Aerial videography has taken off in a big way thanks to the cheap availability of drones. However, many people are not aware of how to use drones effectively. And as a result, the videos they capture turnout to be amateurish and not too interesting. If you are facing such issues, then the following pointers will help you improve your drone videography skills and enable you to take better aerial shots.
One of the biggest challenges of shooting with a drone camera is that fact that you will have to deal with wind. And in case the winds are not in your favor, then your video will end up shaky and have the ‘jello effect’. So, make sure to always check for weather conditions before you decide to shoot on a location. Most of the drones in the market are advertised as being capable of remaining steady in conditions of wind speeds of about 25 mph to 30 mph. But as a precaution, it is recommended that you only shoot if the wind speed is below 20 mph.
Scouting and Mapping
The second thing you should focus on is to scout the area you wish to shoot. You should then map the region using Google Earth. This will allow you to have a clear idea of the route the drone has to fly. As such, you will be able to know the trees, building, and other obstacles in the area. This will allow you to decide beforehand as to how to avoid such obstacles. Without such preparation, you might suddenly come across the obstacles while flying the drone, and the surprise might result in shaky camera movements since you will be desperately trying to overcome the obstacle.
When it comes to flying style, the basic rule is pretty simple – fly slowly. There are two benefits to this. Firstly, slow flying will give you better control over the drone. Since you are not in a hurry, you can turn and curve the drone more precisely. The second benefit is that slow movements will give you the best, cinematic shots ever. In fact, a slowly shot aerial view of the ground can instantly make people perceive it as having very high production value even though you might have shot it pretty cheap. And remember to use both movement axes at the same time when flying. For example, when you are shooting a canopy of trees, you can shoot it by moving the drone forwards and downwards simultaneously rather than just moving in one direction alone. This will give the shot a very dramatic effect.
Extend Capture Times
You should also try to take longer shots. So, if you are capturing a landscape covered in snow, and you are moving the drone forwards, then make sure that you capture the video for as long as possible. Don’t record for just 5 seconds and stop the shoot. That is one of the worst decisions you can make when doing aerial photography. The reason why such aerial shots are attractive is that it lingers on a large landscape for a long period of time, enabling the viewer to absorb all information being presented in the scene. As such, short capture times should be avoided. Now, how long the video should be will depend on what location you are shooting and what emotion you wish to evoke. So, think about these two criteria before you fly the drone up in the air.
Time Of Shoot
Another big thing to consider is the time of the shoot. Typically, shooting during the sunrise and the sunset will offer you some of the best shots. This is mostly because these are the periods which will offer you the ‘golden light’. And the effect this light will have on the landscape, the buildings, the trees etc. will make the entire frame look ethereal and dreamy. In addition, the shadows will be much more pronounced and visible, giving the shot even more depth. As such, try to take your video during the period of sunrise and sunset.
When shooting aerial shots make sure that you set the camera at a flat profile. This will give the video the greatest dynamic range. As such, the lighter areas of the video will not lose details due to excessive brightness, and the darker areas of the video will also not lose its details because of excessive darkness. And even though the video might look colorless and dull in the first capture, you can easily boost the color and look of the video in post, helping your aerial shots achieve cinematic quality.
Once you start implementing the above tips, your aerial shooting proficiency will improve massively. You can also start participating in drone video awards to showcase your talents, and possibly even win a few awards at such competitions.