Drone footage can be breathtaking, powerful and mesmerizing to watch as a viewer – but can also be tricky to master as a creator. If you want to get professional-looking, impressive drone footage, stick with us to hear our top tips. Let’s get started!
Tips For Getting Great Drone Footage
1. Use Smooth Movement
Trying to change your shot sometimes results in jerky movements, which makes it really difficult to edit footage. Smooth movement is the way to go, so remember to control your speed and think about what shots you’d like beforehand. Try slow, coasting panning motions – it should feel natural, smooth and easy, not robotic, rigid or jerky.
2. Install A Filter
For movement that looks as natural as possible, try setting your shutter speed to double the frame rate. If this makes it too bright, attach a neutral density filter to the camera. These help regulate light and make slower shutter speeds possible, for maximum realism without compromising on great lighting.
3. Switch The Direction
It’s pretty predictable to just fly forwards, so why not fly backwards?
This changes your shot from an establishing shot to a reveal, showing details in the space as one rather than focusing on just one. If flying backwards ends up being too tricky, you can always reverse your drone footage in post.
4. Change Your Frame Rate
Frame rate can be important to the aesthetic and vibe of your footage. For example, 30fps will look more like reality TV, whereas 24fps will emulate a Hollywood feature. Capturing your footage in 4K will also help to capture smaller details, and provide flexibility for cropping in post.
For action shots, we would recommend 1080p at 60 (or even 120fps) so that you can slow down the footage in post-production.
5. Be Careful Of The Blades
Sometimes, during flying shots, drones can bank too much. This results in its spinning blades dipping into the frame, taking the audience out of the fantasy.
To avoid this, simply fly the drone to the exact point you want the shot to end on, then fly backwards and reverse the video when you edit. If there are moving objects in the frame, though, you may want to just crop the blades out!
6. Try Different Techniques & Manoeuvres
Don’t forget to have fun and get creative with your shots! Try some different manoeuvres, see what works for different types of footage and remember that practice makes perfect.
Some ideas for different techniques and manoeuvres include:
- Reverse Filming – When flying in reverse, drop down gradually whilst still filming
- Flying Horizontally – This works great for revealing extra detail in big landscapes
- Gimbal Angles – Most drones have 3 axis gimbals, meaning you can fly your drone forward, backwards or horizontally. At the same time, you can angle your gimbal on the pain, roll and tilt axis.
7. Be Mindful Of The Weather
When it comes to getting great drone footage, weather makes a big difference.
Ideal conditions are clear or cloudy days with little wind, and the worst are rain, mist, fog or freezing days. Shooting in golden hour / around sunset or sunrise times can produce some really beautiful footage, so be sure to plan ahead and check in with what the weather is doing before heading out!
Final Thoughts & How Audiosocket Can Help
We hope you enjoyed our tips for getting great aerial drone footage and found some helpful takeaways to help with your shoots. If you found this article helpful, we think you’ll love our articles on Camera Filters, Nikon NX Studio, Buying Used Cameras & Lenses, Shooting Slow Motion For Beginners, Travel Vlogging Equipment & Green Screen Lighting Tips!
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