Drones and aerial shots are taking over the world of photography studios like never before. Given this scenario, more tactics are being introduced and propagated to make the arena of drone photography appealing to the masses. Regardless of whether such videos are shot for personal or business purposes, they are making their mark felt in a number of ways. Here, we attempt to take a closer look at the ways in which cinematic aerial shots can be achieved with the help of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. We will also strive to list effective tips pertaining to shot techniques, camera settings, time of day, and post-processing tasks to make your shots better than before.
- Go Slow
As per the very first recommendation provided by experts, it is essential for drone video developers to slow down on their speed. The slower you are the more cinematic your captures will be. By being slow, you can impart an impression to your viewers that you have been filming from a large-sized platform, more like a helicopter. This will add volumes to your overall production value and help you generate aerial shots that are better drafted and controlled in every conceivable way.
You also need to go slow on the control sticks (RC) on your drone’s UAV’s remote. Start with gradual moves and do not forget to deaccelerate and accelerate at slow speed; hurrying at this stage will make you shake your camera and the ensuing quick movements will spoil your captures. This in turn will increase your chances of having ‘jello effects’ or distortions on the footage crafted by you.
- Visualize your Shots
Visualizing and pre-planning your shots to the furthest possible limits will make your drone videos deliver the right impact. You may want to scout your filming locations before beginning with your shoot; this will help you understand the limitations of the area in terms of filming good videos. Additionally, you will be able to optimize the overall lifetime of the battery of your drone, thereby preventing yourself from running into a situation wherein you can end up draining your battery before the filming is complete.
- Use Dual Axes of Movement
How about imitating the big-budget shots that you may have seen in movies? In most cases, such shots boast of dual axes of movement at any given point of time. One final example would be flying your drone both downwards and backwards at the same time, and at a steady and smooth rate.
Sideways movements or strafing is very helpful in showcasing different landscapes from a wide range of perspectives. Strafing shots are always likely to stand out among other videos, especially the regular aerial videos that are prone to having the drone moving backwards and forward rather in other directions as well. Strafing is very effective in revealing the exclusive and lesser-filmed features of specific landscapes.
Orbits are easily attained by strafing your drone to the left or right. The same effect can be attained by yanking the yaw stick in the reverse direction. The yaw control is placed on the left side of the controller and is responsible for controlling the rotation of the drone. In case you are too quick on the yaw controlling mechanism, you may end up spinning too fast and spoiling the filming effect.
- Fly-Through Shots
Fly-through shots are among the most cinematic of the lot; however, they serve to be quite risky as you end up relying only on the screen of your controller when you are navigating your drone. Do not attempt these shots unless and until you are confident about your piloting skills. More so, these shots give away the fact that they were shot with the help of drones, thereby distracting your audience in terms of noticing the risks of the shots rather than its cinematography.
- Gimbal Movements
You may want to invest your time in trying out different types of gimbal shots along with other drone moves for the purpose of adding more effects to your shots. By going about this act, you can expect to add 3 axes of combined movements. One of the most favorite shots of expert videographers lies in flying forward as well as tilting the gimbal skywards for revealing the landscape. Moving the camera in this manner can lead to many pleasing effects, thereby adding more to your video.
You may want to increase the depth of your drone shots by leveraging the benefits of extreme parallax effects. This is particularly true in case of trees or other structures that are in close proximity to the drone. These shots allow viewers to understand the depth of aerial shots and have a feel of the surrounding landscapes in better ways.
- 360 Pan
In most cases, experts would refrain from merely rotating the shot on the yaw axis for the purpose of gaining a 360 pan. The reason being that drones typically find it tough to gain optimal levels of precision with such movements. Also, they end up giving the footage an overall whip-pan effect in case you are not as careful when needed.
Avoid filming on days when the weather is not in your favor with mist, fog or rain being in the forecast. It is a good idea to fly your drone on cloudy or clear days only. Also, taking shots on colder days may not be advisable as your lenses may be prone to gathering condensation, thereby fogging themselves off and giving overall poor results. The condensation so formed on the props, handles and lenses of the drone may also freeze at high altitudes, thereby making the filming task more cumbersome.
- Sunrise and Sunset
Similar to ground-based cinematography, sunrise and sunset happen to be the golden hours for filming your aerial shots. These times of the day are indeed very appealing and make your footage gain more mileage than the ones shot at other times of the day or night.
These helpful tips will go a long way in guiding more effective creation of drone videos. Get ready to attain more appealing and cinematic aerial shots to add further credence to your work. You will be happy to see the results!