Crafting Aerial Drone Photos

Lesson 3 of 7

Removing Lens Distortion for Panoramas

 

Crafting Aerial Drone Photos

Lesson 3 of 7

Removing Lens Distortion for Panoramas

 

Lesson Info

Removing Lens Distortion for Panoramas

Here's a shot from last year, this was when we were at Creative Live San Francisco and this is us flying off the roof there and there's a few of us waving. And you see, I'm spying on you. I can totally make out who they are. You know, it's ridiculous. Anyway. So, let's just look at taking an image. I'm gonna start with this one here. So, this is a DNG image that I shot directly outta the camera. And that's another thing I do wanna bring to mind, we shot this in the middle of the afternoon. See the quality of that? And in this one here I shot during magic hour. So much better, right? And this is unprocessed. You know, so, good lighting still applies. If you're not gonna go out and you're doing landscape stuff and you're not gonna do landscape in the middle of the afternoon, why do it in a quadcopter? 'Cause you're not gonna get any better photograph, it's still about lighting, it's still about magic light, you know when you get that golden hour everything looks better from any angle. Al...

l right, so what we're doing right now is a DNG and I'm just opening this up directly inside Camera Raw and this is Salt Creek area, I think that's like the Ritz Carlton or something down in Southern California, down my area. So, there's a few adjustments that we pretty much do to every single image. Now, one of them is optional and that is getting rid of the lens distortion. 'Cause as you can see there with these little cameras you get this fisheye effect. So, some of these I'll work in Camera Raw, sometimes I work in Lightroom, and I'll go backwards and forwards even in this class. It'll probably be beneficial. Most of the time, I'll be honest with you, I work from Lightroom. It does the same thing, it's Camera Raw essentially for what we're doing here, but Lightroom just is great to have a catalog and have everything there and the indexing and all that stuff is much better. So, one of the things we'll do is get rid of the lens distortion, so there are lens profiles built in. So, if I click on here, enable lens profile, you'll notice it selects DJI under here and we've got the phantom vision here. And the vision in a vision plus are using the same profile. So, as you can see as soon as I did that it got rid of the lens distortion. Now, if you don't like it, like some images look good with the lens distortion and sometimes I like that effect a little bit, other times you don't, it depends on the image, and sometimes what you might do is actually go in here and reduce it a little bit, so you can change the correction amount manually here. See that? So, sometimes what I'll do is I'll start with the profile and maybe back off a little bit 'cause what it does is it stretches around the edges sometimes and it looks a little weird. And then when you do that what you might wanna do is actually go in in here and then just create a preset and we'll call this distort. And I actually encourage people to do that a lot, is just find the lens correction that works best for you and then just save that as a preset and then you can come back and use that, apply that any time as a starting place. And then you're gonna do adjustments. You know, the first think you're probably gonna do is your gonna do a white balance adjustment and you'll see here we've got all the options here because I shot in DNG raw so I could actually choose the different white balance settings here. If you're shooting in a JPEG those options are not there and all you do is go up here, grab the eyedropper, look for an area that should be neutral white, click on it, and or gray, and that will get rid of that color distortion. This is kind of a yellow thing so it's not gonna work. We could click here on the rocks. Looking for something gray. There we go. And so you'll just kind of click through there, zoom in, maybe find an area of neutral gray, roads usually work quite well and it'll give you a neutral sharp. In this case it's magic hour and I kind of like that little golden kind of look on it. So, we could actually go back down, let me just go back down here. As shot. And I'm just gonna keep that 'cause I kind of like it. And then there's things that we always do on here, like one of the things that you wanna do as immediately is recover your highlights. So, you'll go in here, you'll recover your highlights a little bit, you'll open up your shadows. Now, one of the things about doing it here versus working on something like a full frame 20 megapixel image is that like, on a five view or something you can just go in and you can really push it and not really worry about it too much. And here because you got the smaller sensor you've gotta be careful 'cause if you start pushing things too far you get out effecting. So, you would be a little bit more gentle, it's kind of like I dunno if any of you remember, some of you will remember, the days before we had really good digital cameras and we would take photographs and maybe scan them in on desktop scanners and stuff like that, so the kind of leniency you have with the photographs is a little bit more like that again. Like you can push them a little bit and they look really nice, you push them too far and they stop looking nice anymore. So, they're a little more fragile than maybe what you're used to. Unless you're used to working with GoPros all the time then it won't matter. So, we go here, we can change our contrast, which we can add contrast or reduce it, which will just make it look more snappy or less snappy. It's more of a creative option here. And then we set out whites and blacks. So, just essentially up here we can see we've got a big hole there in the black so there's no shadows, we'll just move it over there 'til we start to put some shadows in there, gives it a little bit of body to the image. So, generally speaking these are the adjustments that we pretty much always do and then the other one I always do is usually give it a little kick of clarity, not too much, and a little touch of vibrance. And in this case I'll leave that there. So, these are the basic adjustments that pretty much every photo and in this case it was good 'cause we got really good lighting so really didn't have to do that much with this one, but a lot of the other ones that you'll get, and you'll see as we go, sometimes they can look really flat and they really need to be pushed to bring back some of the strength to those photos. So, that point here we'll just click, we can open as a smart object or open it as an image and if you hit the shift key that will toggle between an image and an object and we can just open it and say, you know what, here's our photograph here and I think I've got it going as a smart object right now. So, what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna right click on here, just for fun. Even though this'll work as a smart object I'm gonna rasterize the layer. 'Cause my next session I'm doing is smart filters, so I'm not really gonna get into smart filters right now. So, here's the photo, it's lookin' pretty good, but I wanna show you this one plugin that I use for aerial stuff and it just works like majorly cool for this. So, I'm gonna show this. How many of you guys are Windows users? Mac users? All right, sorry Windows users, you're left out. But for the Mac it's called MacPhun, so the name kind of tells you, it's for Mac, and it's called Intensify Pro. Any of you heard of Intensify Pro? So, this is just really, really awesome for aerial images because what it does is it enables you to really pull out the detail and the texture, especially when you start sharing on social media. Like I told you, you print this thing out huge it looks awesome but you've gotta do that to see the detail and appreciate it. You start sharing this on Facebook, people can't necessarily see all the details and the textures, so this is a plugin that I just absolutely love for it and we can create presets, I've got my own presets. I actually made one this morning on this image. I think I called it perfect aerial and you can see there what I was able to do just moving a few sliders. Just let me hit reset, we'll go back, I'll show you the sliders that really matter for this. Under the adjustment, you know, this does a lot of things and we're not gonna go through the whole thing, I'm just gonna show you the two areas that matter. There's pro contrast so we can actually adjust the contrast individually, so you've literally got these sliders here which are like a clarity slider in Camera Raw but they're split up and they give you a little more options. So, I can do the highlights here and I can pull this up. Notice you can see the color and stuff coming back into the rocks. I can do the midtones and I can do the shadows here so we can open those shadows up. But then we go under the offset and you can just fine tune these different areas here. So, all we're doing right now is just setting overall toning, so if I click you can see before and after. See how much richer I've made a lot of color, maybe a little much in the mids, let's bring that back a little. And then the other thing I like to play with is structure. Structure here is we're able to bring out some texture and some details in here and the details will also do that, but if we look under her under structure, look at the sand. The highlights, look at this, it brings out that texture and the detail right there. Same with the midtones, we can do that little bit, and a little in the shadows. And so, now look at this before and after. See how much detail you're able to bring out here? And there's other settings but I'm just gonna click apply right now to apply this. And I'll be honest, this is pretty much the only, at the moment, the only plugin I'm really using a lot with aerial stuff because this just can do some really nice things with it. I don't use it on every image but I just thought it was worth mentioning in case you do wanna get a little bit more out of there because of the limits of the sensor, sometimes you need a little help.

Class Description

UAVs, drones, multi-rotors, and quadcopters are flying tripods capable of framing photos in three true dimensions. Learn how to work with the images they capture in Crafting Aerial Drone Photos with Colin Smith.

In this class, you will learn how to set up the perfect shot, and how to turn the images from a drone-mounted camera into a full-sized work of art. You’ll learn what it takes to bring an image from a small camera to life, and how to make aerial panoramas from multiple photographs and video.

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