Drones are in fash­ion and for a long time! Pho­to: The Lazy Artist Gallery / pexels.com

Aer­i­al pho­tog­ra­phy is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­i­ty: aer­i­al shots can be seen in trav­el blogs and wed­ding videos, and spe­cial con­tests col­lect thou­sands of pho­tos and videos from around the world.

How to cre­ate video on a quad­copter? In this arti­cle, we will talk about the basic rules for shoot­ing from a drone, give a cou­ple of use­ful tips and life hacks, and also see what inex­pen­sive copters are on the mar­ket. The infor­ma­tion will be use­ful for both novice video­g­ra­phers and aer­i­al pho­tog­ra­phers.

Why aer­i­al pho­tog­ra­phy from a drone is cool
Drone pho­tog­ra­phy tips for begin­ners
Best cheap drones for pho­to and video

Why aerial photography from a drone is cool

No Obstacles

A per­son with a cam­era sim­ply can­not phys­i­cal­ly get into some places: this is some­thing locat­ed too high (for exam­ple, the upper floors and roofs of build­ings, mon­u­ments, moun­tain peaks in calm weath­er), and some­thing hid­den behind insur­mount­able obsta­cles (for exam­ple, behind for­est or moun­tain range). Drones allow you to “reach out” to these places with the help of a cam­era.

Most impor­tant­ly, such shoot­ing is absolute­ly safe for the pilot, unlike tra­di­tion­al shoot­ing from a heli­copter. With a quad­copter, you can fly high and far while phys­i­cal­ly stay­ing on the ground with­out risk­ing your life.

Unusual perspective

In the air, unusu­al per­spec­tives open up for you (in every sense) — you can shoot from non-stan­dard angles that are inac­ces­si­ble to us in ordi­nary life. Shoot­ing towards the hori­zon from a bird’s eye view, shots tak­en from top to bot­tom at nine­ty degrees — the list is lim­it­ed only by the imag­i­na­tion and skills of the pilot.

Chang­ing the per­spec­tive not only cre­ates a spe­cial artis­tic effect, but also allows you to notice impor­tant details that are not vis­i­ble from the ground.

Benefits for professionals

Cus­tomers of wed­ding and com­mer­cial film­ing are increas­ing­ly ask­ing to add drone footage to their work. So mas­ter­ing a quad­copter can be your com­pet­i­tive advan­tage.

Drone photography tips for beginners

Plan ahead

Arriv­ing at the loca­tion and already on the spot decid­ing what and how you will shoot is a bad option. If you plan every­thing in advance, you can pro­tect your­self from unnec­es­sary prob­lems and dif­fi­cul­ties: from lack of mem­o­ry on the card to los­ing the drone due to an unex­pect­ed “popped up” obsta­cle.

Know the capabilities and limitations of your equipment beforehand

  • How long can your drone stay in the air on a sin­gle charge?
  • How much wind can be a prob­lem for him?
  • How many videos fit on a mem­o­ry card?
  • What size sen­sor does your drone have? If you have a minia­ture drone with a sen­sor less than 1 inch, it is bet­ter to shoot in the day­time with good light­ing.

Visualize what frames you want to get

It is bet­ter to go to the loca­tion first and explore it. If there is time, you can con­duct a test flight.

Once you have an idea of ​​what your loca­tion looks like, think about where you are going to start shoot­ing and where to end. Will you shoot just a land­scape or a spe­cif­ic sub­ject? Think about the best angle for a par­tic­u­lar shoot.

So, large ele­ments of the land­scape, such as lakes, can be shot from top to bot­tom, sim­ply fly­ing over them. And indi­vid­ual tall objects, such as tow­ers or high-rise build­ings, can be shot from sev­er­al angles or ris­ing from the bot­tom up and point­ing the cam­era at them.

Also con­sid­er nat­ur­al light­ing — what time of day best suits your idea and what pit­falls this may have (for exam­ple, at noon in the sun you will need an ND fil­ter, oth­er­wise you risk over­ex­pos­ing your video — more on that lat­er).

Direct the flight

Deter­mine how far the drone will need to fly and how many takes/frames it will need. Study the ter­rain to iden­ti­fy the fac­tors, con­straints (such as obsta­cles that you can’t fly around), and oppor­tu­ni­ties (such as inter­est­ing objects that are cool to add to your video) that may affect your video.

For exam­ple, under­stand­ing the scale and extent of a loca­tion will allow you to deter­mine how long the bat­ter­ies will last (and whether spares will be need­ed) and pri­or­i­tize based on that.

Check the weather forecast

Weath­er is the most impor­tant fac­tor for aer­i­al pho­tog­ra­phy. Do not go to the place if they promise rain, fog or strong winds. Once again, be sure to study the wind lim­its for your drone mod­el.

Make a “flight map”

If your video will not con­sist of a sin­gle span, but of shoot­ing in sev­er­al parts of the loca­tion from dif­fer­ent angles, write it all down in advance. Your “flight map” can lit­er­al­ly look like a map — where you start from, where you fly, what and from what angle you shoot.

Do a “pre-flight check”

Before leav­ing the loca­tion, check:

  • have you tak­en every­thing you need;
  • whether the drone is charged (if you need extra bat­ter­ies, have you put them in);
  • whether there is enough space on the mem­o­ry card (if you need sev­er­al cards, are they tak­en).

Check legal restrictions ahead of time

It is not pos­si­ble to fly a drone every­where, espe­cial­ly in cities. Pho­to: Alexan­dr Pod­val­ny / pexels.com

Do not fly in restrict­ed flight zones (these are areas near air­ports, gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tary instal­la­tions, as well as areas in the city marked with spe­cial signs), do not fly over crowds and do not exceed the max­i­mum alti­tude. You can check the flight restric­tion zones on the map of no-fly zones com­piled by the pilothub.ru resource, which unites pro­fes­sion­al drone pilots, as well as on the map of the map.avtm.center ser­vice.

It is espe­cial­ly impor­tant to know every­thing in advance if you decide to fly abroad: in many coun­tries, there are strict laws regard­ing aer­i­al pho­tog­ra­phy.

Work slowly and smoothly

Videos of begin­ner pilots often come out sharp, jerky and shaky. How­ev­er, smooth­ness is one of the main indi­ca­tors of pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

  • Smooth hand move­ments. Start by press­ing joy­sticks and oth­er con­trols smooth­ly, with­out unnec­es­sary sud­den move­ments.
  • Fly slow­er. You might think that shoot­ing at fast speed with sharp turns and turns will add dynam­ics. But the oppo­site is true: the slow, grad­ual “cov­er­age” of the loca­tion adds to the cin­e­mat­ic frame. This gives the audi­ence the impres­sion that you are shoot­ing from a large heli­copter, and not from a minia­ture nim­ble quad­copter.
  • Check with your shoot­ing and flight plans that you have pre­pared. To get smooth shots and tran­si­tions, you need to know in advance what you want to achieve and when you need to make a cer­tain move­ment. If you study the loca­tion before­hand, you will auto­mat­i­cal­ly get rid of sud­den move­ments that may occur due to an unex­pect­ed obsta­cle or an unaes­thet­ic object that sud­den­ly entered the frame.

Use different methods to control the copter

It hard­ly needs to be remind­ed how impor­tant it is to be able to con­trol your copter for high-qual­i­ty aer­i­al pho­tog­ra­phy, so prac­tice! Here are a few drone footage tech­niques to add vari­ety to your videos:

— Com­bine move­ment along dif­fer­ent axes to get a “mul­ti-dimen­sion­al” effect. For exam­ple, you can fly down and back­ward at the same time.

– Try to drift and move side­ways, not just for­ward and back­ward. Such a lin­ear panora­ma will help to show the loca­tion from dif­fer­ent angles.

– Use the built-in shoot­ing modes. Maybe this is not exact­ly relat­ed to the pilot skills, but it will cer­tain­ly help diver­si­fy your videos. Most drones come with pre-pro­grammed intel­li­gent flight modes. Try them to under­stand when, what mode will be appro­pri­ate. For exam­ple, an inter­est­ing option is the “orbit”, which is found in all DJI drones. The device cir­cles around a sta­tion­ary object, keep­ing the cam­era focus on it. Also a very use­ful mode that makes life eas­i­er for begin­ners is fol­low­ing (track­ing) a mov­ing object. You can epic film your ride on a bike or car, and then use this mate­r­i­al for cuts.

— Ide­al­ly, you need to learn how to “fol­low” a mov­ing object on your own, with­out the help of automa­tion. This is an impor­tant skill for aer­i­al pho­tog­ra­phy and video, which will allow you to get the most inter­est­ing shots. You can fol­low a mov­ing object (car or train) from behind, or let it fol­low you as long as you keep the cam­era focused on it.

Use different video techniques

Great aer­i­al pho­tog­ra­phy requires not only the skills of a pilot, but also the skills of a video­g­ra­ph­er. To begin with, you need to know the most basic things, but over time you will devel­op and learn more and more tricky tricks.

DJI drones are famous for their inter­est­ing flight modes and AI-based automa­tion. Pho­to: Josh Soren­son / pexels.com

Set the frame rate to your lik­ing: 30 fps is rem­i­nis­cent of a real­i­ty TV show, while 24 fps gives a smoother, “cin­e­mat­ic” pic­ture.

  • By default, set the set­ting to 4K (if your drone can shoot in this for­mat): the videos will be detailed and it will be eas­i­er for you to crop while edit­ing the video.
  • For fast action scenes, choose 1080p at 60 or 120 fps so you can slow down the video for epic footage dur­ing post-pro­cess­ing.

Based on the frame rate, set your shut­ter speed to twice your frame rate (i.e. for 24 fps, your shut­ter speed should be 1/48 or 1/50 sec­ond) so you get the most nat­ur­al “motion blur”. If the pic­ture is over­ex­posed at this set­ting, use an ND fil­ter. These are such “sun­glass­es” for the cam­era that will help you set the appro­pri­ate shut­ter speed and save the video from over­ex­po­sure.

If pos­si­ble on your drone mod­el, adjust the gim­bal (the mechan­i­cal sta­bi­liz­er that the cam­era is attached to). In DJI drones, the set­tings are found in a menu called Advanced Gim­bal Set­tings. To begin with, choose the smoothest oper­a­tion and the slow­est stop of the cam­era. Lat­er, you can adapt the set­tings to suit your shoot­ing style.

Try to fly low

Not always and not every­where you need to shoot from a bird’s eye view. Shoot­ing from a low alti­tude can add dynam­ics to footage, as well as cap­ture more inter­est­ing details when you’re shoot­ing an area with mul­ti­ple sub­jects. It also allows the audi­ence to feel like they are fly­ing with you.

Some things can only be seen from a bird’s eye view, but some­times it’s worth fly­ing not too high. Pho­to: Dziana Hasan­beka­va / pexels.com

A small life hack — instead of fly­ing fast while shoot­ing, speed up such a video a lit­tle while edit­ing. But do not over­do it — the main thing is that it looks nat­ur­al.

Light is very important

Light is the secret to a good pic­ture. There­fore, if you have a mini drone with a small sen­sor (for exam­ple, a DJI Mini with a 1/2.3‑inch sen­sor), it is impor­tant that there is a lot of light. It is bet­ter to shoot dur­ing the day in good weath­er.

If you have a drone with a 1‑inch sen­sor (for exam­ple, DJI Air 2S), then there are no seri­ous light­ing restric­tions. Try shoot­ing dur­ing the “gold­en hour” just before sun­set or just after sun­rise for strong con­trast and warm gold­en col­ors.

You can read about how to catch the “gold­en hour” and oth­er secrets of shoot­ing with nat­ur­al light here.

Best cheap drones for photo and video

And now a cou­ple of tips on afford­able drone mod­els that are suit­able for aer­i­al pho­tog­ra­phy.

If you are on a bud­get, then from the sim­plest mod­els you can pay atten­tion to the MJX B7. The copter is made of impact-resis­tant plas­tic. It flies for about 15 min­utes on a sin­gle bat­tery charge. The kit comes with a remote con­trol with a mount for a smart­phone. The cam­era can shoot in 4K, but only at 16 fps — so the pic­ture will be twitchy. It makes more sense to use the 2.5K for­mat at 25 fps.

The drone does not have a sta­bi­liz­ing gim­bal, so you will have to get rid of the shak­ing your­self dur­ing post-pro­cess­ing. The task is not the most excit­ing and not always easy, so if you are not ready for such feats, then it is bet­ter to take the old­er mod­el — MJX Bugs 16 Pro with a 3‑axis mechan­i­cal gim­bal, work­ing in tan­dem with elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion. In addi­tion, this mod­el is capa­ble of 4K at 30 fps.

Of the mod­els of the most pop­u­lar drone man­u­fac­tur­er in the world, the Chi­nese com­pa­ny DJI, the DJI Mini SE mod­el remains more or less afford­able, the fea­tures of which we ana­lyzed in detail last fall in our review. This com­pact drone shoots 2.7K video at 30fps, comes with a vari­ety of cre­ative shoot­ing modes, and can track a sub­ject very tena­cious­ly.

Of the more expen­sive options, you should take a clos­er look at the Hub­san Zino 2. The copter shoots 4K video at 60 fps with a max­i­mum bit rate of 100 Mbps. The cam­era is mount­ed on a detach­able 3‑axis mechan­i­cal gim­bal, which pro­vides excel­lent smooth video, and if desired, it can be removed along with the cam­era for easy trans­porta­tion. The set of auto­mat­ic flight and shoot­ing modes for this drone is no worse than for mod­els from DJI — there is hyper­lapse, points of inter­est, and panoram­ic shots.

If the Zino 2 seems too expen­sive, there is still a first gen­er­a­tion mod­el on sale, also of high qual­i­ty, although it sig­nif­i­cant­ly los­es to the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion in terms of flight range and bat­tery life.

The Mini SE is by far one of the most inter­est­ing DJI drones in terms of val­ue for mon­ey. Pho­to: xiaomitoday.com

Get to know your drone, plan your route and shoot care­ful­ly, and don’t for­get to check the weath­er before head­ing to the loca­tion! Hap­py flight and great shots!


От Yara

Добавить комментарий