Photo: Hawk Vision Studios

Drones have made it possible to garner a birds-eye view of a pool sans helicopter. Photographer Juan Diego Ucros, president of Miami-based Hawk Vision Studios, has made drone photography somewhat of a specialty. He offers these tips for working with this technology.

Observe appropriate heights: Drones don’t always need to fly high. “It’s just in the movement of the drone that could give the video that extra pop,” Ucros says.

Fly the unit at least 3 feet above the ground, which provides an eye-level view. For wider shots, Ucros keeps it under 100 feet, to keep the focus on the pool.

Include some context: While shooting video of beachfront pools, Ucros starts the drone above the ocean, then flies it toward the pool so it seems like you’re going straight from the ocean into the backyard and pool.

Practice flying the drone to learn control: When viewing videos shot by drone, Ucros comes across one mistake the most — the camera moving too fast. This not only distorts the view, but makes editing difficult, since the transitions aren’t smooth. He observes different speed ranges, depending on height. The lower the drone flies, the more obvious the speed, so stays withiin 3 to 6 miles per hour. If he’s shooting a panoramic shot from high up, he’ll move the drone 15 to 20 mph.