Brent Foster is one of Canada’s leading aerial photographers.
He is also passionate about helping others to discover and practice aerial
photography and cinematography.
We approached Brent about answering questions about how he got started, what
equipment he uses, and what are the best first steps for beginners.
We think you will find his answers very interesting…
Please tell us a little background on yourself and your introduction to
I fell in love with photography at the age of 14 and haven't looked back since. My
education is in photojournalism, and I've always been passionate about telling
stories, which has led me to cinematography in the recent years.
I am now a freelance cinematographer and photographer based in Ontario, Canada.
Prior to that, I worked on Staff at the Los Angeles Times, and then freelanced for
The New York Times and TIME.com while living in India.
When did you purchase your first UAV, and what was the make and model?
I purchased my first octocopter in February 2013 after flying simulators and smaller
blade quads. It was an Infinite Jib EYE-Droid 8. I bought my first Phantom (version 1)
in November 2013
What is the current equipment you use?
I currently use a DJI S1000 and a Phantom 2 for aerial work.
Can you give us some examples of work that you have done?
Yes - please see the below videos:
What first steps would you recommend for people interested in getting started
with aerial photography?
I would highly recommend buying small quads and learning how to fly in manual
orientation first before putting anything expensive and potentially dangerous in the
air. These are not toys, and safety needs to be your number one concern.
Start learning on the smaller quads like the Blade 180QX (www.bladehelis.com) and make your mistakes with it and the simulator.
Learn about flying in manual orientation, battery maintenance, and know your
equipment because things will go wrong on the field and you need to be prepared for
We also follow all the rules/laws in our country. We carry liability insurance, and
get Special Flight Operation Certificates from Transport Canada when flying
I've also created a video with tips and tricks to help people get started:
For those readers already active in aerial photography and videography, do
you have any helpful tips you can share?
For the best shots if looking to emulate jib/slider moves, fly in ATTI mode.
Keep your white balance off of auto to avoid WB flickering issues. I also prefer to
shoot manual and set the exposure on the ground for consistency.
When shooting 60FPS for video, I prefer to keep the shutter around 1/100. If the
shutter gets to fast it becomes very apparent very quickly.
When shooting stills in the air, I opt for a much higher shutter speed to make sure I'm
freezing the action without any problems.
Of course, I try my best to set the majority of my shoots up during the magic hours
(morning and night) to get the best look possible in the footage I'm capturing.
If you would like more information on the services Brent offers, and to see
FlightBots.com - The Home of Friendly Drones