The Novice Guide To Aerial Drone Photography in Nigeria.

Getting Started with Drone Photography
Getting Started with Drone Photography

Drone photography in Nigeria has gained widespread adoption and is also becoming increasingly popular with photographers. This perspective from above enables completely different views of the motifs. The motifs themselves also look cool when viewed from a different angle.

How do you get started as a beginner in the world of aerial photography in Nigeria? What do you have to consider, both technically and legally? We would try our best to explains what needs to be considered when flying photos and how fascinating photos can be taken from lofty heights.

Are you a potential owner of a drone in Nigeria? Then you are not alone in the struggle.

What are drones anyway?

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles. Originally it was mainly used by the military for reconnaissance purposes.

The pilot of a drone remains on the ground. It controls the device remotely using various signals. With larger drones, the armed forces pursue the goal of attacking military targets or targeting terrorists from the air. In addition to the military, other groups of people are increasingly using drones. In the past few years, especially small drones have become cheap and easy to operate using a tablet computer. The police, for example, use it to search for missing persons, for private individuals, drone flying is a hobby and photographers take breathtaking photos and videos.


What makes drones so attractive for private individuals?

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Keeping a model airplane in the air is often difficult for beginners. If something goes wrong, expensive technology quickly breaks down. They are extremely agile and often have built-in cameras. From aerial photos to high-altitude obstacle courses, they can be used in a variety of ways.

What do drones cost?

Entry-level models cost around 50 to 165 euros in popular e-commerce stores like Amazon. According to a test by the magazine “Computerbild”, most of them are light and therefore sensitive to wind. 

Light gusts are enough to throw the cheap drones off track. The image quality is also often poor with cheap drones. More expensive devices such as professional multi-copters cost from around 600 euros and take significantly better photos and videos.

Are there any prohibition zones for drones in Naija?

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Drone pilots have a duty to obey the rules, especially in a country like Nigeria that loves to extort its citizens. In more advanced nations photographers have an app that helps drone pilots with the question of whether and where they are allowed to mount their aircraft. 
Users enter the data of their drone in the app – then in the future it will show on detailed maps whether the use of the drone is permitted at the desired location. For example, drones are not allowed to fly near airports. 
The same applies, for example, to police and fire stations, hospitals, prisons, military, and industrial plants. The app shows drone pilots in detail which provisions of the drone ordinance are met or not.
Drones are also not allowed to soar over residential properties due to privacy laws. Exception: The person affected in his rights by the operation above the respective residential property expressly consents to the overflight.

Which drone do I need for what?

There are different types of drones, but the most common are by far the multicopters. From toys the weight of a bar of chocolate to heavy, large professional devices with six or even eight rotors, everything is possible!

Not all drones have a camera that can actually take photos and film. 

Many of the games and sports equipment are completely unsuitable for drone photography because they often do not even have an image transmission on the remote control display. Some models have automatic obstacle detection and a ‘return home function’.

Do I need some kind of drone driver’s license?

For all drones weighing more than two kilograms, pilots need proof of knowledge, for example as a valid pilot license.  And: all drones weighing 250 grams or more need a sticker with the name and address of the owner. 

Drone pilots need a permit from their state aviation authority if the device weighs more than five kilograms or if it climbs up at night.

Nature reserves and other ‘restricted areas’ for drone photography

In Nigeria, flying over nature reserves and national parks is only possible with an exceptional permit, you don’t go to Yankari Game Reserve and take drone pictures without permits from authorities of the reserve. In some nature reserve, drones are banned completely due to the type of noise they sometimes generate that can cause panic for animals. Imagine what would happen if the drone collided with a flock of birds.

The drone can also quickly become dangerous for planes and helicopters

Up to what height are drones okay in the air?

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As a rule, it ends at 100 meters – according to the Federal Ministry of Transport, multicopters and comparable devices are allowed to climb higher on a model airfield. There is no fixed limit to the distance to the pilot – the main thing is that the drone remains within sight of the pilot. Some drone pilots put on video goggles when flying a model in order to experience the maneuvers of their multicopter up close. This assumes that a second person is paying attention. Solo flights with video glasses are only allowed with light drones up to 250 grams and up to a height of 30 meters.

Taking pictures with the camera in my drone – what works and what doesn’t?

That depends on the motive. Residential areas and private properties are only permitted as flight zones with the permission of the residents – this also applies to recordings and their publication. If you photograph or film public buildings from the air, you should contact the responsible authorities beforehand. The organizer of public events is entitled to allow or prohibit filming. Recordings of people are also often critical. The general rule is: Always get written permission.

What are the penalties?

Anyone who violates flight bans and other requirements, such as proof of knowledge, commits an administrative offense.  Drone pilots face a fine even if they don’t get caught in the act. Anyone who takes unauthorized photographs or films and publishes the images is also threatened with claims for damages by those affected.

How do I protect myself in the event of a claim?

Drones run the risk of crashing and causing damage. As a drone pilot, you should therefore take out aviation liability insurance or ask your insurer whether the regular liability insurance includes drones.

Is it allowed to defend myself against drones hovering over my property?

Violence, such as throwing a stone, is of course not an effective means of defending yourself against drones. Instead, talk to the pilot or call the police in an emergency.

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