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Beginner Drone Photography

Lesson 22 of 26

Tips for Capturing Drone Video


Beginner Drone Photography

Lesson 22 of 26

Tips for Capturing Drone Video


Lesson Info

Tips for Capturing Drone Video

Video tips, guys, video tips, here's my tips, so, just like the photo tips I gave you, the first one, find the light first, and then find your subject. It's very important that especially with a drone, that you're finding a subject, what is your subject? Is it a tree, is it a hill, is it a person? And then you frame around that, right, so find the light, then find your subject. I wanna encourage you to think in 3D, especially with video, this is really important, because now when you think about the foreground, you think about the middle ground, and you think about the background, with video, you can move through those spaces, so you're thinking in terms of zdepth, right. So if you start to point out like what's my foreground, okay, it's this tree right here, what's my middle ground, oh, it's that lake, and then what's my background, oh, it's the mountain ridge, you could fly past this tree, right now, I just created depth, fly over the lake, and then head over to the mountain, right. ...

I just took you through three planes. Things can get really interesting, that's dynamic, it's interesting, it pulls the viewer in. Next, I wanna try and encourage you guys to try multiple moves. I'm gonna share with you guys some moves, that you guys can practice, but I really wanna encourage you just like the photos, you saw with a peer, I was like low, over here, profile, high, oh, straight down, oh, over the middle, right, I'm just trying things. I'm getting a variety of shots. I'm not a one-and-done. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I love to explore, hopefully, you could see I'm kind of open to the process of creativity. Sometimes I may think I'm totally getting into the jone shot this way, but then I'll come over here and like, oh, man, I should totally try this, so I'm open, I fly around, right. I told you that before I get to a location, I'm walking around the location, I'm checking out what's here, what's there, what are my obstacles. Fly around with your drone, you may see something over the tree ridge, and it's like a cabin all alone, like oh my gosh, right. Explore your scene before you commit to it, right. Fly over there, see if there's any distracting elements, very important. Next, really helpful tip is to figure out your starting point, and then your ending point. That makes things really easy because now you know where to start and where you're gonna end, and you kind of just have to get to that ending, right, so you're like I'm gonna be here, I wanna go over that monitor, so I'm gonna be here, I'm gonna go over the monitor, I'm gonna tilt the camera down, now you have a goal, you have a plan, instead of just like flying and figuring out as you go, and it's jerky, and it's wobbly, right. Your controls aren't so smooth, and then I wanna encourage you guys to follow through on your shots. So think of it just like a golfer, right, they go for the windup, they hit the ball, they don't just stop, though, like bink, stop, right, it's like follow through the shot, right. Do that same thing with your drone. You have your starting point, you have your ending point, start heading to that ending point, you hit that ending point, and then I say keep going, let that motion ease out. That's the big key, I think, for you guys to think about, is the easing of things. If you're already gonna start off with an ease, 'cause you're just hovering, you're gonna kick it forward, you've eased into that foreword move, eased out of your ending move. And then next I wanna encourage you guys to record extra footage. This is a biggie that I take from the video world, when I used to shoot short films, is I always record at least five seconds before I wanna actually hit that action, and I record at least five seconds after, and it saves me so much. You can increase it to 10 to be safe. It saves me so much for doing a transition, or it lets me kind of exit the shot a little, a little later, and I can do that fade, right, so something to think about. These are all good tips to practice. So, before I show you some camera moves, I wanna talk to you about prop wash, and here you're gonna see in this shot, can you guys see this flickering over here? This is because my props are going, and the sun is higher, it's a little higher, and that light coming through my lens, is getting interrupted, right, so I get a flickering. Now, there's a couple ways to fix this. I can either completely change my angle, and be like well, I'm not flying towards the light, I'll just fly this way, easy, or what you could try doing is let's say we wanted to do a push towards the water, so we wanna push past this object, get some depth going, I'll push past the object, I'm heading towards the water, that's the shot we want, but we have flickering. I say start over here, and go backwards, so your props are facing the other way, then reverse it in Premiere or Final Cut or something. That's the hot tip, right, reversing the footage. It obviously won't work if there's a car going by, right, you reverse, it's like going backwards, but in this case, like there's no object, that they would ever know that, right, so that's a really handy tip. The other thing that I'd like to say about that, is when you're flying forward, and your camera's looking out, your props can be in the shot. If you shoot 4K and you have a smaller composition in Final Cut like 1080, it doesn't really matter if the props are on the top of the shot, 'cause you just slide the clip up, 'cause you have a way bigger clip, than what your sequence is in Premiere or Final Cut. Does that make sense to you guys? So, oftentimes, what I will do, is instead of pushing towards the, it'd be more like this, pushing towards the shot, I will go backwards, and reverse it, and see, there's no props anywhere near the camera, so it's a great tip for you guys, if you have some issues with the props getting in your footage.

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.