Learn How To Fly A Drone For Aerial Photos And Videos


Lesson Info

Orbit Shots

As you start thinking about shots, like when you're watching TV, when you're watching movies, look out for these cause, I mean, you know years ago the overused shot was the slider shot, right, and now, like with us drone guys, orbits are just awesome. So, let's take a look at an example for that. So one of my favorite camera moves is the orbit. It's a pretty basic concept, it can be one of the more challenging moves to master. So when you have a subject standing right here, you have your drone here, it's just simply orbiting around the subject. What's cool about that is, we'll talk about reveals as well, you're essentially revealing but more as you're orbiting. So at first you've got whatever you're perspective is on, the subject, and then as you orbit around you can reveal more of that subject's space. You also get this kinda cool parallax effect. It's sort of similar to that parallax effect you can get with a camera slider. But this way, I mean you could slide this way as sort of a v...

ariation on a theme, but the orbit kinda, staying the same distance, same radius around the subject is kind of a cool move. There's a autonomous light move, which we'll take a look at as well where you can actually, it's a point of interest mode where you can mark your point of interest, come back, and then orbit around; and the drone has the software in there to know, based on the GPS coordinates where the subject is and you can orbit around. It's makes it much easier, it takes a little bit more time to set up, and so, if you're good on the sticks, if you have pretty decent flying skills, just getting out there, getting the shot, just orbiting around the subject is always a great move. So one of the tricks right now is the exposure. Like whenever I roll over to the distant sunset, or I mean the sunrise I should say, you know we get blown highlights. So, it's not the end of the world, but it's good sometimes to not push the camera too much. These cameras don't have a huge amount of dynamic range. So I'm gonna just try to go all the way around these guys. That was pretty cool. I think that does it for... Yeah and occasionally on that you would see, and again that was like our first attempt, usually when I'm doing orbits manually I'll at least do a half-dozen attempts; but and also, like I said before, you're either shooting for an edit where you're doing like one to three seconds, typically it'd be a rare edit that you would use like a 10 second shot. So I would, as we will see later in the edit, I would just pick the part that you really felt like you got that right 'cause it may feel right, like your foreground might feel right, but as you see further off in the distance, if you have like a rush as you're spinning around, if you kinda ramp-up the speed in not a linear way, you'll see the background go, you know like, kinda do that. So I saw that a couple times in that shot, and also, I would've loved to have been a little closer to the subject too, that kinda helps with that motion. But again, it's a lot easier to get set up for the shot if you just do it manually. So I think we talked about before with flying skills, that's a combination move of using your right stick rolling the copter and at the same time yawing the copter at the same time; and, it's also, because especially there where they're in the water, they're dynamically moving in and out with the tide, or with the waves and the water, it's also moving forward and back stick because they're moving along this course and then you're trying to orbit at the same time. And so, a point of interest mode there actually would maybe only work for a little bit, maybe you would wanna play around with active track, and what you could do is you could; the nice thing about active track is that you could draw your box around the subject and then you could actually, instead of yawing the craft, it would kinda do that for you if you just simply move the stick where you'd otherwise roll. It would roll the drone around but at the same time it's trying to actively track and it would kinda start yawing the copter around and keeping. So you can play around with some of the semi-autonomous modes for this. It really helps to kinda getting quick, repeatable shots. It's becoming a lot easier to do that with the software, but again, I find myself half the time doing it, or more than half the time doing it, manually. Would that be the same thing with point of interest? Oh yeah, point of interest is like your semi-autonomous orbit mode and it's scary how good that is; but again, if you're thinking as a commercial operator, you have to think okay if we were directing your talent you have to more think about where do I want that person to be; before they get there, you have to go mark the point and then get them to move in the subject. It's a sort of safety consideration, but yeah, the point of interest mode works so well that it's gonna be a good option for a lot of us.

"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.