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6 Tips for Shooting a Cinematic Drone Video

Flying a drone is fun by itself. However, many enjoy the options of filming while they fly. It is not complicated to do. However, there are considerations when shooting footage with a drone. Whether it involves conditions and time of day, how to fly the drone or post processing of footage, planning increases the footage quality. Following six tips for cinematic drone video will increase the quality and enjoyment.

6 Tips for Shooting a Cinematic Drone Video

1) Shoot at Optimal Times of the Day

Many films during the late morning or afternoon hours. However, the sunrise and sunset lead to the better film. During the early mornings and later afternoons, shadows define the terrain and provide better shots. The fact many don’t use these times, make footage stand out as well.

2) Watch the Wind

Most drones fly well in windy conditions. Many handles winds upwards of 25-35 miles per hour. While flying for fun is possible, high winds cause distortions when filming. It is better to fly on days where the wind is below 20 miles per hour. If possible, a windless day is best. Also be aware that sharp gusts affect footage as well. Days with sharp bursts of wind aren’t ideal for filming with a drone.

3) Go Slow

This seems like common sense. However, people underestimate how fast they are flying. Fast accelerations and deceleration can ruin a good film. Practicing these moves before filming will save footage later on. While it takes the time to practice, it is worth the effort when this simple problem is no longer an issue.

4) Use Strafing

The term strafing means sideways movement. A lot of landscape shots get done with the drone flying forwards and backward. Using a strafing technique shows the view from a different perspective. Perfecting this technique allows filming of unique features of the land that forward and backward moving shots miss.

5) Shutter Speed Settings

When filming with a drone, it is better to have a low shutter speed. Many settings start at 500th of a second. This is fine for starting out and learning. Yet, this setting is not the best for making cinematic videos. A lower shutter speed, 100th to 250th or lower works better. Using this shutter speed provides a higher quality and more enjoyable footage.

6) Distortion Corrections in Post Processing

Before sharing footage, it is best to process and correct distortions. Issues tend to come up when using GoPro cameras. A good idea is shooting 4K while outputting 1080p. This helps preserve the images’ quality. Add the footage to a 1080 composition. Then add the effects Optics Compensation. A good idea is to check the Reverse Lens Distortion Box. Set the field of view between 70 and 80 when using a GoPro camera. When needing a wider shot, just check Optimize Pixels. Black bars need to be added to the top and bottom when using this option.

These are just a sample of tips to increase the quality while shooting footage with a drone. Remember, it takes time and practice to produce great film consistently. Contact us today for more information and tips about filming amazing footage with a drone.