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iPhone X: The Quick Guide to Great Photos + Video

Lesson 8 of 12

How to Take Aerial Shots


iPhone X: The Quick Guide to Great Photos + Video

Lesson 8 of 12

How to Take Aerial Shots


Lesson Info

How to Take Aerial Shots

A helicopter's not required for great landscape shots. We just had this opportunity, and we wanted to demonstrate the optical image stabilization of both these lenses. What that is, is that is a technology that's in both of these rear-facing lenses that's a new feature to the iPhone X. What we're gonna demonstrate is that when you're up in a helicopter, there's a lot of high-frequency vibrations. We're gonna demonstrate that we're able to take really clear, crisp pictures, despite the fact that we're in basically a flying lawnmower. It's also really useful, this technology, when you're zoomed in on something, because it allows you to keep that stable. Also in low light, when your shutter time is a little longer, an optically stabilized lens will allow you to take a better photograph, a sharp photograph, when the light's not so high. Let's hop on board. We're gonna go out and fly around Seattle. We've got a beautiful day. Let's put this sucker to the test. (helicopter engine rumbles) (i...

ndistinct radio chatter) Roger, one, two. And I got traffic in the pattern site. I'd kinda like this out over the edge of the water just a skosh. Nice. This is gorgeous. Okay, when you get to where you wanna be, if you could flatten out those blades. Oh, that's gorgeous. (indistinct radio chatter) We're gettin' into position for a shot here, we're gonna be about 1200 feet up over the city. To the left side, I'm gonna put the Space Needle, to the right side, I'm gonna put Mt. Rainier, just frame up a nice shot with the sun falling on the city from the west. It's gonna be beautiful, beautiful little shot. Let's go right in here. I wouldn't wanna go too much, I know. When you get your turn leveled out, go ahead and... All right, so this is just a nice, gorgeous little shot here. I'm gonna zoom in and use the 2x lens. Right there, Space Needle to the left. Can we hold here and gain a little altitude? That'd be great. Yeah. Nice. Aww, that's so gorgeous. Now I'm gonna zoom, I wouldn't normally zoom much here, but it's a nice shot. I'm gonna go to a vertical, get the Space Needle and the mountain lined up there. Still catch a little water. You can see I'm working really quickly here. I'm less focused on the horizon. Let's go 'head and keep this exact trajectory that we got right now, I like the speed. Same heading that you got right now. All right, zoom in 2x there, nice shot. What would happen if we did a third pass at a slightly lower altitude? I wouldn't get too much, I'm tryin' to get the Space Needle against the water, as opposed to against the land. So one more circle, just that last 30 seconds of that pass. Roger. All right, now I'm gettin' a little bit lower here. He'll tilt the rotors back out of the way for me. Look, I'm just, there's some high-frequency vibrations. I'm gonna wait and move the Space Needle out over to the bay. Gonna get a couple good ones here with 2x. Touch on that city, the... Aww, look at that, that is buttery. Get Key Arena there. Heading up Oh this is perfect. Now let's slow down just a little bit, I really wanna nail this one. Oh yeah, now the Space Needle's right where I want it, we got the mountain back there. Oh. Wide backin' out. Great, let's just go 'head and just gain some altitude now. All right, oh, this is... Rainier right behind the city. Sorry, I'm ignoring you, Space Needle. All right, really nice job just lining up the Space Needle again to the left, where this is the second or third pass we've done here. Tryin' to capture some of the water. Oh, that's really nice. Gonna zoom in there again, and compress that mountain. Tap on the focus on that where you can see Mt. Rainier poppin' up in the background. Lookin' really pretty. One of the things you've gotta be careful of is the rotor. Sam's done a really good job of keepin' the rotor out of my frame, but it's just one of the things. 'Cause you don't really see it in the camera, and you'll see it in all your pictures. (indistinct radio chatter) Oh, this is some perfect altitude. Maybe, yeah, maybe take me up a skosh. There we go. Now you can see, I'm puttin' the Space Needle just back behind the water there. A little bit more out? Oh, you're climbin' as fast as you can, nevermind. We're good. Every once in a while, tappin' on the sky to get my exposure where I want it. Darken it just a tad, we can do that in post-production. Gonna probably gain some altitude here. I'm lookin' to get a nice backlit shot of the city with the sunset in the background. I'm thinking of trying. Let's go 'head and gain some altitude now. Now when I'm asking him to climb now, we're doing that so I can get Rainier behind the buildings, versus through them. Got a different shot on the last pass, tryin' to keep up the variation here. Nice and slow, we're not in any hurry here, Sam. That's good. Gotcha. (indistinct radio chatter) This is just delicious. Perfect altitude, Sam. Gotcha. Perfect. All right, you can see I got the Space Needle framed up against the water there. Got that nice cloud formation moving in, Rainier in the background, I'm gonna try a couple different exposures here. Aw, nice and slow, nice and slow. Back to wide. Get the whole region. When I tilt up, I gotta be careful. The helicopter blades, you can start to see those there. This is beautiful. All right, just gonna turn myself around a little bit. Might be a little resistance, I'm gonna get my feet out for a couple of interesting shots. All right, let's go 'head and head down the I-5 corridor there. Okay. When we were getting the shot, now we're trying to just really get some interesting variety, that's why I had my feet hanging out. Just, all those things, some of the shots you don't expect to be the great shots, those gonna be great shots from the shoot. Oh, look at that, we've got the Space Needle there, standin' out a little bit proud. Aw, that is money. Big shout-out to Sam, the heli pilot. Thank you very much. As I'm looking just here, initially reviewing some of the shots, so many of them are tack-sharp, which is that technology working for you. And remember, the same thing is true if you're in low light and you've gotta hold your camera really still to get a shot, that's another way that these image stabilization technology comes into play. Also, if you're zoomed way out. If you use the optical zoom and then digitally zoom in as well, and you can see, it's like you move just a little bit, that's another way where this kicks in. You don't need a helicopter, although they're a pretty fun toy. You don't need a helicopter to make use of this technology, we just wanted to find a really simple, but extreme, way of demonstrating it. Let's go back and check out some shots.

Class Description


  • Know which lighting option to use to get the best image—studio light, natural light, low light, stage light, or studio mono.
  • Use the dual optical image stabilization for taking an image when you’re in motion.
  • Capture macro images such as flowers and details on clothing.
  • Take a great selfie.
  • Know how and when to use the different lenses built into your iPhone, including optical, wide angle, telephoto lens, and digital zoom.
  • Make your photos look great in post-processing using lighting effects, filters, tone, brightness, color, saturation, cropping, and more.


If you’ve got a new iPhone X or another type of advanced smartphone, you’ve got a powerful, professional-grade camera able to achieve the same kind of results that used to require a $10,000 investment. The problem is, most people aren’t familiar enough with their phone’s features to take full advantage of its photographic capabilities.

This short, impactful course on Apple iPhone photography is designed to change the way you take pictures with your phone and give you the knowledge you need to use your camera to its full potential. You’ll be amazed at how a few key tips and tricks can revolutionize the way you shoot and result in gorgeous photos that will make people think you’re a real pro.

This class will help you:

  • Learn simple portrait mode posing techniques for kids, adults, families, and groups.
  • Capture those fleeting, candid moments, including action shots of fast-moving subjects.
  • Get tips for shooting gorgeous landscapes and cityscapes.
  • Use natural light to create both indoor and outdoor portraits.
  • Utilize the newest Apple iPhone X camera features to capture gorgeous 4K and slo-mo video.
  • Go on a tour of key iPhone X camera features that will help you make the most of the new technology.

Photographer, entrepreneur, and CreativeLive founder and CEO Chase Jarvis is the ideal instructor for this course. Chase is a pioneer in mobile photography, having created the world’s first book of mobile photos and popularized the saying “the best camera is the one that’s with you.” In his down-to-earth style, Chase gives you just the right amount of instruction to help you capture amazing portraits, action photos, landscapes, and videos. This class will take you through various real-life scenarios that help you shoot pictures that you’re excited to share.


  • People who want to take better photos with their phones and know more about the new features of their device.
  • Those who want to learn about new and undiscovered features of their iPhone X camera app to take great photos.
  • People who want to learn the basics of photo composition and lighting so they can take the best shots.

Apple iPhone X


  1. iPhone X Photography Class Introduction

    Chase gives a rundown of everything he’ll be covering in this iPhone X photography course, and how to use the features of this new camera.

  2. iPhone X Portrait Lighting

    Learn about iPhone X portrait lighting, including the best modes to use for portraits as well as the key tools to help you manage different lighting conditions including low-light.

  3. Edit Photos on iPhone

    Use adjustments, preset filters and other tools to edit photos on iPhone X and do some super quick post-processing before posting online.

  4. Capturing Live Photo on iPhone

    Chase will show you how to use live photo on iPhone to get that perfect image.

  5. Shooting 4K Video iPhone X

    Learn how to shoot 4K video iPhone X.

  6. Taking Portrait Photos on iPhone

    Here you’ll learn how to create the perfect soft focus background and the classic ways to frame a portrait.

  7. Macro Photo iPhone Photography

    When your light isn’t great and your subject is tired, go into macro photo iPhone mode to capture close-ups, deal with low-light performance, discover cool details, and textures.

  8. How to Take Aerial Shots

    If you’ve got an iPhone X, you’ll be able to shoot sharp images because of its optical image stabilization technology. Here’s a great lesson on how to take aerial shots with your iPhone X.

  9. Editing Photos on iPhone

    Chase will teach you about editing photos on iPhone to optimize your light, color, contrast and more.

  10. iPhone X Photography Features

    Chase shows off a few game-changing iPhone X photography features, including the edge-to-edge screen, amazing contrast ratio, and facial recognition.

  11. *BONUS LESSON* Get an iPhone X Tour

    Take a quick iPhone X camera review.

  12. *BONUS LESSON* Taking Great Photos with iPhone

    If you’ve got an iPhone X, you’re always ready to take an awesome shot when the opportunity arises. Here’s a lesson on taking great photos with iPhone X.


JB Minton

This is a fantastic kick start to giving you the fundamentals and inspiration to pick up your phone and start documenting the beauty around you, every day. Taking photos has become my favorite social expression now, given that I can do it without getting into politics or descending into the negative energy that infest social media. Taking photos can be 100% inspirational and positive and this course is a great beginning to makin that happen. Chase is a great instructor and you will walk away with more knowledge than you came in with. Perfect length of course also! Loved it!

Nicole Abate Ducarroz

WOW! Just Wow! This class was not only very informative but also entertaining and kept moving right along. I loved how Chase teaches and would take a class from him any day. It was organized, yet very casual and natural. It was relevant and applied to not only iPhone X users but all iPhones too. I LOVED this class! Thank you!

Hannes Schiebel

Yes, you can find many if not all of the that stuff shown here somewhere else - probably for free. But in my opinion, this is a great class. Chase Jarvis does a really great job of sending the most important message of photography: The best camera is the one you have with you - and he shows me that the iPhone X camera is a very good camera. Take this class, be inspired - I think I will take better photos now :)