Learn How To Fly A Drone For Aerial Photos And Videos


Lesson Info

Camera Move Examples

Dirk would like to know, can a drone do this with the mentioned either follow mode or active track marking a skier? And I know you don't use those modes commercially very often but do you think it could pull it off or is there a speed variable? I was just thinking too, like, that was pretty fast, I mean, that right there was 45 to 50 miles an hour which the Phantom will do in sport mode but in sport mode you don't have active track, in sport mode, it's pretty much a hands-on kind of mode and also in sport mode you would have to be flying, how would you even do that? From, you wouldn't have been able to do that, so, the short answer is I don't know slash I doubt it would go fast enough. So, but the longer answer would also be, if you wanted to try to attempt it manually with the Phantom, you could do a shot where you're in front of them looking up and flying backwards but if you were from, if you were behind them looking forward, tracking, you would see the propellers in the shot. So,...

I mean, that comes into play like, in our question on like what drone to get, I said to get a black one or a gray one, you know, but also you wanna think about the kind of shots you wanna get, do you need something that's fast, high-performance, are you filming fast-moving subjects? Do you need something that's gonna, you know, that you can lift the landing gear up and have a full view and not be encumbered by, okay, well, the landing gear is here, you know, yeah, so balancing like the cost of the equipment with the kind of shots that you're gonna potentially do. So. Cool. And then from SightFlight, SightFlight would like to know about cold weather flying, any tips to be aware of when flying the drones in the super cold weather? Yeah, actually, that's a really good question. I was looking at the operating temperature and you can look this up on the manufacture if you haven't built your own copter and say with DJI, you can look up on their specs, it'll say the operating temperature, I think they say the operating temperature is like from 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it's like freezing, to, you know, to whatever the max temperature is. I would just say look at those specs, those specs kind of go in one ear and out the other, you know, for me, unless I need them for a shoot but in the case of the, when we were flying in Loveland, it was cold. I mean, it was way below freezing and the biggest thing is you don't, in my mind, anyways, there may be other bigger things to worry about but your LiPo batteries, when they're cold, like they're voltage sags quite a lot, quite a lot, and so what we did, thankfully that day, what we did was we brought all of our batteries up and all of our charging equipment up and there was a little ski hut for the guys that worked on the hill and so they were kind enough to let us bring all of our charging gear in their little hut and so all day we were charging batteries in there and keeping the batteries warm in there but then like quickly we'd take them out and they would just get super cold and so what you can do is if there's any question is, you know, get the battery, you know, everything hooked up, hover the craft just high enough to just get off the ground and to start warming up, 'cause as soon as it's starting to draw a current, it'll warm up the battery, and then you'll start, if you just click on, you know, or in the case of the DJI app, click on the battery, and then you'll start seeing your voltage creep up and once you start seeing it go back to the numbers that you're used to seeing when you start then you can feel more confident that we're good to go. Another thing when it comes to cold weather is the, like in the case of these batteries for the Inspire, I'm not sure if they have them for the Phantom but for the Inspire, the sides of those batteries are exposed and so they actually make thermal insulation stickers, like these foam stickers you can put on, like little winter coats for your LiPo, you wanna make sure to take those off, though, when you go back and fly when it's warm because the battery could potentially get overheated, I've never seen that happen but I've always made sure to take those stickers off. So, the LiPo is an issue, I guess in terms of other kinds of cold weather, when we were flying in Iceland, we were flying in a lot of cold weather too, it's risk or war, I mean, I was in Iceland, I wanted to get epic shots and I brought a backup, I brought drones that were maybe like if you crashed 'em maybe it was like, you know, you weren't crashing an Inspire, so, I brought a backup, I brought two smaller drones, and I flew in the snow, I flew in the rain, I flew, you know, not really advisable for beast practice, especially if you're flying around anybody but like when you're getting landscape shots and that sorta thing, sometimes you're just like, let's go for, it's gorgeous, you know. The moisture can be an issue. The Phantom 4, the battery, the way that it works is that it actually is hidden, you know, I mean, it's enclosed, so it actually gets pretty warm in there, so I think that's the nice thing about the design of this and same with the Karma and the Mavic, I mean, it seems like they're setting it up so that, and it's almost like, a couple times I've turned the Phantom on and it says you can't fly yet, it's warming up. I'm like, it's warming up? You know? It's plenty warm outside but yeah they obviously are thinking about that in terms of the temp of things. Will the Phantom or the Mavic allow the dual operator? I don't know. Maybe the interwebs can tell us but I think the Mavic is a single operator setup. The thing about that, though, is that you've got the camera out in front, so, I mean, yeah, I mean I guess if you could just control the tilt, I mean there would be some advantage to that but not having the Mavic yet, I don't know that it allows for-- It does. It does do dual operator? It looks like it does, yeah, that's what I'm seeing. Oh. Cool, awesome. I was thinking I might just show a couple more shots from the Iceland trip. There's just a lot of examples, I had a week to play out there. When I wasn't shooting stuff on the ground, I had all this time to go and film aerials and it was all single-person operated mode which is how I think a lot of us are operating and let's see if I can open up QuickTime. Oh yeah I wanted to show this, so speaking of flying, or not speaking of flying indoors, but flying indoors, we jumped to the laptop, this was in that crevice in Iceland there and this was, this particular drone, the blade Chroma didn't have any sort of like what do you call it? Visual positioning, you know, for the ground, so it was just see the pants flying. You know, that camera's not like known for its low light sensitivity but, you know, there were some lights that they had put in there to, uh, so that's kind of neat. And here's some aerial shots of some Go Pro shots going into some aerial shots. This was snorkeling in between like the tectonic plates, like the Eurasian and the North American plates, so they were snorkeling and then I was out just kinda doing some aerials. It started raining. The problem with rain, though, is that you start getting, especially with the small lenses, you know, like, they look huge, you know, so, go here real quick to a couple other aerial shots. Let's see. Yeah, so that's the rift there between the tectonic plates. It was so much fun working with these guys but, let's see, I think there's a... Here we go. So this one right here, sort of a vertical reveal. The water was so clear. Nice thing about this shot, it was actually raining a little but but I was looking down, so, and we were constantly wiping the lens. Actually, one of the guys in the crew was like, just, he always had a little lens cloth and I'd come down a little bit and he'd wipe it and then we'd get back in the air, you know? Let's see. I can't wait for this to be released, this is not released yet but it's this little travel doc. This right here is filming guys on, filming them on, what do you call it? ATVs? So, just some basic tracking and kind of revealing the distance there. Just kind of mixing some ground shots and more tracking shots, some birds eye, some more tracking. Again, like, it makes it, you know when the edit's done, it's like, this is a good example of an orbit, so just kind of orbiting around them as they're skipping rocks. And then I think at the end we also did a... We also did a vertical, yeah, there. So that was before the whole 107 thing and they like, every time we went some place, they're like, fly right over us and like go up, they were all into it, you know? So, I mean, it is a really fun shot, so, so there's that and then I think that's, oh yeah, and then this was really, yeah, you have a question? I was just wondering, you know, that's Iceland, right? Do you still have to obey 107 internationally? I believe that's right, yeah. Because your license, they expect you to follow the rules wherever you are at? Yeah. You know what, I have to look that up but I remember there being a section in there about working internationally. I believe that's correct. If you send me a note on that on Twitter or whatever and I'll look that up again 'cause they're wanting me back to go do another project and I reluctantly said yes. So, just kidding. So, that's just doing a little bit of a glacial walking there, just some landscape shots, some orbits. Now that's, of course I'm right over him with a helmet, but that's, now it would not be a compliant shot but this is, you know what, before I was talking about how the birds eye can be kind of more of a two dimensional shot, it doesn't have to be. Like, if you do have some depth to your shot, and you're working closely with the foreground, I mean, this kind of gives you kinda like that feeling, like, oh, I'm gonna fall off. It's almost like a reveal. Uh huh. Some more, yeah, little orbits. What we had done is like we had overdubbed it like some interview and so I matched up like his hand movements and stuff and so there's dialog, he's talking about the area and stuff and so it looks like he's doing the interview and that's the primary shot for the interview, so he's talking but yet it's this orbit, this drone shot. So yeah, another sort of orbit. Little jumping jacks on the glacier. Just 'cause. So yeah. Yeah, that's like, Iceland is drone playground, it's beautiful, I mean, there are more and more places cropping up where they're like okay, maybe ease off the drone, you know, they need to do a permit or whatever but a lot of places are just, it's bare wilderness and it's just like, it's just you and I mean, it's just beautiful, so, it's a great place for filming.

"To everyone out there wanting to learn how to fly a Drone and take incredible images and videos; I promise Blayne Chastain is your guy!" -Brooke, CreativeLive Student

Drones can be an expensive purchase, and without the proper knowledge, they can be dangerous and difficult to fly.Capturing the view from above can show perspective, creativity, and just look cool! But getting your camera into the air isn’t as simple as just grabbing a remote control. It takes knowledge, practice and patience to master your camera in the sky. In this class, Blayne Chastain will give you the tools you need to fly any drone and the techniques you’ll need to capture beautiful images and videos every time you go out.  After taking this class, you’ll feel confident in your purchase and in your footage. You’ll learn:

  • The basic components of a drone 
  • The safety tips and regulations everyone must follow when flying 
  • What to consider when flying in different weather conditions 
  • Simple flying techniques and advanced maneuvers to master 
  • How to capture beautiful media that you’re excited to share! 
 Blayne Chastain has over three decades of practice flying RC aircrafts. He is the co-founder of Cloudgate, a film company specializing in cinematic aerials. He's captured aerial footage everywhere, from the seat of a kayak in Iceland to chasing snowboarders down a mountain with his drone. With the teachings in this class, you’ll have the ability to maximize your flight hobby, and turn your images into a part of your business. 

Don’t know which drone to buy? Be sure to download Blayne’s “Drone Buyer’s Guide” to find out which gear is right for you!  



  • First, I wanna start off by saying thank you to Creative Live TEAM for giving me the opportunity to attend this class LIVE in-studio! The experience was everything and MORE I could have hoped for. The TEAM really makes you feel apart of the family and I can't wait to come back! As Far as the class goes: To everyone out there wanting to learn how to fly a Drone and feel confident in flying, take incredible images and videos and everything that comes with it; I promise Blayne Chastain is your guy! He covers all your questions and teaches you how to get started from Learning to actually fly and how to practice, to what would be the best drone for you, FAA regulations and certification, to editing and your finished product. AND MUCH MORE But in order to fully grasp all of this knowledge you must get this class! I promise you won't regret it and will only grow! Thank you Blayne, for opening this door for us and teach us that THE SKIES THE LIMIT!
  • The class was excellent in the information offered. Real info that can help someone starting out to get a feel for what they need to learn and practice. While the info was great, the presenter was not to the level of other professional speakers I've seen on CreativeLive. He didn't seem confident in the information he delivered, stuttered quite a bit and lost his train of thought quite often. The video cuts were poorly produced for the most part. Showing us how to fly a drone that is represented by a tiny speck on the screen was not all that helpful. It kind of felt like there was little planning in the production more of a "seat of the pants" lesson plan. However, with all of these presentation flaws, the content was great info, so I would recommend the class with the warning to be very patient with the presenter and the production quality - not normal for a CreativeLive class.
  • This course was amazing. Made me actually want to go out and buy my first drone. Highly recommend for anyone who wants to learn the ins-and-outs of operating a drone for aerial photos and video.