Aerial videography also known as drone videography, has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s not hard to see why; with an aerial shot, you can really add some dynamism and drama to your video projects, making them that much more memorable. But if you don’t know how to use your drone safely and effectively, the results can be a little shaky (see what we did there?) or totally ineffective.
Invest in a Good Camera
If you’re serious about aerial videography, you’re going to need a good camera. Not only will this help you capture high-quality footage, but it will also allow you to edit and post-process your videos more easily. Look for a camera with 4K resolution and 60fps frame rate for best results.
Learn How to Fly Safely
Before you take your drone out for a spin, it’s important to understand the basics of safe flying. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Read the manual before you fly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to understand the capabilities and limitations of your drone.
- Don’t fly in bad weather. High winds and rain can damage your drone or interfere with its ability to fly safely.
- Keep your drone within sight. Not only is this a good safety measure, but it will also help you avoid obstacles and stay clear of restricted airspace.
- Don’t fly near people or animals.
Get Great Sound
In order to get great sound while shooting aerial videography, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure you have a good microphone. Second, use an external recorder if possible. Third, shoot in a location with little to no wind. Fourth, keep the camera as steady as possible. Fifth, use a gimbal if you have one. Sixth, don’t forget about post-production sound editing. Seventh, always test your equipment before you head out on a shoot.
Use Equipment Specifically Made for Video
Yes, that DSLR you have can shoot video. But it’s not made for it and you’ll quickly find that out when trying to shoot smooth video from the air. You need a gimbal to stabilize your camera, otherwise your footage will be shaky and unusable. And you’ll want a camera with good low light performance for those early morning or evening flights.
Film with Natural Light Only (if possible)
Aerial videography is all about capturing stunning visuals from a unique perspective. And one of the best ways to do that is to film with natural light only. This can be tricky, but it’s worth it for the amazing footage you’ll get. Here are some tips to help you make the most of natural light when filming from the air:
- Find a location with good lighting. This may mean avoiding direct sunlight, but you want to find a spot where there’s plenty of bright, natural light.
- Fly early in the morning or late in the evening. The light will be softer and more flattering during these times of day.
- Use a reflector to bounce light into your shot.
Film at Dawn or Dusk
The best time to get those aerial shots is either at dawn or dusk. The sun is low in the sky, which makes for some beautiful lighting. Plus, there are fewer people and cars out and about, so you won’t have to worry about getting in anyone’s way. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your aerial videography session
Don’t Overthink Filming
It can be tempting to overthink your shots when you’re first starting out in aerial videography. But resist the urge! Instead, focus on getting a feel for your drone and what it’s capable of. Fly around and experiment with different angles and altitudes. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at nailing those killer shots.