INSTANTLY improve your DRONE landscape photography | DJI mavic

INSTANTLY improve your DRONE landscape photography | DJI mavic



so in today's episode I'm going to talk all about taking amazing photos with your drone so I've been planning to do this video for a while but those are the things have gotten away or I've gone out on location and done some you know taken some great vlogs but this week the weather's been fairly average really and I've not managed to get out so I thought it'd be a really good week to talk to you a little bit more about how you can take amazing photographs with your drone okay so I've had a drone for probably about nine months now and I got it to improve my cinematography in my videos and to improve storytelling in my videos but I've started to use it more and more for taking photos of landscapes and it's stunning it's absolutely amazing and it just proves that it's not just about megapixels really to get an amazing photograph you can do amazing things with the DJ maverick watching the stars in the city right from the start shall we never grow apart a Wichita you want me to no never the things I'm going to talk about are the things that I think make a difference to make it to create in a really good photograph so they are things like light and Composition and I will go over the settings in the Mavic and show you the settings that I use but also how I edit my photos and finally print my photos as well now there are obviously other DJI or other drones out there that have got better sensors and the Mavic but I find the Mavic to be much better from a portability point of view it's a little bit like the like the iPhone really you know if you've got this on you then it's going to be the best camera there and it's so easy to carry and the Mavericks the same I just sling it over my shoulder in a little bag and it is just fantastic so what are the benefits of using a camera like this over something like this my you know Nick on d810 you know the sensor in this and a full-frame camera so 36 megapixels massive dynamic range is completely different so why don't I just use that well there's one massive benefit and it's the obvious one you can get up in the air and you can see things that that other cameras are not gonna be able to see and what I found is that it's really useful when you suddenly get some stunning light but you're not in the location that you want to be you can just throw it up in the air not throw it just get it up in the air and you can quite quickly get amazing results so the other benefit is composition it's so easy I'm going to talk a little bit more about competition in a minute but it's so easy to compose your images with a drone because you've got moving in 3d space effectively you can go backwards forward left right and up and down so you can get into a position that perhaps you couldn't do if you're walking on the mountain where you you're going to be constrained by a path or there might be a rock face getting in your way it stops that and that's one of the things that I find so useful that I think I wish I could just get a little bit further over there well the Maverick doesn't stop me getting that image the d800 does with a maverick I can just get a little bit further or I can take a different perspective of something so it from that point of view it's fantastic okay let's talk a little bit about the limitations it's because there obviously are some limitations but if you know what those limitations are and you work within them then you can still get great results the main limitation is governed by the small sensor size in the Mavic obviously that gives you a lower signal-to-noise ratio it also has a lot less dynamic range but that 12 megapixels isn't a huge amount so what you've got to do is you've got to make sure you don't crop your images okay so let's go on to the process of getting a good photo so there are four things that I did in a video a few weeks ago that apply in my opinions getting amazing photos and it's no different with the Maverick than it is with any other camera and that is like composition subject in timing the most important is light so light just makes such a big difference and if you can get up with your drone just after sunrise or just before sunset or when the light is really dramatic maybe after a thunderstorm don't go in the thunderstorm but after a thunderstorm or when there's a storm approaching you're going to get the best results I went up to try and get this this viaduct that I knew was a local subject that I wanted to photograph when the conditions were right and the light was just right and I also had some amazing mess I managed to get the drone in the air and the subject of the drone was obviously the viaduct that may be really easy to produce a great image what I did is I got up and I tried to find the best composition and then that's alright so that I didn't have to crop the image I moved it left right a little bit and I also took quite a lot of different photos to see how they would work afterwards and I made sure that I got the timing right so I knew this location well I waited for the to be some fog and the lights coming from the right direction to cast the shadows through the viaduct and yeah the conditions were just amazing so dramatic and it allowed me to get this really great image watching all of us fall into the night so one thing I'll come on to is the technical aspect of it but this is a good example of something where you've got to just ensure that you get your exposure right you don't want to over expose the highlights in a situation like this where you've got all this mist and I'm going to come on to a technique that you can use to stop that happening really you can massively avoid any chance of that happening so the viaduct was a fairly obvious subject but I was in the Lake District a few weeks ago and I posted this photo in one of my vlogs but didn't talk about it in a huge huge way it was stunning misty morning and I managed to get my drone just above the mist and the light rays were coming through the mist and but I wanted to get some sort of subject in it so I found a house that was sort of hidden in the trees by looking around with my drone and that that house became the sort of subject but it wasn't an obvious subject but it allowed you to spend more time looking at the image you see the light rays then you might see the house and you might at your I might navigate its way around the image a little bit more so I carefully positioned that house in one of the cross sections of the Third's to ensure that I got a really good composition again this this shows that light composition and and timing in this case again the mists made a stunning difference to the quality of this photo in terms of how you take these photos on where you take these photos from the obvious thing to do with the drone is just shoot straight down but I'm not sure whether that's potentially the best thing to do it's been done so much now back by drones and I'm not saying you can't get great photos I I've done it a few times and got some good photos down on trees down with roads having you so really easy to get strong composition by doing that you can have strong diagonals and you can really control that diagonal by rotating the aircraft but I find that actually the best shots are just your traditional landscapes that that somebody would maybe nothing straightaway that was taken with a drone this photo I took here of Elterwater was a good example of that so you can do a pano with your drone because I think that that makes a really big difference and increases the megapixels in this particular case that's exactly what I so I found a really good composition the subject was the lake the light and the timing was just right where the Sun was just coming in and touching the trees and then what I did is I took a shot pointing a little a little bit further down I shot a little bit further up and then a shot with the sky in it and then bring by combining those three shots it made a really big difference to the quality of the image and I'm going to talk about Lightroom at the end of the video so in terms of the technical sessions to take these photos here are the settings that I would recommend make sure you have it on 4/3 which is the highest resolution of the Mavic sometimes if you if you go into 16:9 you think oh that looks like high resolution because you lose the black bars at the side but effectively all you're doing is cropping in on that 4:3 image so you want to stick up for three ensure your ISO is always 100 never ever shoot above 100 if it's too dark then it's probably not going to produce a great image so I would always limit it to ISO 100 you see shooting raw so DNG format on the Mavic and that then means that the white balance and the NE sharpness settings or other settings aren't applicable so you don't need to set those what I do is I set the white balance to sunny all the time so that I've not got any different white balances that are put on the image when I look at them in Lightroom obviously you can change that white balance afterwards but if you've set it to auto then the camera will do lots of different white balance settings as you take lots of different photos and it's difficult then to look at one photo against another so I just set it on sunny but like I say it's a raw image so you can change that later it just means that the one that is embedded into that photo for viewing on Lightroom is the same across all the images okay let's go and have a look at how I edit some of these photos once I've taken them in the Mavic okay so here we are in Lightroom and you can see the images that I took with the drone on that day I used auto exposure bracketing and in this case I took three exposures I usually take five exposures and I would really recommend doing that because it means that you're less likely to miss the correct exposure for your shot so once I've chosen the images that I think I'm going to you are the best representation of the exposure I choose those two images so it's this one and this one in this case I can see that they're exposed really well exposed to the right-hand side but not clipping the highlights and I just right-click on them and I photo merge panorama and I make sure it's set on perspective which gives the best results click merge you can see now we have a vertical panoramic shot now in the drone I took these images in landscape but the great thing with the DG is if you wanted to do a horizontal pan oh then you can turn the camera in the Mavic to portrait and take your images in portrait and immersion in that way so it's really easy to do panoramix which obviously increase the number of megapixels in your image ok so if we zoom in on this you can see that it's super sharp there's no overexposed areas and I'm just going to now go and do some basic manipulation on it so the first thing I want to do is it was a little bit cooler than this on the day so I'm just going to reduce the color temperature and it was definitely had a greener feel to it so I'm going to reduce that 10 now I might come back to that in a minute I'm now going to increase the contrast because with any raw image then it reduces the contrast quite significantly reduce the highlights I'm going to add a graduated filter in a minute so I'm going to reduce the highlights increase the shadows slightly reduce ablack slightly increase the clarity just to give it a little bit more definition and then I'm going to increase the vibrance and the saturation in this case I really want to add some punch to these colors here so that's not looking too bad now but this is burnt out at the top and I need to do a graduated filter for that and it's all very green now one of the things that I can do on the image is I can go to the HSL tab here and I can alter some of the colors and what I want to do is bring back some of the autumn colors in this particular shot so I'm going to go into the HSL tab here and I'm going to go and I'm just going to mess about with the hues of the color so I can just and see how this affects it so straight away I can say I want to reduce this orange I'm going to slightly increase the yellow now the green is not quite right so it's a bit too in-your-face so I'm going to just make it a little bit more subtle move it away from that sort of line green color then again I'm just going to reduce the aqua to do exactly the same and then I'm also going to alter the saturation on these as well so I want to increase the saturation of those Reds to really bring them out in the image I'm going to increase in to about plus 19 I'll be fine 20 increase the oranges yeah so that's that's pretty good now so the next thing I want to do is do something with this top area of the image so I'm going to add a graduated filter on this and I want to significantly increase the contrast of it I want to reduce the highlights quite significantly and I want to reduce blacks and then increase the clarity to get a little bit more punch I probably also just want to make I just slightly warmer as well so that's not far off now the final thing I want to do is and again I'm doing this fairly quick just for this video I just want to add a little bit more clarity in that top so I'm just gonna use the D haze tool slight don't overdo this at all and then I'm going to again just reduce the highlights again and reduce the blacks I want to increase the shutter in this mountain here so that's not far off now I'm looking at the overall color of it I think that I probably just want to slightly increase the color temperature just make it slightly warmer not that warm about there yeah that's pretty good I just love drone photography now it's so great it's so easy to get just great photographs with your drone so if you've got a drone like the Maverick or even the smaller version or the bigger version then just don't use it more winter is a great time to get some great light as well you do have to go out really in them really early in the morning or really late at night and often in the winter you get mists and frost and snow and it makes such a big difference to the quality of the image that you might be able to get and you might be able to get some it conditions like this that I printed out on some photo speed paper it's just stunning and you know this one that I just showed you editing just looks fantastic when printed this is going to go up on my wall I really love it the colors have just come out so well in the printed version of it and it just proves that with that tiny little sense that you've got on the drone doesn't stop you printing something out and putting it on the wall in fact I got an a3 version of a panoramic that I created with the Mavic on my wall I should tell you a little bit about a workshop that I've got a little bit of a plug for a workshop that I've got in the Lake District at the beginning of January on the 5th of January it's a group workshop and I've got a few places left on it so if you're interested in meeting up with some of the photographers and going with me on a days workshop in the Lake District then check out the link or go on to my website and there's a few places left ok until next time see you next week Stasi wintertime spray

26 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thanks for the video. I learned a lot from this and am learning a lot from all your videos. I have a Mavic 2 Pro with a 1” sensor. Assuming I am shooting with the best settings (e.g., ISO 100, etc.), what is the largest print obtainable? Thank you.

  2. Great inspirational video. Is it the latest Mavic Pro? When you are flying are you seeing the shot on your mobile phone or a dedicated DJI controller? I am very tempted to buy one … but not a word to the wife !

  3. I like to switch to portrait and take a shot then rotate the drone by about 20 degrees then repeat for 4 or 5 shots and stitch them together in panorama.
    I've been experimenting with spot metering to protect highlights. I find exposure a big challenge with the Mavic.
    I will try the 4:3 aspect ratio as suggested with WB set to sunny.
    cheers 👍👍

  4. I have a mavic but take all my pics in jpeg because my computer skills suck so I don't own any edit program. I am also bummed because my drone won't stitch the pictures together like it's supposed to. 😥

  5. Great vid thx.
    I mean it was really amazing video, the mavic is just an amazing drone, it really takes some amazing photos, and really amazing video, the technology is really amazing, i enjoyed your photos they were amazing i love my p4 pro its also amazing and it really helps me get some amazing video..
    Just kidding good vid

  6. Thank you for sharing this video.  You took some great shots. I do wonder about the image manipulation.  If we are changing the colors and other details aren't we taking away from the realism of what we actually would see in real time. The pictures we are seeing is not reality and not what we would have seen had we been there.  In other words, we could change the trees to pink and lakes to yellow and although I realize it's personal choice, it just seems that it detracts from something.  If this is the case, couldn't we just make our own images on the computer? Or maybe I just don't have a full understanding of what photography is about.

  7. Looks like i really need to get lightroom to start doing some photography or rather do it far better, thanks for the tips i find picture set up and manipulation the hardest thing to learn

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