Flying comes naturally to model aeroplane enthusiast Clint Ralph, yet he’s confident that new users will find both the DJI Mavic Air and Phantom 4 Pro drones easy to fly. Here are his top 10 tips for getting the shot:

Drone photography by Clint Ralph.

Clint’s top 10 tips for getting the shot

1. Always be on the lookout for new photographic angles and you will quickly realise you have the skill for spotting video opportunities too.

2. Look ahead and plan your flight path. Check if there are any obstacles to overcome? Perhaps it will help to measure the altitude you need to fly at, or find your subject and the reverse on a level plane before flying forward again.

3. Plan to tell a story with your material – perhaps you could follow a stream or adjust your angle at just the right time for that eureka moment.

4. Make subtle movements – flying with a drone’s joystick is much more delicate than a PlayStation’s.

5. It doesn’t hurt to fly with all your sensors on! This might save you a costly mistake. PS: Do not EVER try to catch a drone in flight as it will slice your fingers finer than barbed wire.

6. Fly slowly – you can always speed it up in post-editing.

7. Stay calm, even when onlookers crowd your space.

8. Remember to avoid flying near people when taking off and landing, specifically instructing children to stay clear when taking off and landing.

9. You don’t need to share your footage, but edit it so that others will enjoy the story. The real reward is letting others experience something they may never have had the opportunity to experience before; essentially exposing them to South Africa’s beautifully scenic gems.

10. Add some theatrical flair with music. Apps like SoundCloud have great, free tracks to use.