What are Prop Shadows?
Prop shadows are caused when flying towards the sun. The propellers create a flickering shadow effect on the camera, since on most drones or quadcopters, the camera sits below the props. These prop shadows caused by the shadows made from the drone’s propellers are both annoying and distracting, especially when viewing the video afterwards.
Tip 1: Just Don’t do it!
The easiest and simplest fix for removing prop shadows is to avoid flying into or facing the sun altogether. Also, if you have control over the camera pitch like on most DJI drones, make sure the camera is pointing down to decrease the likelihood of prop shadows being apparent in your drone footage.
Tip 2: Use an ND Filter
An ND, or neutral density, filter slows the shutter speed of the camera and thus reduces the blur of moving objects resulting in a substantially better video.
I’ve found that just by using an ND filter, prop shadows are much less apparent than they would if be if I wasn’t using them. You can buy some ND filters for pretty much any higher end drone online if you just search for them.
Tip 3: Use a Lens Hood
You can buy special lens hoods for cameras. These hoods act just like a baseball hat and do essentially the same thing, reduce sun glaring onto the lens and therefor reduce prop shadows. Again, you can get these online.
I hope you found this tutorial beneficial in avoiding prop shadows when flying your drone and wish you the best in your drone adventures!