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Beginner Drone Photography

Lesson 26 of 26

Adding Music & SFX


Beginner Drone Photography

Lesson 26 of 26

Adding Music & SFX


Lesson Info

Adding Music & SFX

So let's just say I'm happy with this image. What I'm gonna do now is I wanna just jazz is up slightly. You guys obviously know the drone does not have a microphone. Did you guys know that early drone footage that I shot just had (helicopter sound) right, the whole time 'cause the GoPro was recording audio, right? So that was really annoying in the early days but now we don't even record audio. So to jazz this up we need uh, we need to give it some effects. So, I like to get sound effects. You can buy these on a website like Audio Jungle. There's tons of different websites, iStock, um. You can search for sound effects but what I'm gonna do is I want to add these kids at the beach and it says kids beach birds. I specifically found that clip. So I'm gonna drag and drop this in. I'm gonna play it. (indistinct chatter) (birds chirping) And it already sounds like its got a little more life, right? Just through that sound effect and you can spend hours trying to find the perfect sound effect...

, right? This is just kind of a quick demo but it's like, it feels like maybe they're all playing there. I might have to lower the audio a little bit but let's just let's just see 'cause there's one other thing I wanna do. I wanna bring in some waves that I, I downloaded as well. So I'm gonna bring in this wave clip. (mouse clicks) (indistinct chatter) (birds chirping) (waves crashing) You start to see how it starts to come together and it's now got a little bit more life to it. So from there what I might do is I might then go in and perfectly adjust the waves, perfectly adjust the kids playing, and try to get a nice balance. So ones not overpowering the other. But right away you can see that, Wow it like livens it and we didn't even add music if you think that's relevant. You can add in some music, right? So pretty cool, you'd add it just the same way. Now one cool thing is if you're wondering, you could always open up your your 4K clip and switch over to the effects and again this is a little advanced but you could set a key frame on scale and rotation and you could pretend a ya twist while zooming out on your 4K clip because your 4K clip is really big. Does that make sense? So it's a little cheater way you could do that. Let's just say "We love this, this is great, "this is the best thing we've ever made." I'm gonna go to File, I'll go to Export, Media. Wait for it to pop up somewhere. (mouse clicks) There we go. And, okay let's see if I can see this. Okay, so there's my screen. Generally what I do is I, I do a preset and if I'm gonna post it to Twitter or Vimeo, I go to this preset tab and I go and find where the Vimeo or the YouTube preset is and generally speaking um, if I just match it to my setting like I'm in a 1080 sequence. I would just like YouTube 1080. Generally this is uh, is pretty good. If I'm really worried about it though, I could go through and sorry my screens really small. I didn't even know if I can. I guess you guys can kind of see it. I might check on the render at maximum depth. I might change this to a constant bit rate. Variable bit rate means that the compression will change over time as the scene gets more complex. The constant bit rate means, doesn't matter if the scenes complex, it's gonna export out at constant bit rate, but you're gonna get a bigger file 'cause there's not much compression variety that's taking place and maybe change this target. Again these are kind of advanced things. And then maybe check, use maximum render quality and then click right here and export it out. That's generally how I'd approach this project. So I think that's a good quick little overview of showing how I might work in Adobe Premiere. How I take a clip, I try to jazz it up by doing a color correction then a little creative color edit on it and then I throw in some sound effects and then possibly music if it's relevant. So Kenna, do we have any questions over there from online? So awesome. So much fun to see you do this. Any questions in the studio? Yes, please. I was wondering how practical it is to pull stills out of the 4K. Yeah, great. So, my personal experience is it's not that great. If it's just for social, you can get by but if I was in a, let's do Workspaces, (mouse clicks) Effects. Let me slide this over. (mouse clicks) Sorry I'm gonna go actually to my editing and I'm gonna take my 4K clip and I'm gonna put it in a new sequence that matches the settings. I just click on the 4K clip, drag it down to this New Sequence button, let go, and then makes the 4K sequence that matches exactly the settings of my clip. So let's say we're working in 4K. You're editing and you're like, "Oh my gosh, this looks awesome." What you could do is you can click this little camera button in Premiere and do an export right here and pick what you wanna export it out as. Let's just say JPEG, I'll throw it on my desktop, hit Okay. (mouse clicks) It's pretty descent, it'd be fine for a social. But, my experience is is it's not great past that. Yeah. Great, thank you. Well Dirk, I would love to hear if you have final words for all the students at home who are perhaps just getting started with drone photography and video and um, what what your final words are and then also how how we can all follow you too? Yeah so um, I'll switch over here to this. Again I'm Dirk Dallas. Thank you guys so much for joining me. It's a real honor that you'd spend your day with me and I really hope that you picked up on something a few things, that'd be even better. I hope that your walking away feeling maybe a little more confident in either flying or settings or even how the drone works. But please, check me out online. My personal user name is at dirka. So pretty easy to remember, dirk with an A at the end. My website is from where I drone dot com and if you are interested in downloading that the free Lightroom presets as well as my preflight checklist that's a PDF for you, go ahead and sign up for my newsletter and you'll get a download link right after you sign up. I wanna encourage all you guys. You're part of the family, you're here. You're interested in drones, just tag your stuff from where I drone, whether you post on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, whatever it is, YouTube, Vimeo, and that's how you join the community. It's literally as simple as that. There's no membership. I don't pick and choose. It's just people that are interested in the same thing, coming together, tagging our stuff, so we can find each other, and then please follow from where I drone. That's the account I use to post peoples work from the community. Feature them, highlight them, help get their work out there and introduce new people that maybe you'd don't know about and I just wanna say that there's a lot of stuff. I mean this class could be even longer. We could go even further in depth in a lot of things. If you feel like I maybe skipped over something or I said something but didn't really talk about it. Guys, Google is your friend. Check out stuff on Google, do research. What the drone rules do do diligence. I wanna encourage you guys to practice and remember to have fun. This is such a cool tool for you guys to explore your creativity to tell stories, to evoke feelings, provoke questions and really have fun with this, explore. Really this, this whole thing is still new. We're only a couple of years in to flying drones. There's not a whole lot of you know, exact science behind why we do what we do 'cause we're all just kinda figuring it out together. So that's, that's the beautiful thing. Finding community, fly with each other, find people on here and we can make this community even stronger. So thanks so much for joining me and I'll see you guys later.

Class Description


  • Confidently fly a drone
  • Understand basic legal requirements
  • Execute simple to intermediate drone maneuvers
  • Adjust settings for aerial photography
  • Simultaneously adjust the drone and the camera
  • Use drones to capture a variety of still and video perspectives
  • Edit aerial photography and aerial videography


Sure, drone photography looks just like playing a video game, but controlling an unmanned aerial vehicle while simultaneously working a camera takes essential know-how and practiced skills. Take off with confidence and capture aerial photography and videography at angles you never thought possible. In this beginner's class, learn essentials like safe drone flight, essential photography settings, and basic post-processing.

Work with award-winning aerial photographer Dirk Dallas as you learn to control your drone. Whether your drone is collecting dust or you've just opened the box, this class provides the essentials to fall in love with drone photography and videography. From legal restrictions to selecting and operating a drone and accessories, this class covers all the basics of aerial photography with a drone.

Explore a drone's controls, then learn exercises to help hone your flight skills. Flag potential legal restrictions in the United States. Learn settings and tips for capturing great aerial photography, then incorporate motion with video. Finally, work in image processing and video editing to fine-tune your captures. Whether you want to capture aerial images for real estate, environmental studies, commercial advertising, independent movie production, land-use planning or simply creative photography, start flying with confidence.


  • Any user new to drone flight
  • Photographers looking to expand to aerial photography
  • Videographers eager to add a new angle with drones
  • Drone newbies that want to learn new moves and tricks


FAA licensed drone pilot Dirk Dallas uses drones to capture new angles in his commercial photography and filmmaking. Also a speaker and professor, Dirk is the founder of and the host of the AdoramaTV series From Where I Drone With Dirk Dallas. Along with his creative work, he enjoys teaching and inspiring new drone pilots.


  1. Class Introduction

    Meet your instructor and find inspiration from amazing sample aerial imagery with an eagle's eye view.

  2. How Dirk Got Started With Drones

    Learn how a hobby flying RC helicopters and a newfound passion for photographer merged into a love for drone photography. Dig into the brief history of aerial photography with drone technology and see how UAVs have changed from simple tools to essentials for aerial photographers.

  3. What is a Drone?

    Before diving into aerial photography with a drone, what exactly is a drone? Learn drone basics, as well as other terms frequently used for drones like UAS, UAV, and quadcopters. Explore the different types of camera drones available, many with the best camera built right in. Walk through the different drone options from the biggest drone manufacturer, DJI.

  4. Registering Your Drone

    Aerial photography with a drone has several legal restrictions. The first step is making sure to register your drone with the FAA. Walk through the simple, inexpensive act of registering and learn to avoid scams. This lesson covers registry in the United States.

  5. Drone Terminology

    Like learning photography, aerial drone photography comes with a long list of new terminology. Dig into aerial photography jargon and learn the tools of the trade. Pick up terms like gimbal, GPS and propellers.

  6. DJI Go App

    Controlling your drone starts with an app, a controller, or both. Learn the basics of DJI's Go App and decipher what all those symbols on the screen mean. Navigate the app and get started controlling a DJI drone using the DJI Go App.

  7. FAA Drone Rules

    Aerial photography requires responsible flying. In this lesson, learn the essential FAA rules to understand before you fly. Determine No Fly Zones and avoid collisions with other drones with air traffic rules.

  8. Apps for Flying Drones

    Find all the data you need to fly a drone daunting? Apps can help simplify drone flight. Learn about apps that tell you where you can fly, the flying weather predictions, visibility conditions, drone news, and more.

  9. Pre-flight: Drone Flight Checklist

    Prep for the flight to ensure a safe, successful aerial photography shoot. Go through a checklist to make sure the area is safe and your drone is ready to fly. Make a plan for the flight -- and a backup plan.

  10. How to Fly Overview: Take off, Hover & Land

    Begin learning to fly with this overview. Cover the different drone controller controls. Practice with exercises designed to help you make drone flight feel like second nature. Learn automatic and manual methods for taking off and landing with in-field demonstrations.

  11. Straight Line & The Simple Box

    Continue honing your flight skills with exercises and skills for flight paths. Learn how to fly straight and how to fly in a simple box shape using just one stick on the controller.

  12. The 180 & The Box With Yaw

    Add in the second control stick and learn how to turn your drone around completely, called "yawing." Then, fly in a box shape with a yaw turn. Learn tricks to working with the controls like flipping the controls when the drone flips.

  13. Drawing Shapes

    Expand your drone flight exercises with additional advanced tasks to further build your flight skills. Fly in diagonals, then use both controls simultaneously to fly in a perfect circle. When you've mastered those shapes, try the figure eight exercise and orbiting.

  14. Q&A

    Find answers to the most frequently asked questions on drone flight. Students like you pose questions during the live class, while Dirk digs in and explains.

  15. DJI Intelligent Flight Modes

    DJI builds several different intelligent flight modes into their drones that allow for different flying techniques using remote sensing systems. Learn the different main flight mode options, what route they fly, and how to use the different available options. Master tricks like controlling the drone with gestures, "follow me" mode, and preset flight paths.

  16. DJI Go App: Photo Settings

    Now that you're comfortable using a controller and app to fly, what about that aerial camera? Get started on capturing digital imagery with your drone by learning the different settings. Learn how to turn the camera off auto, as well as how to manually adjust aperture, shutter speed, and aperture. Adjust settings like burst mode, bracketing, white balance, and RAW shooting. Master focus options to get a sharp, high-quality image.

  17. Tips for Capturing Drone Photos

    The perspective of aerial photography is unique -- but impressive aerial imagery is about more than just perspective. In this lesson, gain some essential aerial photography tips, like why you may want to use a low altitude instead of a high one. Learn to work with instead of against the sunshine. Consider composition and height and other aspects for the best drone photography.

  18. Creating Panoramas

    Aerial photography isn't limited to a standard aspect ratio. In this lesson, learn how to import images into Lightroom. Then, build a panorama from several overlapping aerial photos using the same software.

  19. Post Processing for Drone Photography

    Like shooting with two feet on the ground, aerial photography can often be improved with a bit of editing. Walk through the process of adjusting images inside Lightroom. Work with exposure, adding style, and color correction.

  20. DJI Go App: Video Settings

    Step from aerial photography into aerial video. Get started with drone video with the DJI Go app settings for video in a live demonstration. Learn essentials like resolution, frame rate, and shutter speed.

  21. Accessories

    Drone accessories can make flights easier and improve the quality of photos and video. Learn the ins and outs of different drone photography accessories, including landing pads, batteries, hoods, and ND filters. Explore what each one does, which ones are essential, and what's just optional.

  22. Tips for Capturing Drone Video

    Build on your aerial video capabilities with video tips for drones. With the added dimension of time, add in effects like fly over moves. Learn ways to create more dynamic video from a drone in this lesson, as well as tips to expand simply by doing more exploring.

  23. Camera Moves

    Add drama to aerial video by recording while doing cool drone moves. Learn the camera movement that's possible with aerial video using a UAV. Integrate tricks like slowly revealing the subject, using a top-down bird's-eye-view, playing with altitude, circling a subject and more to create a more dynamic video.

  24. Post Processing For Videography

    Video editing is quite different from editing still photos. Work With Adobe Premiere Pro for a few basic video edits, including importing video, then working with cropping and motion effects.

  25. Simple Color Correction For Footage

    Like with still photos, drone videos can benefit from color adjustments. Learn how to use the Lumetri Color tools inside Premiere Pro to correct colors or add style or drama through color correction.

  26. Adding Music & SFX

    Finish the class by learning to add music and sound effects to aerial footage -- since the sound of a buzzing drone isn't exactly pleasant to listen to, if your drone records audio at all. Work with basic audio in Adobe Premiere Pro. Learn how to add and adjust audio. Then, gain some final input on drone photography and videography with a brief Q&A.



Dirk really did a nice job taking new students thru exercises to gain confidence. The work in Lightroom and Photoshop was helpful, but I wish more time could have been focused on flying or tips. Dirk has presets that he offers. It would have been helpful to see the results using those presets. Looking forward to the free which Drone to buy class and the advanced class


I definitely recommend this course if you are thinking about getting into drone photography looking for the fundamentals. I now feel pretty confident I can get started and that my learning curve will be greatly shortened thanks to the technology available today and a great roadmap of getting started. If you are already started... follow up with his advanced topics... I know I will.


Super class. As a beginner I had little idea what to expect and never got started because of all the talk of people crashing drones right and left and losing a fortune. Dallas made it seem simple. So I bought a Tello beginners drone (great starter by the way), got hooked and am now flying a DJI Mavic Pro 2 and studying for a commercial license. Not sure, this is a great class to start with.