DroneDJ Pilot of the Week features Petra Leary

petra leary

Petra Leary is an aerial photographer from New Zealand. Her work is colorful, creative, and very fun to look at. Even after years of following Leary’s work, I am always excited to see what she is working on.

You can find Leary’s work all over the internet these days. Her signature images are of sporting courts, such as basketball or tennis, showing off the geometry and patterns from an aerial perspective.

Leary’s creativity in the drone world has unlocked a lot of opportunity for her. She has been featured in magazines, art galleries, Instagram accounts, and books. She has also attracted clients through her creative endeavors over the years.

Recent Work

The photo above is among the newer work Leary has been playing around with. These are composites of her aerial images stitched together in the Adobe Suite. She takes a variety of her shots and creates a very fun, surreal playground for the eyes.

Aside from the composites, I began to follow Leary because of her clean compositions and the simplicity of her work. I love how she uses light and shadow to accentuate her images.

Leary clearly takes the time to research these locations before shooting them. It may not seem hard to find a tennis court or basketball court, but she locates some truly crazy ones for her Instagram images.

Drone Setup

Most of Leary’s work is shot on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro with the Smart Controller. This is one of my personal favorite setups for drone photography. This drone is extremely portable, very quiet, and also has great range. With its 1-inch Hasselblad camera sensor, the image quality is also quite nice for post production. The smart controller only adds to the experience with its bright screen and lack of distractions from phone notifications.

You can refer back to “How to plan an aerial portrait shoot” or “Tips for shooting with your drone,” for more insight on creating aerial photography.

As a drone photographer myself, it is important to stay inspired. Having the ability to follow these amazing creators is something that keeps me going. I look forward to seeing all the work Leary creates in the future.

For more on Petra Leary, check out her website.


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