Negosentro.com | How To Take And Edit Drone Photos? | A bird’s eye view reveals a unique view of the landscapes and cities. With the proliferation of drones, there is more opportunity than ever to get out and take photos from the ground. While drone image quality has improved, most popular drones, such as the Holy Stone hs720 drone and Phantom 4 series, still do not match what you get from your DSLR. Therefore, it is important to take a few steps to take better photos. Here we will discuss some tips on how to take and edit drone photos.
Taking Drone Photos:
There are several ways to improve the quality of images that you make using your drone. Some of them are settings inside the camera, while others are external factors. Here are my top 5 tips to improve how to take photos of drones.
- Shoot RAW, RAW is an uncompressed and unprocessed version of the photo. JPEG is a processed and compressed image. You will need this RAW file when it comes time to edit it, as it gives you more freedom in subsequent processing. For DJI drones, go to “Settings”, click “Camera Icon”, then “Image Format” and “RAW”.
- Photo Bracket, Also called AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing). The more AEB images you shoot in RAW, the more diverse exposure you can shoot without any other settings for your photos. 5 Bracket AEB (recommended for drone photography) will take snapshot 1 with the selected settings, and 2 will be different for exposed images, and 2 for exposed ones. Please note that when using the HDR image function in DJI GO 4 it will create a JPEG and therefore is not recommended, since you will not be able to highlight details in shadows or highlights, as in RAW photographs. For DJI drones, go to “Settings”, click “Camera Icon”, then “Photos”, “AEB” and finally “5”.
- Image size, 4: 3 is the preferred ratio that I use when shooting with the drone, as it is more natural for landscape photos than 16: 9. 4: 3 is the native image format and will allow you to make the most of the photos you take. For DJI drones go to “Settings”, click “Camera Icon”, then “Image Size”, then “4: 3”.
- Shoot manually, Manual mode gives you maximum control over your drone and the photos you take. New drones like the Holy Stone hs720 drone give you the power to control your aperture. For daytime shots, I go to the starting point f / 8.0, ISO 100, and then adjust the shutter speed accordingly. All of these settings will vary depending on the lighting and subject.
- Use filters. Just like when shooting with a digital SLR camera, you must use filters. Filters ND (Neutral Density) and Polarization are crucial for controlling the light and glare present in the scene. Using filters allows the photographer to better control aperture and shutter speed. Finally, do not be shy in your glass! High quality glass and filters will make a difference to your images. I recommend Tiffen filters – check out their new filters for DJI Mavic Pro 2 here.
- Bonus tip – photograph in the early morning or late afternoon. The light is much softer and you will get better results, whether the sun is behind you, on the side or if you shoot directly at it.
Editing Drone Photos:
So, you took this epic shot using the tips 5 above. Now what? Here are my top 5 tips for editing your drone photos.
- Merging photos in brackets. For each picture you take, you have an excerpt in brackets of 5 thanks to AEB. Combine them together using programs such as Lightroom, LR Enfuse or Aurora HDR. Each program has its own appearance and gives you various editing options, so it may take some practice to find out which one is best for your style. No matter which program you use, you will receive a .TIF file that should contain a balanced photo that you can edit into the image you want to create. Here we have an original photograph, as well as a photograph in brackets.
- Global adjustments, adjust exposure if necessary. Then lower your highlights and increase the shadows as you see fit. Finally, hold down “option” (Mac) or “alt” (PC) while moving the white and black sliders so that you can see where you will begin to lose detail in the shadows or throw out your highlights. This should now provide you with a more accessible image, as well as an image with good contrast. On the left is the original photo, and on the right is the finally edited version (sky and ray of light added in Photoshop).
- Sharpen, sharpness of your images is very important to this region stood out because you do not want the image look soft. Programs such as Lightroom have a sharpening tool in the Details Tab. Remember, a little goes a long way, and you do not want to overdo it. Increase to about 400% and start at about 20. For quick and easy sharpening of images, see this YouTube Tutorial.
- Remove chromatic aberration, Chromatic aberration (CA) is found in photos and gives you color that borders the edges in photos. Lightroom has a checkmark on the Lens Correction tab. Do not finish editing your photos without checking this box. This may not solve all your problems with CA, but this is a good start. If additional CA removal is required, go to Photoshop to do this.
- Cropping / vignetting. Although these are two completely different functions, I will combine them here, as they can be used to highlight an area of your image. You can crop to really draw a viewer to your scene. You can also use the vignette tools in Lightroom (the Effects tab) to bring the viewers’ eyes closer to the center, or the radial filter for drawing to create your own vignette that highlights where you want the viewer to go.