also features a foldable, compact design which is great for travel. For those that require the best from image quality, the 1-inch image sensor on the Mavic 2 Pro produces stunning footage. Creative projects are given a breath of life by the lens capability of the Mavic 2 Zoom. For more information please check out the following guide: Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: Which One Should You Buy?

Click here to discover the features of the Mavic 2.

Buy Mavic 2

Professional Projects: Phantom Series

The Phantom Series is the most professional line for DJI consumer drones. Although it’s not as portable as the Mavic 2 Series, the Phantom Series is the standalone heavyweight champion when it comes to professional aerial photography. Taking the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 as an example, it is equipped with a 24mm fixed focal length and 1-inch sensor, capable of shooting 20MP still images and 4K 60fps videos. With impressive sensors around the aircraft, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 provides impeccable flight safety. At a price point of around $1500, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is the ideal drone for anyone who would like to master the art of aerial photography.

Click here to explore the potential of the Phantom Series.

Buy Phantom 4 Pro V2.0


Whether your island adventure is built around total relaxation or involves adrenaline-filled action, drones provide you with a new aerial perspective to redefine your photography and videography. Using the tips from this article, you are well on your way to producing creative projects that will continue to inspire all!

You might also like:

6 Tips to Make Your Aerial Videography Stand Out

Wow Your Friends With Your Cool Drone Selfies

6 Things You Need to Know for Long Exposure by Filter

DJI Mavic Adventures: Film the Action Like a Pro

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