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Drone Introduction

Lesson 18 from: The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Ian Shive

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Lesson Info

18. Drone Introduction

Next Lesson: Drone Safety


Class Trailer

Bootcamp Introduction


Storytelling with Stills and Motion Overview


Elements of a Well-told Story


Storytelling in Motion


Choosing the Best Gear for Your Outdoor Project


Gear for Drones


Gear for Motion


Inside Ian's Gear Bag


General Advice for Preparation


Virtual Scouting




Permits and Permission


Model and Property Releases


Health and Fitness




Location Scouting Overview


Location Scouting in the North Cascades


Drone Introduction


Drone Safety


What Kind of Drone Should I Buy?


FAA Part 107 Test: How to Prepare


Telling a Story With a Drone


Drone Camera, Lenses and Movements


Selling Drone Footage


Why Does a Photographer Need Motion?


Establish the End User


Identify Your Audience


Build a Production Plan


Create the Story Structure


The Shooting Script


Production Quality


Composition for Stills


Composition for Stills: Landscape


Composition for Stills: Telephoto Lens


Composition for Stills: Macro Lens


Techniques for Capturing Motion in the Field


Lenses and Filters for Outdoor Photography


Capturing Landscapes - Part 1


Capturing Landscapes - Part 2


Capturing Movement in Stills


Shooting Water, Sky and Panorama


Understanding Stock


Editorial vs Commerical


Pricing Stock


Producing Stock


Shooting for Social Media vs Stock


Choosing an Agency


Assignments and Capturing Stock


Stock Photography Market


Create A Style Guide


Stock Shoot Analysis


Workflow for Selecting Final Stills


Initial Editing in Adobe Bridge


Reviewing and Selecting Motion Footage


Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas


Script and Story Structure Evolution


Editing to the Content


Music as a Character


Business Diversification


Business Strategy


Pillars of Revenue




Partnerships and Brand Strategy


Galleries and Fine Art




The Future of Photography


Q&A And Critique


Lesson Info

Drone Introduction

well, this class is going to be fun, as drones are fun and exceptionally challenging. Um, there are more rules. There are more changes, challenges associated with drones, then probably any other topic affecting still photographers and motion picture film makers. It's incredible what they've become. Ah, they're small, almost toy, like in many ways you can basically get them just about anywhere. They become fast, they go high, and they're only getting better with time. But there are a litany of things to know about drones. And so I'm going to introduce you to all of the things you need to know about using them, whether it's something you want to just do for fun. Or if it's something you want to be part of your professional career as a photographer or filmmaker. So drones are very much in demand, and I'm gonna talk to you about what they really get you, because everyone thinks they need when everyone wants one. And I've seen so many films that are like 90% drone and 10% not, um, but you d...

efinitely want to You think about Cem core questions here before you go out and spend a lot of money on one of these ah, flying machines. So these air, this is actually a picture from my home office. Well, office at home, it's actually different location. But these air different versions actually have 1/ 1 A new one that I'm using. That's gigantic and really awesome. This is my initial one. And I keep my older ones, cause every now and then it's good to go find a nice, safe place to fly practice, not worry about necessarily. Um, you know, uh, what the quality The food is just gonna be war, you know, if it crashes, that goes down. You're not gonna be as upset can help you learn how to make turns and things like that. Talk about that in a minute. But ask yourself your questions. Why do you want a drum? What does it get you? And that is really what's going to determine which ones you want toe by how much you should spend. And then certainly what the process of using them is gonna be. So, for me, I wanted one. Really? Just because it gives you a perspective you can otherwise never get, Especially some of the places I've been going lately? Uh, where there are no helicopters you can rent, There's no tall buildings. You can go shoot from. The drone is the ultimate establishing shot. It's a wide angle view that you can shoot a still or shoot emotion clip from Ah, and it will get you just something exceptionally special. And in general, the rule is with photography. Changing your perspective. Where they're getting low to the ground are very high is going to make a shot special. Now imagine you're getting it from 200 feet up. Those are the kinds of things that you want to, uh benefit from, but the drone. So, like any piece of equipment Ah, there are a range of options. Um, things to consider when making your purchase are going to be the quality. Ah, this is probably the case with any gear purchase that you're going to make is the quality of the footage you need four K or not these days, many, if not all, are four K or some variation of four k. You want to think about frame rate? That's what this is 24 FPs 60 FPs. Does it exist? Can you do it? 24 frames per second is a 23 9 A different frame rates and different ways of ah of making different purchases on different quality. And, of course, the better. The more expensive it gets doesn't shoot raw. That's an important thing that you might think about. You think about your still camera now and you shoot raw files. Does your drone shoot raw files to shoot a DMG format? Can you edit it in post? Or is it only shooting J pegs that have its own version as a proprietary? Is it not? Um, you know, what is the footage look like? Does it look like it's from a particular camera? Doesn't look generic. Does it match your stuff? You're shooting down on the ground with your other cameras, your DSLR, your red or whatever it is that you're using? Quality wise. These are all the considerations you want to make, so you know quality of the footage. Four K is referring to resolution. This is something to go into a lot more detail. Um, in when I talk about my camera's frame, rates are important because 60 frames per second might be what you want to do to slow things down. You ever see those nice, slow, beautiful, so much like the cars? Everything slowed down. Aerial shots. You know, maybe it's a screen saver or something on your TV. Those air done. It's low frame rates. Those are a very special kind of drone. Very expensive. Throws your $50,000 camera up into the air, hovers overhead. You know, when you could float your red up there something like that. You get raw file, you have a lot of control. Um, you should try and understand that stuff. My best advice is get something to start. Learn how to use it, learn how to fly it. Um, you know, you don't necessarily need the best of everything right away. Will always hear me say that work your way up when you feel like you're hitting a wall. But it's when it's time to get the next thing. But if you're already shooting four K footage, then you're probably gonna want at least have something that's four K. But it shouldn't be too hard these days. Ease of use and flying is very important. My first generation drone, the red one here. I tried flying recently after getting used to all the GPS stabilization is in the new ones. It's a lot harder to fly. Um, so you might want to think about new versus used, um, in the ease of flying. It's definitely a big part of it. Um, My friend Alice and I were talking shows makes fun of me because I play video games part of my life. And the way video game controller works is exactly the way a drone control of work. So if you're already pretty good at your first person Ah, video game console and you're probably gonna be a pretty good pilot with the drone because they work very similar. They are not simple Teoh necessarily to fly. And the rules are not simple either going to show you some stuff about that. The ease of use is something to consider. Um, it is very important, but more expensive. Ah, lot of times them or more features and things that I have like onboard radar, Anti collision. Those are the things you want to think about when thinking about ease of use and flying supported APS and ancillary features. Of course you know how much of it Ah do you want that comes with it. There's also a lot of third party APS now that help pick a route, and you can really just draw on the map with your fingers. They fly here at this height, and then you can control the camera. So those are the kinds of things that will also help with the flight. Um, does it allow for additional lenses and polarizing filters? Every every tool pretty much has little things that you can add on. Do you want to swap out the lens if you're moving really fast and going forward or the propellers getting in your shot or not? Um, is that something you really need to do? Uh, those are all the kinds of things you want to figure out. How much do you really need those things and that will help you determine on what kind of drone you want to buy. And then does it travel well, small vs large. But I take this just about anywhere. Um, but I think it is a key piece is, you know, do you wanna be able to take it with you and then how are you going to get it? There and, you know, they're pretty sturdy. You'd be surprised. I checked mine in my luggage. Not like with my clothes, but in a big case that I have and I'll show you all that stuff in a minute. But those are the kind of things you want to consider, so and drone will get you a lot. It is absolutely a great piece of equipment that's gonna extend your story. Of course, story is the key for all pieces of this boot camp story story story. The drone gets you that ideal establishing shot. The question you have to figure out is when you're trying to buy one one of the things that you're looking for, one of the range of options. I'm gonna show you a quick preview. Ah, this is a really cool project that I've been working on on Midway A toll. It's a famous, famous place where the World Battle of World War Two Battle of Midway took place. Ah, and now it's become an important environmental sent epicenter really of the Pacific birds, albatross, coral fish, dolphins, all kinds of things. You know, it was quite a process. One thing I will say, of course, everything you see of mine is fully permitted. We're gonna talk a little bit about that now. When my permitted, we had to go through a very lengthy permission process to make sure everything was done above board. Um, I also have a commercial pilot license and remote pilot license. You be able to fly and go through that process. So there are a lot of steps to this, but I don't want to actually focus on that right here. Right now. What I want to show you is, what would the short preview be without a drone? How would this change? How would your understanding of this island be if it was all filmed at eye level and not being able to get any higher on an island that is only three or four feet, I I think the highest points, like, six feet. Uh, what would that really be like? Would you really get a strong sense of its place in the greater ecosystem? So a drone is about story and this short video, which is actually very powerful Teoh Great reference for storytelling and motion in general. Where starts out with a little bit of an interview and putting that together and bringing you into the world and then really bringing into the world with drone footage. With that, I'll cue the video. When Pearl Harbor got attacked, we got attacked. All I could hear was gunfire. Kids came back and they were being shot down. But by zero is just as quickly as you could pick him out. And we have these been ocracy could see him, and I watched one young man being a lot of a plan. Zeros took care when he was hanging from a severe shoot in machine gun. Kelly. It was it. In 70 years since I've been back there, my trip back to Midway was most delightful thing I've ever done in my life. Read. It's because I remembering these kids here, gave their lives to us on. They gave me a whole life, gave me 95 years, and I am done that I wouldn't have got to have a beautiful wife For years when I had Children things. I think it has to be retained in some man. Wait with far western end of the Hawaiian archipelago, eyes pale ribbon of sand fringed by an ancient coral reefs. It is a sanctuary hidden over the horizon from Hawaii. Looking west, it sits in the last of the sun at the edge of night, where, according to Hawaiian legend, souls are born and upon death, return human history and natural history. I live here side by side. Once the site of a great World War two naval battle today, a bird's eye view reveals abandoned runways that are now home to the latest generation of flyers over blue lagoons, vibrant quarrels and hundreds of resident dolphins. This story of change and restoration, a portrait of an islands past and future and a jury to understand the importance of a lost a toll in the middle of the Pacific Midway. Just no did. We just celebrated its 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. Um, and so that video was part of that. So you get a sense of the perspective, and so it makes the process sometimes his lengthy, but it's worth it. Um, you know, be able to tell that story and see midway from that perspective was the difference between making it okay, good and great. So it really is all about stories you notice that the footage is not over used. It's not like all drone all the time. It's used to punctuate certain things. That's a blend. And I keep talking in different parts of this boot camp about making sure you're focusing on story and you're establishing shot, your close ups, your medium close ups, your macro, all the different range of shots. They're all there. We're all there in 2.5 minutes. There's not nearly as many shots as you think, and that is quite a few, but not nearly as many as you would think. So it's really about bringing all together, so the drone is just one piece of your storytelling arsenal.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase


Ratings and Reviews


Ian was an amazing instructor.; very fun, enthusiastic, encouraging, and comprehensive. I hope to be able to return as an audience member for another of his classes. It is a privilege and a gift to have access via Creative Live to such a wealth of expertise. Thank you!

Cindee Still

Ian Shive is a dynamic speaker with a wealth of knowledge he is willing to share. He has had a magical path that led to his success. He touches on so many aspects of making, selling and creating images as well as how to market them and make an income from your work. It is so much fun to be part of the studio audience. The Creative Live staff are always so warm and friendly and they feed you like your on a cruise ship! Wonderful experience.


What a great class this has been. Thank you Ian Shive and Creative Live! Recently retired, I have set out to learn everything I can about photography and pursue this passion to capture the beauty in the outdoors. Creative Live has served as an amazing educational platform to help me learn everything from how to use my camera, the fundamental technicals, and learn about software and tools. This class brought it all together. At the end of this class my approach to photography and my images are different. Ian shares so much valuable knowledge that will change the way you go about taking a picture; from scouting a location, to thinking through the story and adding elements to an image to evoke an emotional response. My personal growth has been significant and I have changed to the way I approach creating an image from an Outdoor Landscape to an Outdoor Experience. Loved every minute of it, sad the class is over.

Student Work