Drone videography has revolutionized the way we capture breathtaking footage, offering a unique perspective that was once reserved for professional filmmakers and aerial photographers. Whether you’re a seasoned drone pilot or just starting your journey into the world of aerial cinematography, mastering the art of capturing stunning drone footage is essential. To help you take your drone videography skills to new heights, we’ve compiled five invaluable tips that will elevate your footage from ordinary to extraordinary. From composition techniques to flight maneuvers, these tips will empower you to create mesmerizing aerial videos that leave viewers in awe. So grab your drone and get ready to unlock the full potential of this exciting medium.
Video – 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Drone Videography
To help you take your drone coverage to the next level, we offer five simple tips.
5 Drone Videography Tips for Better Footage
1. Use ND Filters with Your Drone Videography
One of the sure signs of an amateur drone video is the lack of a neutral density filter. If you’ve never heard of ND filters, they are basically glass filters that block light from entering your sensor. Think of them as sunglasses for your lens. NDs are critical for video because they help cut down exposure without having to crank up the shutter speed. Faster shutter speeds can make your videos jittery. That, coupled with the smaller sensor size found on most drones, is a sure way to make your video look jarring.
Pro Tip: If you’re using DJI’s filter for the Mavic Pro, make sure to insert the filter after you power on the drone. Gently press the filter in against the lens. Otherwise, the filter may jam against the head of the drone when calibrating.
2. Using Foreground Elements For Your Drone videography
Foreground elements help create interesting composition and layers in both photo and video. The same rules apply when shooting on the ground and when flying in the air. If your shot is not visually interesting in camera, color grading, slow-motion and other tricks won’t magically make your shot any better. When possible, utilize some foreground elements to enhance the production value of your shot.
Pro Tip: Using trees or a building to reveal your scene is a great way to bring the viewer into your scene.
3. Move and Pan the Camera With Control
For slower, more establishing shots, employing a technique known as counter movement can be highly effective. This involves moving the drone in one direction while panning the camera in the opposite direction. The result is a shot that creates a sense of calmness and stability, allowing the viewer to fully take in and appreciate the scene.
The counter movement technique is particularly useful when you want to establish a location or set the stage for the unfolding narrative with your drone videography. By moving the drone forward or backward, you can smoothly navigate through the environment, revealing the various elements within the frame. Simultaneously, panning the camera in the opposite direction adds a layer of visual interest and depth to the shot.
Pro Tip: Adjust the gimbal speed to your liking and get a smoother shot.
4. Reveal the Scene by Panning & Tilting
For fast camera movements that capture wide scenes, implementing the technique of panning and tilting is essential. Panning the camera from left to right allows you to showcase the expansive nature of the environment you’re filming. It creates a sense of scale and immerses the viewer in the grandeur of the surroundings. As the camera smoothly pans, it sweeps across the landscape, revealing the intricate details and capturing the breadth of the scene in all its glory.
On the other hand, tilting the camera adds a different dimension to your footage. It allows you to lead the viewer’s eye into the scene by angling the camera up or down. By tilting upwards, you can capture soaring structures, towering mountains, or majestic skyscrapers, evoking a sense of awe and wonder. Conversely, tilting downwards can draw attention to interesting elements on the ground, such as winding roads, picturesque landscapes, or vibrant city streets bustling with life. This downward tilt can create a unique perspective and invite the viewer to explore the scene further.
Combining both panning and tilting in your drone videography enables you to create dynamic shots that engage the audience and evoke a sense of movement and depth.
Pro Tip: By starting your flight path closer to the ground, you are also utilizing more of your foreground space which will exaggerate camera movement. Just be careful with how close you are to the ground.
5. Keep Filming On The Flight Back
Keep filming footage on the flight back to get more out of your flights. After you take off, fly from point A to point B and nail your perfect shot, but keep rolling for a backup shot and for creative purposes. It isn’t enough to just record throughout; you’ve got to make sure to fly back just as smooth as your initial shot. You can always reverse the shot too!
By implementing these five drone videography tips, you can significantly enhance the quality and impact of your aerial footage. The use of ND filters ensures proper exposure and balanced lighting, resulting in more professional-looking shots. Incorporating foreground elements adds depth and visual interest, creating a captivating composition. Mastering camera movement and control allows you to smoothly pan and tilt, adding cinematic dynamism to your videos. Additionally, utilizing these techniques to reveal the scene gradually can create a sense of anticipation and intrigue for the viewers. Lastly, don’t forget to keep filming on the flight back, as unexpected and remarkable shots can often be captured during the return journey. So, armed with these tips and a sense of creativity, you are now equipped to capture stunning drone footage that will impress and engage your audience. Remember to fly responsibly and keep up with the latest regulations for legal drone usage.