Drone photography in the hands of a novice

By Lucy Tomeka

It always warms my heart when I’m in the teacher’s shoes, helping someone understand something that I consider myself relatively good at. I had to learn very fast and adapt quickly whenever new opportunities came my way and even when I was in foreign countries.

So I think it’s very important to think of yourself as a lifelong learner and to absorb as much information as your brain can handle. With this in mind, as I entered the new year, I set another resolution that I did my best to carry out.

So I sat there in the middle of the year and looked back on this particular resolution which was to learn something new every chance I got.

Going through my photo gallery, I realized that I had so many photos of amazing places I had visited and wondered what it would take for me to learn better photography skills.

I then thought why walk when I can fly? So I contacted a drone photographer because as a newbie with a passion for photography, what better way to take my photos a notch higher than drone photography?

I happen to have a drone which I decided to use with many tutorials on YouTube and when I finally managed to contact the expert he laughed at my baby drone and decided to take it. call ‘mbu’… Hurt!


Unmanned aerial vehicles, aka drones, were originally known and considered primarily for military and tactical service. However, like all technology, the use of drones has evolved over time into recreational use, with photography being a major favorite as aerial photos tend to have an appeal and view that no other camera can. physically reach.

Founder, drone operator and filmmaker at Depthcode Studios, Aboubakar Malipula took his time to explain to me the basics of drone operations and how drone photography has revolutionized business for young people.

The inside of a drone case wasn’t as complicated as I had imagined. Using the DJI Phantom 4 Pro for the novice lesson, Abou explained that flying a drone is all about constant practice and patience, a quality that I lacked excitement at the time.

The case contained the drone itself which comes with the camera easily mounted on the gimbal, a set of four removable propellers, the controller which is large enough to hold even a tablet, a USB cable which connects the phone or tablet to the controller and a charger. The drone also works with supporting apps during the flight.

The technical details of setup and operation are always a very active class with me, but the possibilities of what one could do with knowledge and riding skills are endless.

“What brought me to drone photography and videography was the many opportunities that come with knowing how to use a drone and, as a filmmaker, photographer or content creator/explorer, knowing flying a drone is an advantage that will keep you far ahead of the game,” says Abou

Advantages of drones

1. Unique shots

“With a drone, you are able to get shots that may seem impossible with a normal camera and if by chance you get them, the effort will be very expensive because you will have to hire a helicopter or a crane like this. been done back in the days before drone technology was introduced to the industry.A drone gives you a different perspective and unique shots at very affordable prices.

“I feel very satisfied every time I launch a drone into the air,” Abou said, a feeling I can honestly attest to after hours on YouTube trying to figure out how to get my drone airborne. The view you get with a drone is breathtaking.

“However, if you are in the film or photography industry, knowing how to fly a drone alone is not enough, you must combine this skill with other film and photography skills and knowledge, including the correct setting of your camera (shutter speed, white balance, aperture, ISO, color profiles, etc.), composition and different types of movement because in these industries these things are vital unlike when you’re flying a drone for research, provide aid or send packages to a remote area after natural disasters,” he explains.

2. Research

Abou was also aware of photography in the wild, an experience that not only enhances tourist appeal but for scientists and researchers, provides an opportunity to research and observe animals in their habitat or even migration wildlife without the risk of exposing humans to other hazardous environments.

3. Aid relief

In times of natural disaster, famine or even war, drones can and have been used to help deliver aid and relief packages to victims. Although not a recreational use of drones, learning and understanding how drones work presents another employment opportunity for young people.

Many of us have encountered drones flying at wedding venues and other large, glamorous events inside and even outside of Dar, but despite the many opportunities and benefits that come with drone photography, there There are laws and regulations in place that govern the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. . In addition to the laws, one must be certified by the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority as a drone pilot to be able to operate with even more freedom and flexibility.

Rules and regulations

While recreational drone use laws are accommodating and encourage learning about drone operations, it is still important to respect them and avoid privacy breaches. A permit is required to use drones and other rules regarding the use of drones include:

• Do not fly your drone over people or large crowds

• Respect the privacy of others when flying your drone

• Do not fly your drone over airports or in areas where aircraft operate

• You must fly during daylight hours and fly only in good weather conditions

• Do not fly your drone in sensitive areas, including government or military facilities. The use of drones or camera drones in these areas is prohibited

• Drones cannot fly higher than 121 meters.

• Drone pilots must maintain a direct visual line of sight with their drone during flight.

• Drone insurance is required for all drone operations in Tanzania.

• Drones cannot fly over national parks.

• Drones weighing less than 7 kilograms do not require a permit. To fly a drone over 7 kilograms, you must obtain special permission from the Ministry of Defense and National Service.

Training and certification

“There are so many opportunities for drone operators out there. It can be dangerous though if you don’t know how to fly properly. Make sure you get proper training, know your drone’s safety precautions, and avoid to fly in restricted areas without proper authorization,” explains Abou.

Obeying the laws is not enough. Training and certification is required to qualify and be legally recognized as a drone pilot. Even though many drone photographers still have to go through this important legal requirement, I learned that it was not as grueling as many had imagined.

In a survey I conducted of different photographers in Tanzania, over 80% expressed a desire to learn how to use one and incorporate it into their business. Among the same photographers in the survey, more than 50% use drones, especially when covering events such as weddings, send-offs, parties and concerts.

Many of these photographers are self-taught on piloting skills and others are trained by their industry colleagues. It just shows that the young people in this industry understand the opportunities that arise.

A photographer has actually mentioned how much he would love to contract with national parks to photograph animal life as many of these photos are used to promote tourism and “it’s money we’re wasting” as he said it.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Tanzania offers drone flying courses that only last a month and are quite affordable. These have proven to be a wise investment for those who have successfully completed the course.

Since technology is changing every second, it is up to young people to learn to be flexible and train themselves to be nimble enough to embrace and use these changes. Gone are the days when we would sit with a “wait and see first” attitude and become pioneers of change in all aspects of life and business.

Stewart C. Hartline