As you know, we often feature videos from drone pilots, along with a brief interview. Today, we’re going to mix things up by highlighting some terrific aerial photography.

Sometimes it seems like videos get all the glory. Though I don’t have any data to back me up, my gut sense is that people are more likely to view and share video content over galleries of still photos. If my hypothesis is true, that’s a shame – because there are some really great aerial photographers out there. Today, we’re going to take a look at the work of one of them.

His name is Brandon Dela Cruz, and he’s from Orange County, California.

DJI Mavic Air 2

Brandon flies with a DJI Mavic Air 2. With its one-half inch 48MP sensor, the Air 2 is an awesome drone with a ton of features packed into its relatively small body. When you combine that with a good eye and a great edit, you can wind up with some really amazing imagery. Say, like this:

Great location and shot from Brandon Dela Cruz…

Brandon has been flying for three years now, and says, “I like being able to have my viewers feel like they are the ones piloting the drone.”

Don’t you wanna be there, like right now?

A tip or two…

We asked Brandon if he had any advice for those shooting aerial video (he does that, as well). He said: “Smooth, slow pans always help give a nice timeless cinematic look. The right settings help too.”

And yes, manual settings are your best friend (along with a good neutral density filter). Brandon is also clearly skilled at photo editing, which can really elevate an image from good to spectacular.

Instagram

The images we’ve been looking at come from Brandon’s gallery and business page. But he also posts frequently to Instagram (you can follow his account here). And that Instagram account features some really fine photography:

Notice how he slowed down the shutter for this shot?
Nice angle, nice altitude, nice subject…

What’s the appeal of flying drones?

We put that question to Brandon. He says, “I love that I can make aerial photography feel like playing a video game. Creating from the sky is magical, and I I enjoy being able to capture photos of my favorite locations from that such a high vantage point.”

We also asked Brandon if he had anything else to add. The FAA will be pleased to hear what he said:

Being FAA licensed has help me learn a lot more about droning as well as taught me to respect the laws of the air. I highly recommend avid drone pilots to get certified if they already aren’t. It also will allow you to fly in certain places, so totally worth it in my opinion!

Brandon Dela Cruz

Brandon’s Instagram page also features some really outstanding edits – where he’s taken the work of other aerial photographers and – with credit – done his own enhancing. Some of those are really spectacular, so we encourage you to go and take a look.


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