It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here, this week from Scotland! I’m currently testing my van, Kofifernweh, to make sure everything is ship-shape ahead of my winter trip to the Arctic coming next month. This trip to Scotland is primarily for the purpose of van testing and second to that comes adventurizing!

This week I want to touch on a drone photography subject but one that can relate to what I suppose is called ‘terrestrial’ photography. Social media and the use of our smartphones has meant a lot more photos are best viewed in portrait orientation than before. When we shoot this way intentionally it’s important to bear in mind all the usual rules of composition, especially when we’re shooting with drones. Take this example:


This three-shot vertical panorama includes the mountain and forest draped with clouds in the background, the majority section of the forest as the middle-ground, and the twisting road in the foreground. This gives our image layers and depth as well as giving it interest. It’s far too easy to let some of these elements go when we shoot a vertical panorama (which we should definitely try doing!) and especially so when shooting from a drone where it’s easy to fall foul of the plane window effect.

The plane window effect is the name I’ve given to a condition that befalls a lot of us when we shoot with a drone. We often forget some photographic principles, merely playing with the drone and being impressed with this birds-eye perspective. Consider everything you already know about photography when flying a drone and try to be more intentional about it.


Shooting top-down drone shots is a perfect example of having to think harder. We have to rely on color, texture, patterns and composition to make up for the lack of sky and the often-repetitive elements in the scene.

Try vertical panoramas to make your social media photos pack more punch!

Much love

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