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Taking Flight: Drone Photography & Video

Lesson 19 of 23

Optimizing Your Photos


Taking Flight: Drone Photography & Video

Lesson 19 of 23

Optimizing Your Photos


Lesson Info

Optimizing Your Photos

So I want to talk about optimizing so you've got a photograph in the sky you've taken this photo and this is just the basics of optimizing on image okay umm you've been in the sky settle my settings this is a great place to fly I am I paid the brody uh company there um what did I pay them? Well I can't say that on here I couldn't say that no they probably changed their prices I paid them for the ability to come to the park at sunset and they're open to this idea and you can talk with him about this and connect up with them on their site but this is bodie california ghost town and I should go through one of my key rules we saw peter on earlier I'm into common sense rules of flight one of them is no flying over large groups of people uh just don't it's a small copter can fall at any time I just feel so much more comfortable when I'm flying in a place like body that nothing's below me except me and so I'm six o'clock closing time at body you pay them a little bit extra and they let you co...

me in and take photographs which was pretty cool of them to allow me to do this and then in exchange I think it's always nice to give them some photographs back and even some video they appreciate that um so let's go ahead this is an early days this is a j peg image I'm shooting with gopro camera in the beginning of time I see a little bit of color shift to this let's go ahead and open this and I I always recommend correcting in adobe camera rob some of you may be classic photo shop users and you've never used a camera raw before but you should really need to start using it I just find that it's so much more control with adobe camera and I hope to show that to you now so this so this is a standard j peg right out of the camera you can even see the copter blades up there in the upper left hand corner here on the macintosh I'm doing the command are on the piece see I do control are you guys aren't pc users are dea okay okay because I was going I was gonna eliminate them from the competition if they were pc you know I love into the camera I love all pc users I see the hate mail coming in now so command command command are on the magnets moving on control are on the pc did everybody get that everybody in the audience raise their hands are all adobe camera users right? Come on, come on oh then I'm selling this on you you watch did you get that command are um I just find that there's there's a really great set of controls here that I'm familiar with these controls of the similar controls you finding light room? I know you can use levels and curves inside of photo shop. You may be familiar with those, and I think maybe you can stay with those, but if you go into camera raw, you're doing a nondestructive adjustments on this image that are applied to the image, and you can go back to the original. You can pull off a copy with the adjustments, but it's really a beautiful thing to start to understand adobe camera raw, and you have an enormous number of controls. I really think this is a photo shop inside of photo shop or its light room, essentially as we come into this into this world, and I'm just so much more comfortable here with working. Um, let's, take a look at the first thing over here, um, that we all are familiar with and it's the distortion that comes in with the gopro cameras or even the dj cameras, I might claim to fame. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm, uh, cut to camera one. My claim to fame is that I jumped in early to inspire when I say inspire, inspire means that you give one of the programmers at adobe, a brand new quadcopter of his very own in exchange for getting him to write some profiles for the camera so I'm responsible for bribing some really smart programmers at adobe to create the lens profiles for these cameras, and it was so exciting tio to profile the gopro camera and to profile the dj I cameras so that when you click on here, you can start to enable the lens profile correction now you'll notice that when you apply this correction do have any manual adjustments happening here no when you apply this, um it does tend to distort it some in many cases you might want to crop in to remove some of that distortion, but you know what? This proves my point you don't always have to use the lens correction there's something about the nice quality of this image just the way it is without the correction we're not it doesn't bother me that much I could go in manually and do a little distortion removal more a manual adjustment that has less of an extreme adjustment as the profile. However this profile comes in extremely it it's a very, very important part of making a panorama which I'll get to in my next step is that you must apply a lens profile to your images in photo shop before you make your panorama, but I'll talk about that in a minute here let's not go down that path let's not turn that went on let's, go back over to the basic settings here and take a look att suppose some of the possibilities that I really like the first one has to be highlights. Um, it looks like I already have some settings on this particular image. Let's go ahead and really destroyed let's. Go back to the camera. Rod defaults. That was the default. Wow. Okay, um, so check out the highlights that controls here. Um, this one isn't quite as obvious as some of the others today that I'll show you, but in mean in sometimes with the cameras, you get clouds that get blown out, and this is my blown out cloud tool. Think of it that way. Areas that get a little bit too overexposed. You, khun, bring back the detail in the highlights with this adjustment, areas that are too dark. If there is detail in the shadows, I can open up the shadows as you can see here and start to adjust those shadows and the overall white values in your image to bring up the brightness of your image. These were the key things that really make camera amazing tool is the ability to target highlights without making a mask. Um, target the shadows without making a mask, and also, I'm sometimes my images tend to be a little bit flat, and I like to just snap you see how the thiss flat value it's actually I'm going to double click on these ono a studio question yes is there a way to lasso essentially in raw or not? Um no no last sewing but you can go in and do targeted adjust stints with a mask that you can create and you can actually see the mask so I can go in and follow question and I can leave this area in red as an area that you khun target and a sign specific adjustments to that particular area that's my form of last so I notice it pixelated sometimes when you do that though, if you give it too much, it seems teo get real pixelated, whereas if you do it in a photo shop straight up, it looks lovely. Well, now he leans back no prizes for this side of the room. I sometimes see pixel ization happening on the preview that I don't always believe, but I believe you're pixel ization because you can push these controls too far to the point of excess you're pushing the data beyond its extreme points. You just said that you get less pixel ization if you do adjustments inside of photo shop and I put to you that the features here are stronger and have more force it's possible that these air pushing the pixels much harder using levels and curves yeah um that can happen I bet I can do it here. I bet I can do it with levels and curves as well. Yeah, you're right uh targeted adjustments. Excuse me before I ask the next question, does the audience realize that if I can answer the questions they had bonus points? If I cannot answer the question nor khun jeff answer the question, they lose completely and I have to leave the room. Okay? That's okay? Are you ready to ask your question now? I don't think it's a question make me leap through do you ever use the hist a gram in conjunction with a very good question? I'm not a history ram person except for one thing this is a good question he gets to stay um one of the things I do like these you didn't tell me the audience was going to know what they were talking about I didn't know either. I'm scared now last okay history ram here's a great I do use hissed a graham I'm not a big follower of history, graham I know friends who would take a photograph based upon the history they will watch their history on the back of the camera, okay, I'm not one of those two camera I'm not one of the o, but I do look at the instagram hear when I make an amazing color correction and you've led me into this one that I'm going to demonstrate this color correction you could do with a history ram dates back to the beginning of time and ladies and gentlemen the beginning of time was nineteen eighty nine just you know they're very first um version of photo shop and I don't want to know how many I was only two years old and I want to know that I don't want to know that it's nineteen, eighty nine and thomas and john knoll who invented photo shop showed me this trick and this is so great I'm so glad you brought this up you can do this in levels and curves or here inside of photo shop and it is the one thing that I want you to leave with today about aerial photography and low resolution cameras I say that you know these cameras the gopro and the vision cameras this is such a miracle and you're going to go back to your old photographs that you've taken and you're going to try this technique on them and you go wow my image had a color cast and I think everybody's image has a color cast unless they've done this and watch this okay history ram I'm um in my point setting and I'm under the tone curve um this is a magic that just goes back to the beginning of time do you see the plateau's on either side off the red, the green and the blue and boy, I'll just going to make a point to the camera right now boy, I wish I could see a nice bright hissed a gram inside of light room product managers that sit down the hall from me boy, is it nice and clear to be able to see these history grams now back to our movie let's take a look at the blue the moralist story is moved the history ram the points thie black point and the white point over to the edge of the mountain sounds really stupid but remember you're dealing with a child who grew up in the sixties um and I remember it bring the points in on the left and the right for the highlights and shadows um we're gonna ask an expert exactly why this works, but we're bringing the range of tones we're using all of the tones and moving them in and spreading them out. It is neutralizing the greys in the image and we'll watch the clouds change. So we did the blue and the green so first do the pass and by the way, I actually prefer to do this in photo shop by holding on the option on all the key you can actually see a preview of the areas that you're going to be cropping the tones but from a basic point of view move this to the edge. We're going to take one pass at this at the red, green and blue look at that big gap, and then we're going to sit back and take a look at this. So now we've done our first pass of this, and I should be able to see it before and then after I'm clicking on this new icon down here to see before you can already see the color caste leaving you see this sort of yellowish, it was sunset, but it's a fog over your images, I put it to you, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, you have fog over your images, and if you go into this simple technique of adjusting these, you can get great results. So now I'm going to go into the green, for example, and I just want to see what it's going to do. I've done my basic view, but look at how I can warm up the scene from yellow toe, warming it up, giving a little bit more of that sunset. Look, um, let's, try the highlights the same way and let's, take a look at those clouds. The clouds are magenta moving to a blue and back to a neutral gray, and so I can start to neutralize thiss color cast and, again let's, go to the blue so my first pass was to bring them all over the second past is just start looking at the screen. I'm going to look at this screen so you can see a blue cast yellow cast and we can start to neutralize this color caste overall scene, a different image on my screen. I'm going to blame the color and the fact that this monitors not calibrated, but let's, give this a try, so try this technique, open up, photograph any one of your photographs that you think has done, bring it into a levels and try this in levels inside of photo shop, and I think you'll find that there's a colored cast to a photograph that you've had around for years just with this simple technique of going to the red, green and blue, um and bringing the levels the end points in on the first pass up to the edge of the mountain range and then do a visual pass back through them again until you khun get better results. I've got a really nice look here on screen you're gonna have to trust me that I've got a nice, neutral look let's see what our before, but you can see everybody go, yes, I see that, russ, I see a very, very good what do you think? What do you think that is? Wow did we get a camera on him e wow why don't we have that on camera okay this one wasn't quite as obvious as I was hoping so just keep this in mind let's sum let's move on here of time check jumped okay keep on moving len's correction let me just jump in yeah I adam some simmons says this is gold right here you go birthday gold gold okay least summit white ask adam why he's not here in the audience I need that that type of person here in my body all right adam these guys you know you got some work to do back to camera too so basic back to our basic adjustments I proved to the point highlights shadows blacks clarity not too much clarity late ladies and gentlemen but wow uh clarity khun really nicely snap um bring back the detail in the mid tones um really love it I'm a vibrant scene I will make your eyes bleed with my photographs whereas I do know those who prefer this more subdued you know antique look but I I'm sorry it's just me if you follow me on facebook and I'm russell preston brown on facebook is the way to search for me I don't know if I'll friend you have to send me a note and say things like gold and platinum maybe I'll remember him um okay um so some basics to remember my adjustment for color cast highlights shadows blacks clarity vibrance make their eyes bleed clicking done um you see the icon here um that I'm circling around this indicates that I've adjusted that image and it's a non destructive adjustment that I've made to that image and so now let's sum let's take it actually is this my finished that a finished for you well I look I actually that one looks much better it looks like this is my finished gopro um with all my adjustments let's go to step number two here let's take this same image we've learned about some of my basic techniques for neutralizing the color cast let's take a look at a project that I took on and my riel thing that I love is panoramas and if I was going to inspire one thing wait a minute I told you the only has one thing you had to learn here and that was my color cast removal okay this is the second thing you have to learn it's get into the sky and come up with something that's really innovative fun going to get you people to like you it's a great photo instead of just going up and taking a shot of your house because we all know we took the photo of our house how many took a picture of their house and put it on the on lee mi ok ok good points are moving over here gentlemen you're losing out okay, you're waiting for the end. There must be something good at the end. Um uh get up there and rotate in the sky and watch me rotate here in the sky. And how much should I rotate, russ? Well, if I had a controller here, I would show you my patented technique. I put my thumb down on the controller. Um, the the yacht controller that left hand controller on my radio controller put my thumb down in this magic position. And then I pushed the controller over to the left. This is my marker that's. How I do this, ladies and gentlemen, this is my marker I pushed to the left. It rotates this that much. I wait for it to settle, and then I take a photograph at that point, um, I like an odd number of photographs. I tend to take more photographs than I actually think I need. And then I'll take a few out. The rule of thumb is at least a forty percent overlap. But look, I've got a lot more than forty percent overlap. I just tend to like aa lot more and the more photographs I tend to get a little bit smoother horizon doesn't have to work this hard to emerge them altogether, and I'm using adobe photo shop. Um her to merge mind together into a panorama as you're going to see here in a moment but I must admit there are some amazing programs on the market um for for merging together I was recently using something called otto pano out of france unbelievably stunning it really has taken the art of blending images together to the max and if you want to getsem you can get similar results in photo shop but the one thing photoshopped cannot do it's a full panorama all the way around the three sixty panorama and third party applications like auto panel you give it the full three sixty images all the way around I cannot believe you give it these images and it gives you the perfect two to one ratio it starts it and stops it exactly pin registered so this pixel lines up with that pixel so it perfectly wraps around if you can imagine that and that's one of things we can't doing photo shop so if you are low looking for that type of thing the full three sixty environment told you know the immersive stuff how auto panel can't speak enough about it it also does a great job of this effect called small planet you can do it in photo shop I think colin smith has a great demo on that jeff do you have any demos on small planet? No, I've actually I learned from both you and colin how to do it it's so over the over the last you're not an expert on that I found this other application fantastic um okay, so we have a pan around the project um step number one I'm going to select all of the images in my panorama that I've taken um one, two three four five six seven eight I have nine I do have nine good I can't write okay um uh it's ten ok, I've got ten just like I said just just like this side of the room didn't correct me this um I do like to have odd numbers sometimes but we're going with this one why do I want todd never tends to center that first that center image right in the middle and I don't have to do any cropping let's see what happens on this one um go pro images jpeg I went into them earlier and made my color corrections select all over here and so any of the adjustments I make over here are applied to the images but to make a panorama and to get this right you must apply the lens profile as you see here when we applied it it goes to the gopro the hero three black edition that's the camera I prefer and I'm using the hero three black edition we're about to go to the second camera and have jeff answer question that I want to know I'm using the hero three black edition because I heard the theory oh three black edition plus and I saw it myself had problems with the focal length and that that plus in its early days, was designed for capturing the skier up close. Where's thie hero three black the earlier edition had a focal plane focused on infinity. What is the answer to that perplexing question? Why am I? I read all the internet and was persuaded away from the hero three black plus well, I I've got both, and I've shot with both yes and no again with video, I have not seen the issues that people are raising, but perhaps if you're shooting the twelve megapixel, which I know I rarely ever do, I rarely ever shoot with because I shoot video. So for me, I've not seen that anomaly not saying it's, not there, but I've also read a lot of the same things, and I think possibly people are experiencing that just to hurt us so several users, then I then someone tells me today that they corrected it so they may have, but I've been getting them along the line from the very first ones to currently, and I'm just not seeing the issues for some reason, I'm gravitating toward the hero three the hero three black edition and not the plus but it's I leave that up to an expert. Sure. Hey, this one was seen be working great for me. I get really good focus on infinity. Okay, back to our story. I've made my adjustments here in adobe camera raw globally across all my images I was using um uh if the white balance uh was some shifting across the images and sometimes it could, um I would go through each of the individual images and do a white balance adjustment to try and make them as to look is closest possible before to stitch these together. These look pretty good, not much adjustment. You will notice on some of your photographs with more blue sky that you may have to do some adjustments to, uh, balance it out as close as you can. The process of merging these images altogether will eliminate some of that problem, but in general get visas closest possible in both the tones um and the color cast across your image is okay. The key thing to watch for is the profile I said turn this on because it's going to be applying this profile across all of the images even just accept the distortion don't worry about it because a map is being placed over all of these images a metadata map is being applied to them and the metadata gets embedded into each of them and when I opened them inside of photoshopped it then maintains that metadata so that when I used the stitching capabilities and photo shop it goes I was going to slap myself but I might take off some of my makeup and then I'd look ten years older um then it looks like that meta data and it confuse all the images together it knows the amount of distortion in each image I'll see what will show that too in a minute the second one removed chromatic aberration I see this a lot in these cameras especially wide angle cameras the aberration will happen around hard edges in the corners of a wide angle lens that's this color shift you'll see a purple or green edge along your images and you can go in and remove that I used the automatic settings occasionally I'll use I'll increase the amount of purple or green based upon the extreme nature off this effect but I like to use this a default and that's always on profile's been enabled let's cancel out of that because all my settings were good I don't want to screw anything up here on live television all my images are selected tools um photoshopped to load files into photoshopped layers um just one more thing down here at the base in the camera raw adobe camera you can make some work flow options I sometimes when I'm working in a really serious project I want the highest quality possible I'll shift this to sixteen bits per pixel with a project like this since I'm going to be manipulating squeezing, stretching and distorting these images in big ways I tend to work in sixteen bit and I tend to work in the full size but just so you know I'm reducing the size a little here today so we don't have to wait several hours sometimes for it to open up all these images so just so you know I'm reduced the file size and I'm working in a bit but I tend to work at full size and sixteen now you know um backto our movie tools um we'll ask um jeff another question while are waiting for these to load so um here today I'm in adobe photoshopped c c fourteen has some great new features uh that have been added I don't know how many of you were um creative cloud members who he is first over here you're not a creative claude I can't answer very good very good he's very fan no no that wasn't the prize I know that the fact that no creative cloud users will wait no what's time's up get time's up okay I've wasted enough time um not a creative cloud user you're a cia six user your light room user your light room guy no bridge bridge see a six yeah, you're loving it, it's working for you, e o okay, everything you did for I love, you know, six is great it's fat. It has everything. There's, some great new features, theirs, some services you're missing out on your missing out on all your missing out on dr braun's paper texture panel pro that only works in photo shop, assisi, fourteen and, of course, available. Of course you can. You can find that on on the new adams to first.

Class Description

Drone photography and videography captures some of the most stunning images out there, but the tools, techniques, and gadgets used to capture the action are often confusing and difficult to master. Join Jeff Foster and special guests for an exciting and highly informative class and get a running start at unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography.

In this course, you'll learn how to capture stunning aerial shots with an impressive range of aerial gear – including; 3D Robotics multicopters, DJI multirotors, GoPros, DSLRs and more. You'll get an introduction to the best tools for beginners and see demonstrations of the sophisticated gear used by the most in-demand professional photographers and filmmakers. You’ll learn essential skills for controlling a UAV flight; basic flight controls, necessary equipment for successful shooting, planning and lining up the perfect shots, flight prep and safety, waypoint navigation and more. You'll gain an understanding of the production and post-production techniques unique and essential to aerial photography – including how to stabilize video, create stunning panoramic photos, and remove lens distortion in your photos and videos.

If you're ready to explore this wonderful world from a new elevated visual perspective, then this is the course for you!

Guests include:
Colin Guinn -
Mark Johnson and Romeo Dursher -
Stephen Wheatcraft -
Peter Sachs -
Russell Brown -

CreativeLive is proud to announce that Jeff Foster was a Bronze winner in the 36th Annual Telly Awards for this class.   With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor. Congratulations Jeff!  

What You Will Learn in This Course

1. Gearing Up: Intro to Aerial

    • Jeff will take us through some of the various quadcopters and multirotors that are commonly used in the hobby/commercial photography markets today. Basic concepts of pre-flight prep, safety, equipment, and terminology will be covered for various disciplines.

2. Basics of Flight

    • Colin Guinn from 3D Robotics joins Jeff in demonstrating the basics of good flight, best practices to improve your skills and get those important shots you want!

3. Practical Application – Commercial Flight

    • Jeff leads off with some examples of fixed-wing drones used for various commercial and environmental uses, such as precision agriculture, search and rescue, firefighting and land surveying. Colin Guinn shows us how 3D Robotics is already addressing these important fields with advanced technology.

4. Advanced Flight for Film Production 

    • Romeo Durscher and Mark Johnson of to show us the S1000 octocopter and how to use it to get those high-definition aerial video shots that filmmakers demand. Stephen Wheatcraft then brings his S1000 octocopter in to demonstrate how he gets beautiful landscape panoramas with his setup. 

5. The Future of Drone Flight: Laws 

    • We will be talking in the studio with drone expert and visionary, Colin Guinn from 3D Robotics about his vision of the industry – where it has come; where it is today and where he sees it in the near future. We are then joined via a live video feed from Maine with drone legal expert Peter Sachs, Esq. To discuss the recent mandates and restriction imposed by the FAA in the US and what that means to the industry on a global scale.

6. Processing Aerial Footage in Post w/ Premiere

    • Jeff will show us some footage from the previous day's flights as well as some examples that might need a little “help” with stabilization and color correction, using Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

7. Processing Aerial Photos in Post w/ Photoshop

    • We're honored to have THE Russell “Doc” Brown from Adobe join us for a head-spinning session in Adobe Photoshop CC with tips on working with drone-captured images and what projects he currently has brewing!

8. Processing Aerial Video in After Effects

    • Jeff returns to turn up the heat in Adobe After Effects to share with us some of his techniques for footage stabilization, lens correction, tilt-shift lens effects and much more!


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This is a great course! This workshop was very professionally put together. This was my first experience with CreativeLive and I was impressed at every turn with how well everything turned out. The content was engaging, the guests and instructor gave out many many useful tips on responsible drone operation... I can't say enough great things about this course. I'll be watching many of the segments over and over again to pick up all of the quick golden tips that were shared, as well as picking up the proper industry terms for types of shots, or piloting techniques. Very impressive! Thanks to Jeff Foster, his guests and the entire crew of Creative Live for making this happen. Simply Amazing!

a Creativelive Student

Not for experienced/informed pilots looking for the next level. It was a good intro for those new to the concept of UAV's in photo/video but never got specific enough about maneuvers, equipment, or shooting styles to be useful. The outdoor flying was a complete mess. Demos of what the equipment looked like, not how to best use it creatively. Glad I watched it live. The chat rooms were very informative.