There is nothing more challenging for drone photography than flying and shooting during winter. If you’re a newbie photographer or drone pilot, you may want to forego flying your drone during winter because you can seriously damage your equipment (both the drone and the camera). Do a lot of practice first and once you’re confident with your flying skills, it’s time to test them under different weather conditions.
Drones are powered by lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries. Cold temperature can affect their effectiveness and their chemical balance. Make sure that they are fully charged before taking them out to a cold season and use a battery heater to put their temperature to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
You also need to hover for about a minute to warm up the batteries and push the control sticks slowly to prevent any battery voltage drop.
While it is okay to take photos during the winter season, it is not okay to take out your drones when there’s snow, rain, and strong wind. These conditions can seriously endanger your equipment.
You cannot fly below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and you must avoid contact with snow because of the moisture. You must also have a landing pad where your drone will take off and land on.
Once, when we were walking down Brooklyn Bridge in the middle of the winter season, our phones died and would not turn on. They were fully charged but they could not take the cold. The same thing could happen to your drone and your remote controllers.
Keep your controllers warm and don’t operate them with numb fingers. Not only could you suffer from frostbite but you may not be able to control and operate them the best way you know if you cannot feel your hands.
There are two things you need to adjust in your camera settings if you’re shooting during winter. That’s the exposure and the white balance. The snow can trick your camera by its brightness thus if you set your camera to auto mode, it will result in dark images.
Manually set the camera exposure to overexpose your photos a bit and get the right composition for the snow shots. You also need to adjust the white balance because the wrong setting could make the snow look gray.
Even if you are not flying your drone for drone photography, you should take extra precautions during winter. Take the batteries out when you are not using them but charge them before storing them in a container. You must also need to remove the propellers and attach the gimbal clamp when storing your drone.