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Tips on Shooting Drone Photography from Phenom Drone Master Chase Guttman

Syracuse University from Above
According to a new study commissioned by Wakefield Research in partnership with Old Spice’s Hardest Working Collection, when it comes to carving out a stellar career, Millennial guys are feeling the pressure more than ever before. And contrary to popular belief, they are far from slackers and cry babies.

Meet drone master and award winning travel photographer, Chase Guttman. At just twenty years old, Guttman has been to all fifty states and more than 55 countries. And while according to the same study, 82% of millennial men admit to fibbing to make their experiences more exciting on social media, Guttman’s stunning images and brilliant aerial photography don’t lie. This Millennial is using his cell phone for much more than posting Snapchat stories and filtered selfies.


He’s already building a legendary career combining his love for travel and photography and the accolades are rolling in. He’s been named “Young Travel Photographer of the Year” three times, Top Travel Photographer by the New York Institute of Photography, a Best Travel Photography Blogger by USA Today, the Young Photographer’s Alliance Emerging Talent Award and Grand Prize in a National Geographic International Photography Competition. He was also this year’s recipient of the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Storytelling and Exploration. He accomplished all of this, attends Syracuse University’s prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and has written, The Handbook Of Drone Photography – A Complete Guide To The New Art Of Do-It-Yourself Aerial Photography.

It’s true, Chase Guttman might be just getting started, but he knows a thing or two about drone photography. Elevate your images with these tips from the master.

  • When it comes to getting your drone air born, Guttman urges new pilots to fly in GPS mode. “This is a lifesaving flight mode as it keeps the drone incredibly stable and still in the air, save any extreme weather or wind condition.”
  • Having an understanding for lighting and exposure will elevate your drone photography. “Because light is a crucial ingredient to every photograph, chasing and capturing dazzling light is a central pursuit for most professional photographers.” He suggests shooting during golden hour and blue hour. “Golden hour refers to the soft yellow-tinted light that fills the skies as the sun begins and ends its journey across the horizon. Each day as the sun rises and sets it has the potential to become almost magical. Before golden hour in the morning and after golden hour in the evenings, there is another special stage in the day’s light. This period, called blue hour is when vibrant blue hues take over the sky. Blue hour is wondrous because it’s one of the most reliable times when lighting is exceptional.”
  • “With drone photography, the pursuit of compositional excellence begins before you even take flight.” Guttman suggest researching your location, framing your focal points, practicing the law of thirds, searching for patterns, rhythm and repetition to create stunning overhead scenes.
  • Before putting your drone in the air, “Start from a place of inspiration. Follow aerial photographers on Instagram and find images through 500px, Flickr, or Google.” In fact, he suggests using Google Earth to see precisely what your aerial image might look like.
  • When you find that perfect location or subject, be sure to power up. “With one or more batteries you can explore the entirety of your environment and envision a shot list of notable perspectives, compositions and frames. If you aim to capture moving imagery as well, snag a third battery so you can fully devote your efforts to capturing cinematography.”
Jennifer Ryan Jones
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jennifer Ryan Jones is a fashion and grooming expert who contributed regularly to The Manual and AskMen.com. Her past…
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