Drones allow you to experience nature in noninvasive ways that you never could before. From a safe distance, you can watch animals of all types in their natural habitats. Yet, wildlife monitoring is not child’s play. There are a few tips you should know before you travel into the wilderness.
Keep a Direct Line-of-Sight
This is a basic rule of thumb for flying that is required by the Federal Aviation Administration. Make sure you have a direct line of sight when flying a drone. After all, it is always easier to fly directly away from or toward yourself. Fly in a straight line when possible, and set up unobstructed lines using objects near and far from you.
Avoid the Jello Effect
There are several reasons why the jello effect happens. Balancing your propellers is the easiest way to fix this problem. Your propellers are usually wobbly or unbalanced when they come out of the package. You can figure out if your propeller is in balance by using a prop balancer.
Don’t Move Too Fast
After a few seconds of trailing wildlife with your camera, you will notice that you need to slow down your drone. This will take practice since your thumbs probably are not used to moving in a fluid, controlled, steady manner. Move your camera in one direction slowly and make minor adjustments. You will need to learn finesse no matter how awesome your set-up is.
Practice Aerial Videography Pans
Once you get used to your drone, consider practicing a variety of aerial videography pans. Each will help you with your wildlife viewing:
– Fly-through – Use an FPV system to pilot your drone through gaps. Before flying through, be sure to fully scout out where you will fly.
– Birds Eye – All beginners should master this. Position your camera straight down, and move slowly over a range of land or stay in one place.
– Orbits – This is more technical. You will need balanced propellers, excellent vibration dampening, a great gimbal, and advanced piloting skills for this.
Make Your Joystick Less Sensitive
You may want to make your joystick less sensitive by tweaking your transmitter settings. This will give you slow, smooth, and beautiful shots. Smooth motion is a must for viewing wildlife.
Do No Harm
Research shows that using drones to observe wildlife is better for animals than direct observation. However, there is also evidence that drones can increase the heart rates in bears. When observing or monitoring wildlife, your main priority should be to do no harm. If it is clear that your UAV is upsetting animals, then move on.