Consumer camera drones are now big business and when you see some of the images drone users are now capturing, it's easy to see why.
Drones are giving us access to unique viewpoints of overly photographed scenes, plus they're fun to use which makes them even more appealing.
Many are now designed to be unpacked and flown but if you're new to drone photography, getting to grips with how they work, the rules that surround them and how exactly you capture a brilliant image with them can take a while to get your head around. However, as with all hobbies, there are plenty of guides and books out there that can help you understand this relatively new form of photography. In fact, there are over 100 books on Amazon alone that fit the 'drone photography' genre so there are plenty for you to read.
To help you narrow down your purchase list, we've picked out some of the best sellers, highest rated and most reasonably priced titles currently available. Buying through Gadgets Central doesn't cost more but it does help to support the site - so thank you.
The Photographer's Guide To Drones
Aimed specifically at drone photographers, this book is packed with helpful tips and information. The technology discussed will become outdated but never-the-less, it's still a good title as the techniques discussed will always be applicable. The Photographer's Guide to Drones explains everything photographers specifically need to know about drones and Colin accompanies his helpful text with fabulous examples of drone photography, too. Plus, the section on post-processing is useful and isn't something you see regularly.
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram
New off the press, Dronescapes brings together the very best photographs taken by quadcopters from around the globe. This includes a bird's eye view of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, a photograph taken inches away from an eagle in mid-flight and a vertiginous shot taken above Mexico’s Tamul Waterfalls.
This isn't really a 'how-to' guide book, it's more of an inspirational read but there are the odd bits of commentary on individual images from notable photographers and a separate user guide containing key advice on how to use your drone. An introduction also discusses how the arrival of drone photography signals a major shift in the history of aerial photography.
The Complete Guide to Drones 2nd Edition
This book might not be specifically about taking photos with drones but it does contain plenty of useful information on buying and flying your first drone. From getting to grips with the jargon, to even how you can design and build your own drone, there's plenty to learn and read. There's even advice on how to read sectional charts (a pilot's map).
As for the book's layout, it's simple to follow and the language used isn't overly complicated which means it's easy to understand. The book is also well-illustrated and guides the reader through six main chapters that cover all of the topics you think of when enquiring about drone photography.
Above the World: Earth Through a Drone's Eye
Flying cameras, freed from the constraints of gravity, have redefined how we look at the world, particularly when it comes to photography and this book shines a spotlight on some of the world's best aerial photography. The book contains images by well-known aerial photographers like George Steinmetz and Cameron Davidson, and those of landscape photographers turned drone flyers such as Trey Ratcliff and Elia Locardi. Plus, phenomenal images captured by non-professional photographers can also be seen across many of the pages.
The subjects of those showcased range from a volcanic eruption to the abstract patterns of fish farms as seen from above, and from never before seen views of Patagonia to powerful impressions of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.
It's not a guidebook but it will fill you with inspiration and there are fascinating interviews with the artists about their featured photo and drone photography in general included.
The Drone Pilot's Handbook
More of a starter book than a general guide, a beginner can learn quite a bit from this title. The design is quite cartoon-like but with short sections and easy-to-read text, the book doesn't overcomplicate the subject. There are 6 chapters which include the rules surrounding flying drones and specific sections on what you're going to be using the drone for.
This book doesn't just focus on aerial photography so if you're just looking for a guide that'll help you perfect your drone photography skills, this might not be the title for you.
Quadcopters and Drones: A Beginner's Guide to Successfully Flying and Choosing the Right Drone
Best-selling author, Mark Smith provides great information to anyone interested in the awesome hobby of piloting a drone through the sky. While this drone book may be geared towards the novice hobby pilot, there are plenty of great tips that even experienced pilots can pick up. Real life pictures describe in detail the easiest ways to get your new drone in the air and the safest way to make sure it lands in one piece and there's also a section on how to capture the best photos and videos you can with your new drone.
The book is comprehensive, concise and written in a way that's not over complicated but not so simple that you'd have been better getting a free guide off the internet. It definitely helps that Mark is passionate about drones and this does come across in the book.
Drones The Mastery Collection: This Collection contains 2 books from the series Drones: The Professional Drone Pilot's Manual and Drones: Mastering Flight Techniques
The Mastery Collection was designed to pull together all the relevant information that any prospective drone owner needs in order to go from beginner to pro-drone flyer. The 2 books contained within this collection work in unison through simple to follow how-to guides that cover all aspects of drones.
The first book provides information on choosing a drone, right through to completing a commercial project and the second book focuses just on flying and control. Many flight techniques are explained to help you perfect your photography and there are real-life examples as well as numerous tried and tested methods shown/discussed throughout.
It's an informative read that's well written, concise and perfect for those who are just starting to explore drone photography.
The Drone Camera Handbook: A complete step-by-step guide to aerial photography and filmmaking
The Drone Camera Handbook is described as 'the manual that should have come in the box' for all drone enthusiasts. Inside the pages, you'll find information on how to choose the right drone, advice on flying, tips on shooting in different conditions and across various terrains, tips from experts on photography, international drone rules and post-production advice.
It's more suited to those who haven't bought a drone yet rather than the regular drone flyer with its straight-to-the-point but basic information.
Drone Flying: A Practical Guide
Ideal for those who are new to the world of drones, this book is a generic logical and applicable to as wide an audience as possible. The book is broken into two sections: the fundamental concepts at the start and practical tips and guides towards the end. Some of the topics explored include an overview of drones, the principles of flight, fundamentals of weather, safe flying, assessing the conditions, checklists, flight planning and travel.
It's not a guide that looks specifically at photography but it's still a handy book for those just starting out. Plus, it's a Kindle book so is reasonably priced and those with access to Kindle Unlimited can download it for free.
Drones - The Ultimate Guide
If you've bought your first drone, or want to find out more about them but feel overwhelmed, this book could help. It covers everything from building your drone tobecoming a better aerial photographer. The book provides a good introduction to drones for absolute beginners and advanced flyers as well. It covers how drones work along with their main parts.
If you want the rules of drone flying, tips and much more, this book will be ideal.