Learn How To Fly A Drone For Aerial Photos And Videos


Lesson Info

Reveal Shots

So, reveals. Now, this one... I almost didn't take my own advice earlier. I said don't get stuck on the one move, like track from the left, right, front. But I was totally obsessed with the tracking from the front. I just couldn't help it. The reveals like we had in that previous shot, I think on this example it might have been more of a vertical reveal, which, that's just it. It's just starting from, you're revealing something. You're starting from maybe a view of your subject, maybe closer in, and then you're widening out the scope of view to something wider. It doesn't have to necessarily go from narrow to wide, but that's often the case of what happens, is you're looking closer down and then you're showing, you know, your B-point is the reveal. What's the view? And in a film, from a story standpoint, where might you use that kind of technique? Yeah. I mean, sometimes, you would want to... Reveals can sometimes almost function as your wide establishing shot. You could start with...

maybe your character and then go from a tighter character shot to then reveal his context. So, reveals really do give you context. So, of course that's just one aspect. I mean, how we use reveals and edits is just down to the whim of the editor and the direction of the piece you're working on. But yeah. Let's take a look at that. Great. Cool. So, reveals is perhaps one of the strongest moves you can make. The thing is, a reveal isn't necessarily one move. It's basically the concept of, if you're doing any kind of camera movement, you want to take the viewer someplace. So, if you're just up there aimlessly kind of flying around, it's gonna feel that way. There's no sense of anticipation for what you're about to see next. It's just, "Oh," you know, "So-and-so is up there "flying his drone around kind of aimlessly," and there's no real framing, there's no real sort of artistic direction. And that's okay, I mean, if you're just buzzing around having fun. But if you're trying to create something cinematic and beautiful, you want to get, typically, a good way to think about it is get your A-point. What's your A-frame? If you were just going to take a still image, you know, for example, if I was out there, right here, filming a surfer down low, and maybe I was filming at like a 45 looking down. So, I've got him framed up. He's in the left third of the frame. We're looking down at it like a 45. Got the water off to the right, he's off to the left. Just a beautiful shot to start with. Then, maybe I'll approach him, right? And I'll approach him, and then I'll lower down and then I'll tilt up, and then reveal this big ocean that's in front of him. So, just anything where you're going from Point A to Point B, possibly Point C. Of course, the more points you add to the mix, the more difficult it is to pull off a successful shot. Cause the more points you're having to deal with, with the yaw of the aircraft, you're having to deal with the tilt of the camera. And also, if you think about shooting for the edit, you're talking about getting a shot that lasts three to ten seconds. Or one to ten seconds, at most. So, you don't want to try to accomplish too much. Oftentimes, when you try to accomplish too much, it starts looking a little amateurish. Because you start showing your hand, that oh, I got a little bump. As you can see, in some of the footage that will come up, there was one shot where we combined reveals with an orbit with a tracking shot, and it's cool. I really like it, but I'll critique it a little bit cause there's some bits and pieces where I would potentially cut those pieces out to not show my hand, that I didn't have the smoothest pan or the smoothest tilt or whatever. And that's something we can do with the magic of editing. But yeah, reveals? Yeah. What are you showing us? It's just going from a Point A to Point B, possibly a C, and showing us something new. So, let's go take a look at a shot where I did a vertical reveal, where I started down low on the surfer, and then we just went up. And it's a very simple move, but it looks awesome. Went from pretty low to the ground, maybe 30 feet, all the way up to 400. (waves crashing) Cool. So, here I'm doing a vertical reveal. It's kind of working out. I'm at 250 feet right now; I'm gonna go all the way to 400. Keeping line of sight occasionally on the bird, make sure I'm clear. And then I've also got a setting in here where it maxes me out at 400, so that I know I'm flying in compliance. Cause when you're doing a quick reveal, you just want to kinda get it going, and then just let the software limit the altitude. So, now we know we're right under 400 feet, totally in compliance with the FAA and the airspace that we're in. That actually worked out pretty... Yeah, so that's another thing. That was like our first attempt at that, and that ended up being kind of a cool thing. If I would've had five more shots at that, I would've loved to gauge it a little bit differently. Because in the beginning, it for sure, you're wondering, like, what are we looking at? And then you see, okay, the surfer's off to the right. And so, what I would've loved to have done for a retake is to take that same idea, anticipate them. This is tough, cause you're working with a surfer who's trying to get a wave, and you've got to time it, so it's gonna take a few shots, but for me the cool factor there is, you don't see a lot of tracking and reveals from just straight above. Oftentimes, you see them where you're more looking, like, straight ahead. But to just see the surfer there just hanging out and get as low as you possibly can, while still be safe and not right on top of him, so that you've got kind of a tighter shot, and then to reveal. Now, admittedly, as we revealed up, we had the parking lot and that sort of thing, so that wasn't necessarily my favorite framing, so those are all the kind of things that you're evaluating as you're trying things out. It's like, yeah, the A-point is potentially cool, the B-point I might have adjusted. The B-point I might have almost avoided looking straight down, but maybe combine it with a slight spin and then looking off into the ocean. To me, that would have been a stronger reveal. The tricky thing that you run into is you're combining a couple moves. You're combining a yaw movement with the craft, which you want to be smooth with, and then [Mumbles] combining a smooth movement with the roll, the little slider on the transmitter. And then if, one, if you have any kind of operator error, plus, your settings, you don't have them just perfectly set. There's settings in the DJI Go app where you can set the smooth tracking, and all this kind of thing, to kind of soften your moves. But those are the things you're gonna wanna play with in the software, is like how can you roll those things off? Cause sometimes you'll get it, and then you'll come up to the horizon, and then it just goes boom, you know, and it stops, and you're like, "Ah!" And it just totally killed the mood of the shot. There's a lot of moving parts. The more moving parts that you add, the more chances for operator error, or not even error, but just like, yeah, you could use it. You see those shots used all the time. Especially on reality TV kind of shows, like HGTV shows, things I see all the time on TV. They're not so much worried about uber-cinematic. They're just like, "Okay. This is Orange County we want to show." Or whatever, you know? So they're not worried about that. But for me, I want it to just end perfectly. So, again, that was one of our first attempts. It was kind of cool that by tracking the subject, we didn't even need to move forward so much. We just simply went up and made the shot wider and wider and wider to be able to track the subject. I noticed there were two gold little plates protecting your antenna. Oh yeah. Yes. Those are like little dishes that kind of help to project the transmitter signal forward, cause they're kind of almost omnidirectional. Typically, you're flying with a drone in front of you, and so it does help to amp the signal going forward. Not just the transmission signal for just controlling it, but also the video. And I think we were struggling a little bit with some of the camera gear and all the wireless stuff. We were getting some strange interference, where I was getting some cut-outs. And typically I don't use 'em, but if I ever run into those kind of problems, I've got these, like, little dishes. Maybe in the Q&A later I can bring those up and show them. But they were super cheap. They were like five or ten bucks. And you put them on the antennas and they'll boost your reception. [Woman In Audience] Okay.

"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.