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Drone Aerials

Once upon a time, the best aerial shot from movies, documentaries, or tv shows were produced and shot by cinematographers with aerial film services hired by big production companies. Now, technology has developed new ways to capture aerial footage and placed the technology in the hands of every professional, business, or hobbyist, these little babies that We are talking about we like to called them Drones. Thanks to Leia’s 3D Lightfield display technology, a LOT of new possibilities for how to show off your Aerial drone footage open up. Today, we are going to cover topics that will help you create stunning 360 footage with your drone and showcase them on devices Lit by Leia’s Lightfield technology.

Power On and Off We Go!

At first, flying a drone can be challenging but after a few hours each day of practice, you will be able to understand its mechanics and probably become an expert at drone cinematography. Here are a few tips that I can provide that will help to capture amazing footage.

Low Altitude

Height sometimes can be interesting and great, when you are flying at a low altitude means that are able to capture more objects and details throughout your footage. This type of approach will create an immersive experience and a strong focal point for your videos.

Orbiting

Having your drone circling around a point of interest (POI) could add a cinematic feel to your videos. It creates a new way of establishing a point of view or just showcasing a subject, the location, and its nature. In some drones, you can have the drone orbit automatically like in the Mavic 2, this option is called Visual recognition POI. If your drone does not have Visual Recognition or you rather do it manually you simply have to maintain the target in the middle as you fly sideways with a slow speed and maintaining a smooth control of the drone. I may be making it sound super easy but trust me is really hard at first, but is worth the time and practice.

Golden Hour

Catching the right lighting is not an easy task, in fact, lighting is one of the most crucial, for me is one of the most important, elements in video or photography. I am not going to clutter your minds with an extent log of information. I rather give you my preference in lighting when shooting footage with a drone, Is one of the most important in video and is the Golden Hour”.
So, what is the golden hour? Basically is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. The reason for the golden hour being the favorite is because the sun is set at its lowest point right before sunset and right after sunrise making the shadows look softer and the overall color temperature warm and relaxing. To get this type of shot, you will have a window to capture your footage with you for less than 60 minutes depending on where you live, sometimes less. Meaning you will need to time everything perfectly to make sure you are set up and ready to go by the before is happening.

Neutral Density Filter

Have you ever had footage that you personally wish you had a better sky with more details in the clouds or making the ocean water look bluer and richer? Well, today is your lucky day, if you didn’t know drones can use neutral density filters just like any other camera. A neutral density filter or ND filter reduces the amount of light that enters a camera. For Drones, there is about three basic ND filter that I am happy to share information:

ND4:

Reduces light by ¼ and can reduce 2 stops of light allowing you to slow your shutter speed from 1/100 of a second to 1/25 of a second.

ND8:

Reduces light to ⅛ of a fraction and can reduce 3 stops of light, allowing to slow the shutter speed from 1/200 of a second to 1/25 of a second.

ND16:

Reduces light by 1/16 of a fraction and can reduce 4 stops of light, allowing you to slow your shutter speed from 1/400 of a second to 1/25 of a second.

The Right Exposure and ISO

Deciding what exposure to use for drone footage could be challenging. Proper exposure comes through experience and knowing exactly what you're looking for in your shots. If you heard the terms aperture, shutter speed and ISO, which are pretty common when creating images or video, then great you are a step ahead!. If you haven't heard any of these terms, not to worry, I will break it down for you! All you need to do before moving forward is to keep in mind that at the end of the day there's a relationship between all of them.
Aperture
Aperture can be defined as the opening in a lens through which light passes to enter the camera. It is an easy concept to understand if you just think about how your eyes work. You can shrink or enlarge the size of the aperture to allow more or less light to reach your camera sensor. Envision the photo or video you want to take and decide which aperture setting would create the result you’re after. For example, if you want everything in sharp focus, choose a small aperture (bigger number). If you prefer to blur the background or a nice Bokeh, you can opt for a wider aperture opening (smaller number).
Shutter Speed
In photography shutter speed measures the time the shutter is open, which controls the amount of light that passes through the camera. Almost the same principle as Aperture but the difference is that Shutter speed is shown in fractions of a second. In other words the faster the shutter speed the less blur or blur motion and the faster the shutter speed the more sharp and less camera shake.
In video, shutter speed is the amount of time that each individual frame is exposed to. When recording is almost always in fractions of a second. The number used in setting your shutter speed refers to the denominator of that fraction
ISO
In the digital camera world, the term ISO refers to the sensor’s sensitivity to light.
The lower the number, the less sensitive the sensor is to light. The higher the ISO is the more digital noise (grain) will be shown in your footage or image. In order words, New cameras nowadays when it comes to noise reduction, the technology is becoming more and more progressive in controlling the amount of noise you will see in your image on a higher ISO. The higher-end the camera bodies have the better noise quality you could get.
I want to end this chapter by saying that for shooting drone footage or aerial photos, before setting up your aperture and shutter speed, a good practice to apply to yourself is to adjust your ISO first. You need to take into consideration the light surrounding your environment and adjust to your like. Is a great practice to use manual setting in your drone the amount of possibilities is unlimited when creating your footage and videos.