Drone Photography | Shoot Professional Photos With Any Drone | Dale McManus | Skillshare

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Drone Photography | Shoot Professional Photos With Any Drone

teacher avatar Dale McManus, Photography, Cinematography, Music

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      What Exactly Am I Going to Learn?


    • 2.

      Welcome to the Drone Photography course!


    • 3.

      Intro: Setting Proper Exposure


    • 4.

      Shutter Speed and ISO


    • 5.

      HDR vs AEB Shots


    • 6.

      Aspect Ratio and Orientation


    • 7.

      Understanding White Balance


    • 8.

      Why You Need to Shoot in Raw and D-Log


    • 9.

      Turn on the Grid and Center Point


    • 10.

      Intro: Shot Composition for Drone Photography


    • 11.

      Why the Time of Day Matters


    • 12.

      The Importance of Perspective


    • 13.

      Rule of Thirds


    • 14.

      Leading Lines


    • 15.

      Patterns and Repitition


    • 16.

      Dividing Lines and Symmetry


    • 17.

      Dead Space


    • 18.

      Plan Your Shot with Google Earth


    • 19.

      Shooting Tutorial


    • 20.

      Intro: Night Drone Photography


    • 21.

      Night Shooting Tutorial


    • 22.

      Architecture and Real Estate Shooting Tips


    • 23.

      Transferring Your Photos


    • 24.

      Dowloading Lightroom


    • 25.

      Navigating the Lightroom Main Interface


    • 26.

      Editing Tutorial


    • 27.

      How to Merge Your AEB Photos


    • 28.

      BONUS: Sky Replacement in Photoshop


    • 29.

      Final Tips


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About This Class

Want to shoot breathtaking drone photography like a pro?

This course is designed to take you from beginner to professional drone photographer as quickly as possible. You'll get all of the best drone photography tips you need to get shooting immediately. The course is taught using the DJI Mavic Pro but you can follow along with any drone on the market.

If you want to take your drone photos to new heights, boost your social media content, or even start a career in professional drone photography, then you'll want to take this.

Here’s just some of what you’re going to learn:

  • How to shoot like a professional by utilizing the principles of shot composition.
  • How to optimize your drone camera settings for taking the best photos.
  • How to professionally edit your drone photos in Lightroom.
  • How to shoot stunning night photography with your drone.
  • And even some BONUS sky replacement tips in Photoshop for taking your photos to the next level!

What makes me qualified to teach you?

My name is Dale McManus and I’m a professional Cinematographer, Photographer, Award-Winning Youtuber, and Drone Pilot. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and 8 years of experience in the field of cinematography and photography. I've been flying drones professionally for 4-5 years.

Quotes from my students:

"Such simple explanation for all the concepts. A great teacher simplifies everything for their students, and that's exactly what Dale does. No unnecessary chatter. Dale is extremely engaging and funny. A good investment this course has been!"

"Dale is very engaging and kept my attention the entire time. He is very knowledgeable about the subject matter and makes it very enjoyable to learn."

"This course gets right down to business, as advertised. Excellent for all individuals regardless of existing knowledge and experience!"

Meet Your Teacher

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Dale McManus

Photography, Cinematography, Music


Hey! I'm Dale. I'm a Professional Photographer/Videographer, Award Winning Youtuber, and Co-Creator of WANDR travel film company. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Film and 9 years experience in the field of photography/film. I've traveled to different parts of the world as a professional photographer/videographer and utilized my iPhone as my best tool. Now I share my knowledge with those looking to become better photographers and filmmakers.

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Level: Beginner

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1. What Exactly Am I Going to Learn?: What's up, guys? My name is Dale McManus and I'm going to be showing you exactly what types of photos you can get on your drone by the end of this course. Check it out. These are photos that I and my photography partner have taken on our own personal drone. Some of them were taken on our adventures around the world and some of them were just taken five minutes from my house. You do not have to live near a big city or a massive desert just to get amazing drone shots, this course will instantly up your drone photography game no matter where you live. I designed this course with motion graphics and screen recordings and my own personal photos to keep you engaged the entire time. I even included downloadable notes at the end of the course. So all you got to do is kick your feet up and relax and watch the material. At this point you might be wondering, okay, how can I trust you? Well, I'm a professional photographer, cinematographer and award-winning YouTuber. Yes, I actually do these things to make a living. I also have a bachelor's degree in film and I've been flying drones professionally for several years. So here's who this course is designed for. Anyone that wants to become skilled in the art of drone photography. Anyone that wants to master their drone settings for taking the highest quality photos. Anyone that wants to stunningly document their travels or amp up their social media accounts like Instagram and Facebook. Anyone that wants to turn drone photography into a professional career or even anyone that wants to shoot real estate and architecture and property. Here's just some of what you're going to learn in this course. You're going to learn how to shoot like a professional by utilizing the principles of shot composition. You're also going to learn how to optimize your drone camera settings for taking the best photos. How to professionally edit your photos in Lightroom. How to shoot stunning night photography with your drone and even some bonus Photoshop tips for turning a photo like this into a photo like this. Whether you're doing this for fun or you're trying to impress your clients, this course has something for everyone. Head on to the next lesson, and we'll jump right in. 2. Welcome to the Drone Photography course!: What's up? Welcome to the Drone Photography course. You're probably here because you either just got a drone or you've had a drone for awhile and you are just so doggone tired of scrolling through Instagram and seeing these incredible photographs and wondering, "How in the heck did they get a shot that looks like it could make Michelangelo cry." I did it, I still do it, we all do it. But I'm here to teach you everything that you need to know about drone photography, so that instead of being the one looking at those photos, You're the one pulling them off. My name is Dale and I'm a professional photographer and drone pilot. I've been flying drones professionally for years and now I'm here to show you all of the best tips and tricks and techniques that you need to pull off these amazing photos, and these are the ones that I use every day whenever I shoot. We're going to cover all of the photography principles that you need to start thinking like a photographer, and we're gonna be covering editing tricks and specific drone settings, and so much more. 3. Intro: Setting Proper Exposure: Let's talk about exposure. Why is exposure so important? In case you don't know what the term exposure means, it's just how bright or how dark your images is, and then there's proper exposure. This right here. This is proper exposure, it's nice. You might be thinking, why does this needed its own lecture that should be pretty self-explanatory. No, this is a bigger concept than you think because the absolute worst thing you can do is travel thousands of miles like I did once, and brought the drone out there and came home to America and found out that this glorious shot of the Rainbow Mountains in Peru was ruined by overexposure. The sky was super blown out and we did this really cool push in on it and the whole thing was just mediocre and poopy. I wish that I had set the right exposure, planned ahead before I got out there, but at least it taught me this valuable lessons so that I can teach it to you. Proper exposure is very important and we're going to go over all these different cool topics about it strictly for your drone. Check out the next lesson. 4. Shutter Speed and ISO: First let's talk about shutter and ISO. First we're going to talk about shutter. So shutter is basically just this little device inside the camera, inside the drone that opens and closes to let light in to your scene. The longer that thing is open, the more light gets in. So it's like light, light, light, light, light, shut as opposed to quick, which only lets to a little bit of light in. So the faster the shutter, the less light is going to be in your scene, and the slower the shutter, the more light it's going to be in your scene. Other thing to keep in mind about how long that shutter is open for, when it pops open and stays open and things are moving in it, that means those things are going to end up being blurred because basically it's like the start of the photo, pop, something moves across the screen, it's going to leave a trail of color across the screen. Shutter closes. That's all one photo right there. The quicker the shutter, the more crisp and sharp your image is going to look. So say you're photographing a waterfall, for instance, the quicker the shutter, the more sharp that water is going to look as it's flying over the edge. While if you use a slow shutter on a waterfall, the water is going to look really wispy and smooth. It's all just going to blur together while the rest of the image that staying still, still looks pretty sharp. So keep in mind that the longer the shutter means, more light and more motion blur if things are moving. We also need to talk about ISO because they work together. So ISO stands for International Standardization Organization. Say that three times fast, and that name is completely useless because it doesn't mean anything to anyone. All you need to know is that ISO is the setting for how sensitive to light your camera is. So if it's just too dark and you can't get your shutter in the right spot, you can bump your ISO a little bit and it will get a little bit brighter and you can bring it down to 100, which is about the standard that you should stay at, and your image will be a little bit darker. If you're shooting on a really bright day, there's no reason to have your ISO cranked all the way up. You can leave it down at 100 and you'll be fine because there's already so much light pouring in already. One quick tip is that you should never go too bright. I've said this before and I'll say it again. When you go too bright, you end up losing all of the information in your picture and you can't edit it darker later. It just doesn't work like that as opposed to just a little bit darker is okay. You can bring shadows up so much better later but if you go too bright, you can't go back. So keep that in mind. All right, I'll show you what I'm talking about right now on the controller. As we've talked about before, our favorite three buttons, click on the bottom right and you will get right into your shutter and ISO. So if you're on one of these other menus here, just click on that little aperture ring symbol at the top left. You see you've got your ISO, you've got your shutter. So simply enough, when you drag the ISO up, it gets brighter, drag it back down, the image gets darker, and you can change your shutter. Shutter is measured by the tenths of a second and so on. So four is actually one-fourth of a second. So it's pretty quick. While if you go all the way up and leave the shutter open for longer. So two is actually two whole seconds. So it's going to stay, it's going to open. It's going to stay open for two whole seconds and then shut. So I'll show you right now, I'll take a picture, one 1,000, two 1,000, done. So if we go into the review, you can see how bright that image is because we've let all of this light come pouring in for two seconds. We'll go back and bring that back down. So the further you get on the other side, like say a 50 super dark because it's 150th of a second. That is mega fast. So it's just going boom, boom real quick, not letting a lot of light in. So that's why it's so dark. Look how quick the shutter happens. Three, two, one, boom, done. It's like any other photo. If you go under Review, you can see it's very dark. Also you can change the shutter without touching the screen. There's a little wheel here on the back, you can just drag that left or right and it will change. So we're back to a four and we want to leave the ISO at 100. If you can, try to leave the ISO at 100 in most situations, only use it when you need that extra boost in light, because what happens is when you boost too much, you see all that noise there on the left-hand side. It's like looking at '90s TV screen where it's snowy and you're waiting for your movie to start playing that you just put it into the VHS. It looks gross. It's going to make your photo really gross. It's not good. The only time you should ever really crank your ISO is in a low light situations like nighttime but even still you're going to have lots of noise. So this is going to take a lot of editing later to get rid of. So less is more. So that's pretty much it. Underneath that, you've got the M.M which is basically just metering the exposure. It's letting you know how much exposure is in the shot. That is how to change the ISO and the shutter on your drone and what they are exactly. Now you understand so that when you go out and shoot, you're not just like dragging stuff around like, that looks good. So move on to the next lesson. 5. HDR vs AEB Shots: In this lesson we're going to be talking about HDR versus AEB. Which one should I use? What the heck are they? HDR is High Dynamic Range, while AEB is Auto Exposure Bracketing. They do the exact same thing with one little difference. Let's talk about HDR first. Like I said, HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Basically what happens with an HDR is that your camera is going to take three different pictures. The first one is going to be exposing for the highlights. Lets say a sky is really bright, it's going to make sure that sky is nice and blue, not overexposed, not underexposed. The second picture is going to be for the mid tones, so it's going to get a nice evenly lit photo. Then the third photo is going to be exposing for the shadows, these are the darker areas of your image. It's just going to get highlights, mid tones, shadows. Then after all of those three pictures are done which takes literally like that, it's going to combine all of them together to form a nice evenly lit picture with nice highlights, nice shadows, and evenly lit mid tones. Your whole image is exposed properly. I love HDR images, I take them all the time. I wouldn't say I take them every single time, but I take them a lot. AEB, Auto Exposure Bracketing is almost the exact same thing. It takes three different images for highlights, mid tones and, shadows. It takes all these pictures and it keeps them separate so that you can bring all of them into lightroom later and manually combine them yourself and edit that way. Some people like it because you can fine tune maybe a little bit more. I don't typically use it that much, I like to have one single picture combined already for me. In my humble opinion, I would stick with HDR to get going. Also if your drone does not have HDR or Auto Exposure Bracketing, or maybe it's only got one. I don't know which drone you're using but if it doesn't have either of them, you can do this manually yourself by taking one photo that's a little bit exposed too much so that you can get those shadows out. Just pay attention to whatever the darkest part of your image is exposed for that. The rest of your image might be too bright, but that's okay. The second image you want to do a regular picture, get the most accurate exposure you could with one single shot, and the third photo, bring it down so that you can expose for the highlights. You want those shadows to be darker and the highlights to be evenly lit and then we can combine them all manually later in lightroom and happy days. You've got HDR photo when your drone doesn't even have it for you. I've got your back, least I try to. We are now in the main interface, click on those same three dots and you can go over to the camera which is at the top of that menu. Before we turn on HDR, I'm going to turn on the normal color log. I'm going to get rid of D log like I talked about earlier just to simply show you the difference between highlights and shadows. Go over to color, turn on normal and now we can go over and turn on HDR. Go over to photo at the very top and click on HDR shot. You can also do multiple shots. There's the AEB that I talked about and you can do timed shots. With time shots you can choose for it to take a photo every five seconds, every seven, 10, 15, 20, 60, you got it. That's if you're like, man, I'm too lazy I don't want to hit the shutter button. Not really, It depends on what you're shooting. Sometimes it's useful. If something is going on and you're like, man, I don't want to fly, tap. Turn that on, who knows, might come in handy. Click on HDR shot, and let's go back to the main menu, just click on the screen. If I were going to take a picture, I just tap the shutter button. now it's loading, you can see the logo HDR at the spinning wheel. Now it's done. We can go to our playback which is at the bottom right and click on that photo. Now we have all three images combined into one. The highlights can go up, down, same with the shadows. The shadows can go up, down. It just gives you a lot more room to play with when you take an HDR shot. You have a higher chance of getting the correct exposure that you wanted. If you take a normal photo, you might have the sky a little bit too overexposed and when it's too bright, you can't come back. It's okay to be a little bit darker. You can always bring shadows up but when you take a picture that is too bright, there's no coming back, there's no information behind all that light. HDR is a little fix for this. If you want to do auto exposure bracketing, I'm going to show you that right now. Auto exposure bracketing like I said earlier is, it takes three to five shots and it keeps them separate so that you can edit them manually in lightroom later or whatever editing program that you're using but in this course we're going to be using lightroom. I'll show you how to do that right now. Go to the same three dots that we love, go up to photo and select AEB which has these diagonal lines, and you can choose three or five. I don't typically do five, I just stick with three. If you want to five, go for it. It's a few more pictures to keep track of an editing. I don't like all that work. I'm going to select three and we'll go back to the main menu, same thing, take a picture with the shutter button. You can hear it. It's all loaded. Let's go down to the playback, click on that second picture, sorry, first one actually. They load in sequential order, so the newest will be the first one on the list. You can see AEB, three photos at the top left. It only shows up as one until you click select. If I click select, now you can see all three. The first one, you can see that the highlights are exposed really nicely. The kitchen is lit pretty well. The middle is mid tones. It's going to be fairly neutral like a normal picture if you were to take one. The next one is exposing more for the shadows so that you can see the highlights are a little bit more blown out because it's trying to bring up those shadows a little bit more. Those will all show up in lightroom as separate pictures later. I personally prefer HDR as I said earlier. I completely recommend taking them because like I said, it might save your butt later. Just take one after you take a normal shot. 6. Aspect Ratio and Orientation: All right. Let's talk about Aspect Ratio and Orientation, which is just a fancy word for portrait versus landscape shooting. Well, let's get started. If you have no idea what aspect ratio is, it's extremely simple. The name sounds a little techie, but it's super simple. Aspect ratio is basically just shape, so what you're watching me talk on right now is a 16 by 9 format. Basically all that is the length to the height ratio. It's not to be confused with video resolution, which in this case I'm shooting at 1920 by 1080. After that, you've got 720, 480, 360, 144 until the quality is complete poop. But those are all 16 by 9 formats, they're rectangle. That's all it is, just a rectangle, it's a fancy name for a rectangle. The other one is 4 by 3. It's a square, it's a hybrid between a square and a rectangle. I can still be recording in a high-quality, but have a 4 by 3 aspect ratio. If you were born before the 90s, or in the 90s at the very least, you probably watched most TV shows and things like that on a 4 by 3 boxy television. We want to shoot our photos in 4 by 3, this is because of cropping. When you shoot in 4 by 3, you have a lot more room on the top and the bottom of the image, you capture a lot more of the sky, et cetera. When you shoot 16 by 9, you crop out a lot of that stuff. There's nothing wrong with it if you know exactly how you want to frame your shot, but to be safe, I always shoot in 4 by 3 aspect ratio because I can always crop to a 16 by 9 later. But I like to have some wiggle room when editing my photos. You might as well capture as much as you can top to bottom. Go ahead and click on the three dots that look like sliders at the bottom right, and go to that middle camera button up at the top, if you aren't already, and go over to image size, where it says 4 by 3, and make sure that you are in 4 by 3, you might be in 16 by 9 if you were just shooting video. Most of the time when you open up your jaw and you're ready to go, it'll be 4 by 3. Just make sure it's on 4 by 3, don't forget. Now, let's talk about orientation. So orientation is going to matter for where you're posting this shot. If it's going on your website, or your Facebook cover, something that's long ways, you're going to want to stay in landscape mode, which is pretty standard for shooting on all drones. Now, on the other hand, phones, if you're posting this to social media and you want it to be viewed on a cell phone, cell phones are up and down, they're vertical, so you can actually change your orientation on the camera to go from landscape to portrait. To turn on portrait, all you do is go to the three slider dots to get into the manual settings, then go over to the gear at the top of that menu. Once you're inside the gear, you won't even have to scroll down. You can see portrait capture right here. All you want to do is just turn that on. It just switched the entire gimbal all the way over 90 degrees. Now you can see on my menu I'm shooting vertical, but the gimbal itself actually switches, the whole thing turns, which is pretty cool. They didn't use to do that, it's a new thing. If you are planning to shoot for Instagram, or Facebook, or whatever it is where you want people to be viewing this on a cell phone, shooting in portrait is a really cool way to go. I actually do shoot photos like this. I'd say I shoot more photos in landscape, but there's nothing wrong with portrait, I do use it. Get creative, try both, when you're out shooting and you want to go shoot one specific subject, like 20 times in a row, get ten photos of it on landscape, then get ten photos of it in portrait mode, you might be surprised at which one you like. It still maintains the same quality either way you do it. With that being said, move on in the next section. 7. Understanding White Balance: Let's talk about White Balance. Most likely why you're here, is because you don't know a whole lot about photography. That's totally okay, because you probably don't know White Balances either. I'm going to go over that. White Balance doesn't matter if it's drone, if it's DSLR, point and shoot camera, if it's your phone, every camera on the face of the planet has White Balance, I think. Pretty much all of them do. White Balance is basically what you use to counter certain color temperatures on your shot based on the lighting conditions around you. That sounded really confusing, so I'm going to talk about each individual piece. Lighting conditions around you. When you're inside, which you probably shouldn't be with a drone, but for the sake of talking about White Balance, pretend you're inside. Most lamps and overhead lights whatever it is most of them have a Tungsten bulb, which is a very warm orange color temperature. It's actually around a 2,000K color temperature. Kelvin is just our way of measuring. It's weird. Actually, the lower that the Kelvin is the warmer it is, and the higher the Kelvin the whiter and bluer it gets. I'll show a graphic, which you're probably already looking at because I'm just talking to my future self editing. On the other end of that is very white and blue light. This occurs randomly. You could be at dawn getting a shot right before sunset, and it's very blue wherever you're shooting. That might happen. Basically, the way to counteract blue or orange light is to throw the opposite onto it with White Balance. White Balance on your drone is actually really simple. You just select the one that's going to work best. Most of the time, Auto is actually a good way to go for this. This is the only Auto setting that I'll ever say to use, maybe other than autofocus, but other than that, it's pretty simple. Let's go ahead and jump right into our White Balance settings on the camera, and I'll show you what each one does. To get to White Balance, just click on the same three slider dots that we've talked about before in the bottom right, head on over to the camera at the very top of that menu, and down about middleware you'll see White Balance, and it's at WB which is actually Auto. So Auto you can see what it's doing to my image. My kitchen has very white light in it already, so it's very neutral color temperature. It is white. White is neutral. Orange and blue are on either side. If we go to Sunny, we've got a very orange color temperature now. Cloudy, not much different actually, a little bit more orange. So it's trying to compensate. If it were cloudy out, it's adding a little bit more orange because you're probably getting a little too much blue. Sunny might be a little bit too bright. It's going to add a little bit of orange to make it look a little bit more cinematic. Basically, you choose one of these based on where you are. Incandescent, if you're in a room for instance with your drone a big one hopefully, and you're under incandescent light, just select that. If you're under fluorescent light, just select that and custom. Custom is where the Kelvin comes in. It's what I showed you earlier with the graph. Basically, you can determine what color temperature that you want this whole scene to be. If you are at sunset and you're like, "this is so orange that it looks like orange just threw up on it", you can adjust that color temperature to come down and you can add a little bit more of a neutral look to it. Same with the other end. If it's like, "men, this is way too blue, I need to go the other direction", you can add more of a temperature to it. Let's stick around 5,000K or so, lets go back to Auto. My recommendation truly is Auto, not kidding. The reason why I say Auto is because it'll do a pretty good job of getting back to neutral in whatever setting. As long as you're at neutral, you can edit later and change the color temperature to where you need it to be. As long as you're shooting in Raw and D Log format, which I'm going to be talking about in the very next lesson right now. 8. Why You Need to Shoot in Raw and D-Log: Next most important thing you want to do is shoot in RAW and D-log format. Let's go ahead and change to our RAW setting first, and then I'll tell you why it's important. Jump over to the controller. All you are going to do is go click on the three dots that I talked about before at the bottom right and we're on the camera, already, which is good if you're not just go to the camera at the top right, and just go down to image format it's the third one on the list, if you have some other drone, I guarantee you're able to shoot in RAW. The days of JPEG only are over. But basically, you want to select RAW because RAW is the most uncompressed high range version of your image, RAW is just the file format that you're shooting in. When you transfer your photos over your computer, RAW is the file type and its uncompressed. It's just so pure like your soul for photography. When you're shooting on JPEG, for instance, you are compressing your image which is already high-quality, and you're bringing it down just a little bit it's not that noticeable, but it is a big difference in editing. You want to shoot RAW for editing, because you have a lot more room to play with colors and effects without breaking your image, you can boost things a lot higher. By breaking my image, I mean, when I apply an effect or bring a color up way too high, I'm going to end up with these little pixelated looking boxes everywhere, which is called artifacting. Artifacting thing is not good, it just basically over processes your image. But with RAW, there's a lesser chance of that happening. People might say, "But raw, you can only read it with a certain program on the computer." That's stupid don't listen to them, but we're going to be editing our photos in Lightroom and Lightroom is free on your phone that you don't even need your computer and it reads RAW. So shoot in RAW. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later. Next, you want to be shooting in D-log, to change the D-log, just go back to your camera settings and go down to color and D-log, I've already got it selected. You might be on normal you can see what it does, this is normal, that's D-log, it's way flatter. You might think, "That looks gross." Why would I ever shoot in that? Well, when it's flat like that, you've got a lot more dynamic range. Dynamic range is just a fancy, word for the highlights and the shadows having a nice even tone so that you can bring them up and bring them down in editing with so much more control. When you shoot in normal, you can see what happens to the shadows and the highlights. The shadows just got a lot darker and the highlights just got a lot brighter. This cuts your ability to edit later in half, it really just doesn't give you as much information. But when you shoot in D-log, you've got a much flatter image so that later you can bring an image like this. To an image like this. Yes, it's the exact same picture. Those gray colors that you're seeing on the screen can be brought out like crazy with D-log format. If you shoot in that gray, nasty tone of D-log now, you will thank yourself so much later. You might take a photo with one of these ridiculous color options on there and then go, I really wish I could turn that a completely different color later. What have I done? Stick to D-log. Next lesson. 9. Turn on the Grid and Center Point: The next thing that you're going to want to turn on, and I'll make this quick, is the grid, and you can choose a center point. To turn on the grid, just go into the same three dots at the bottom right, and go over to the settings wheel at the top right of that menu, and scroll all the way down until you see grid. Tap Grid. Right now it's None. Pick the middle one that just says grid and lines. Grid lines are important for choosing rule of thirds. I'll be talking about rule of thirds later for balancing your subject and finding symmetry and things like that later, but the grid is important for that. So let's set ourselves up for success and turn it on. The grid is also helpful for lining your shot up with the horizon, making sure that your calibration is not off. Hopefully it's good if you did an auto-calibration, it should guess. But the grids will tell you right away if your horizon is off and you need to bring your drone down and re-calibrate. Turn it on, get used to looking at it with the horizon. Next thing you want to do is select a center point. I like to do this so I can figure out what the dead center of my image is going to be. If I want to place a subject in the exact center of my frame, I can put it right on this marker. To turn it on, just go to the same three dots, and right underneath Grid, you'll see Center Points. Go ahead and click on Center Points. Now you can select any one of these that you want. You can see it in the middle of that green box. I'll move that over, so that that's not in the way. Let's go back. You can choose different colors. I stick to white personally, and I stick to the circle, the very top one. Like I said, it's for seeing the exact middle. It may not make or break an amazing photo, but it makes your life just a little bit easier if you do want to put something in the dead center. Turn it on, it's not going to hurt you. Moving onto the next lesson. 10. Intro: Shot Composition for Drone Photography: What's up guys? We're on a new section. This one is on shot composition. So if you don't know what's shot composition is, let's start with a shot. Shot is just a frame that's arranged with objects and shapes. So shot composition is arranging that frame with those objects and shapes with purpose. We want to perfectly align all of these objects and shapes to create a really interesting photograph. Shot composition is one of the more valuable parts of this course. So if you were napping before, don't do that anymore because you are about to see some good stuff. We'll be talking about how to properly plan your shots out for success. We're going to be talking about time of day and lighting. We're also going to be talking about patterns and repetition, leading lines, dividing lines, dead space, and all this good stuff for shot com. We're going to talk about different types of perspectives that you can use and tips, and tricks and stuff that you can look for while you're shooting to set your shot up for awesomeness. Ideally, we want people to look at your photo and go, "That is sick, that was totally intentional, well-done, thumbs up, good job." The way to do that is with all these, we're not going to call them rules. We're going to call them guidelines because you can always break the rules if you want to get artistic. I'm not saying that any of this is scripture, but there are some amazing guidelines that you really should look for and follow because there's a reason why they're so big in photography. It doesn't matter if it's on a regular camera or a drone, these rules apply throughout all art and photography. Even paintings have the exact same rules, sorry, guidelines. A lot of shot composition is about planning ahead, looking for the right perspectives and making small adjustments. I hope I got too hyped up because I'm super hyped up. I got a whole list of things for us to talk about. It's going to be fun. I'm going to try to keep your attention. So when you're ready, hit on in the next lesson and let's do this. 11. Why the Time of Day Matters: All right, first and foremost, the most obvious part of getting an awesome drone shot is the time of day that you're going to be shooting. I know this may seem like a simple topic, but it has to be said, and don't worry, I'll say it quickly. Yes, there are better times of the day to shoot than others, but no part of the day is bad. Some people will tell you, don't go shoot at noon when the light is directly overhead and shining its brightest because it's going to make your photos really harsh and blown out. Sometimes, yes, this is true. But if all you have is an hour on your lunch break to go out and shoot, and that's the only time you're going to have for the day. Take advantage. Don't listen to those people. Go out and practice and get some awesome shots. They might not be awesome in the beginning, but after a bit of practice, you'll be able compensate for the light and find cool shots. With the naysayers out of the way, yes, there are better times to shoot, and that is golden hour. Golden hour is the hour just before sunrise and sunset. Golden hour, the light is really soft and warm and the shadows are a lot softer. There's no harsh light. The shadows are also a lot longer. If you're taking a picture from above and looking down, you would see that the shadows stretch all the way across the ground. I love golden hour because I love that orange glow on everything. The other awesome thing about golden hour is that there's usually way less people, especially if you get up at sunrise. If you can wake up at the back crack of dawn before everyone else, to get an awesome shot, there will most likely be no other people there, and that's awesome. It's all out good. You can knock it out in the beginning of the day and then relax at the end of the day. Or if you're like Dale, screw that. I'm not waking up early. Heck, no. You can do at sunset. There might be a few more people there, but the light is still going to look fantastic. If you're going to shoot at sunset, I wouldn't show up maybe 30 minutes to an hour before sunset. Get your drone up in the air. Figured out what shot you want to take. Let the sun start to set. Go crazy. Just bamboozle the crap out of all the photos. I don't even know what bamboozle meant. Take as many as you want, and then stay 30 minutes after sunset, when the sun has already gone down past the horizon, and continue to take more photos because the sky is still going to be lit up very nicely and the entire ground won't have any light on it, but it will look really soft and it will almost have a blue tint, while the sky has an orange tint, and those contrasting colors is going to look freaking awesome. There is a reason why sunsets are so beautiful and they're watched from the beginning of time. People love them. They will sit down with chocolate covered strawberries, and the love of their life, just to watch a sunset, so you might as well photograph one because it'll just add all of the awesomeness to your photo. Especially for beginners, it's a great place to get an epic photo with minimal work. With a sunset being low on the horizon and the light casting horizontally, there are two ways to shoot, at golden hour. You can either shoot into the sun, you can just get the light coming off over the horizon when you shoot this way, or you can spin the drone around and shoot with the light, with the direction that the light is traveling, so the sun is not in the shot, but it's casting all of the light onto your shot. 12. The Importance of Perspective: Now, let's talk about perspective. In regular photography when you have a camera and you're on foot, you have a whole handful of different perspectives that you can try. But with a drone, there's really only two main forms of perspective that I want to talk about and they're the most important and they're all you really need. There's wiggle room and both of them. We can play a lot with these two forms of perspective. The first is high angle and the second is bird's eye view. If you're drone is in the air and your camera's facing up, high angle is anything from zero degrees all the way to 80 degrees. That's a lot. While bird's eye view is anything between 80 and 90 degrees, straight down. Straight down bird's eye view photos can be awesome. They give you a perspective that you're not used to seeing as a human being they're called bird's-eye view for a reason. When we're looking straight down at a photo it allows us to find all sorts of patterns and lines and fun shapes to form an interesting photo. It's almost like if you were tasked to build a map of a theme park and you were to look straight down at it. When we look at theme park maps, there's so much to explore and that's the fun of a bird's eye view, is that you can scan your drone around and find all these cool objects to fill your scene with. Or it can also just make you feel like you're skydiving straight down at the Earth and it's just coming at you. But the whole reason why it works is because it's a perspective that we're not used to seeing at all. Typically the most boring photos are the ones that are taken at eye level. If you were to just hold your drone at eye level and take a photo of whatever you're looking at, that is by far the minimum, the worst that you can do, the bare minimum. But if you take photos that are so high up, straight down, weird angles, get diagonal with it, you're going to show things that people are not used to seeing and people loved that. On the other hand, we've got high angle and high angle, like I said is anything from where the horizon is, to almost at near bird's eye view. The thing about high angle is that it adds a lot of depth. We can see more of the ground traveling outwards to the horizon, like my hands right now. The reason why we have depth is because you can see more of the foreground compared to the background. Now the thing to know about high angle and depth is that the higher up you bring your drone looking down, the more depth you're going to have because it's going to show more of the ground off into the horizon while you bring your shot lower and face more with the horizon parallel, the less depth there's going to be, there's going to be more objects in the foreground that are covering up the floor. Doesn't make it a bad shot it just depends how much depth you want. Take a few different photos, try being 20 feet over the ground, shooting at the horizon and then raise your drone up 200 plus feet and shoot down at the horizon more so you can get more of the ground. Now, this may seem simple, but there are a ton of other forms of shock composition that we can add to our high angle to make it that much more interesting. I will talk about those in the next sections, so move on. 13. Rule of Thirds: Story time. The history of rule of thirds, is that a painter named John Thomas Smith, was sitting out in a big grassy field with a bunch of cows in a lonely tree and he was like, How the heck do I make this interesting? So he developed rule of thirds, which is really not actually a rule more of a guideline to balancing your shot. The whole idea of rule of thirds is to separate your scene into 3 different columns. It's really 9 different parts, but we really only focus on the 3 different columns. His intent was, instead of taking a picture of a tree right in the middle of the scene, he put it off to the left and then added some few cows on the right side. This was supposed to add tension so that the viewer would not know what to look at, when in reality it actually helped balance multiple subjects in the same scene very well and made it a very pleasing image to look at. Now it's traveled up through the centuries and we use it today. The whole point of rule of thirds, in my humble opinion, is to balance the shot as a whole rather than one single centered point of focus. When we have a subject off to the left and then something in the background that's off to the right, instead of locking our eyes onto one thing, our eyes explore the image. We travel through it and see both of the subjects at once. The background itself can even be a subject. Instead of putting your subject right in the center, you could put your subject on the left third or maybe the right third. It doesn't have to be in the space, it can be on the line, it could be near the line. Nobody's going to be a stickler and come at you, like there's no rule of thirds please and they're going to be like, you need to move two inches the left. Just use it as a guide. The thing to know about using rule of thirds practically while you're out shooting is that whatever the face of your subject is, whether it's human or the front of a building or whatever it may be, you want it to be pointing to the empty space on the other side of the frame. If you put your subject on the right third, the face of that object should be pointing towards the left third and vice versa. This is why I had you turn on the grid in the beginning of the course. We're setting ourselves up for success. The grid can show you where those rule of thirds are and that grid can help you find a level frame with the horizon if you're gimbal is off. If you need to recalibrate your gimbal, you'll see that the rule of thirds line is here and your horizon is like this. It needs to be calibrated. 14. Leading Lines: Next part of shot composition that we should talk about is leading lines. I love leading lines. Leading lines are such a useful tool for any photographer. Doesn't matter if it's drone or regular non-droners. Leading lines can just add so much depth to your shot and they can lead your viewer from the foreground to the background. Let me explain what I mean. Leading lines are what drive you to a vantage point. A vantage point is just a point off in the distance where these objects like, let's say buildings are all leading from the outside of the frame inwards to a single point or area of focus. That point or area is called the vantage point. All of the lines that go there are leading lines. The reason they're called leading lines is because they legitimately lead your eye from the front of the image to the back seamlessly. There are two types of leading lines. First is geometric and the second is organic. Let's talk about geometric lines first. Geometric lines are found in buildings and urban areas like cities, for instance, where there's lots of straight edges, bridges with suspension lines. They're found everywhere because they're perfectly straight and easy to follow. Your eye catches them instantly and they all just drive you to one single spot. If you live anywhere near a city or even just a small town with a road, you can find leading lines anywhere that there's a road. The only thing you're really looking for is some sort of path that leads off into the distance. If you can do that, you can align your drone over top of it or maybe on one of the thirds if that's what you're going for and you can find this nice path that leads all the way out to the back of your image. If you don't live near a city or a road, God help you, bless your soul, get out of the middle of nowhere and start exploring. But there is hope for you yet because organic lines. Organic lines are a lot less obvious to follow and they're found in nature most of the time. It could be a mountain range, it could be a river bend, it could be shadows, it could be trees, It could be bushes, literally anything that can be aligned to form a line. The amazing thing about having a drone is that your camera can go places that you physically cannot walk to. Even with a bird's eye view, you can find organic lines pretty much anywhere. All you have to do is find an area of trees that are clumped together. If you get close enough to the tops of those trees while still maintaining a safe distance because let's be honest, we don't want to crash. You can find vantage point and leading lines inside of those trees that lead towards the ground. Again, organic lines are subtle, they're not so obvious to follow. Your brain will connect the dots as long as everything is driving to one centered point. Or you could put that point on the left or right third of the frame using rule of thirds. It doesn't matter which third of the frame it leads to. The point is that your eye is traveling from the front of the image all the way to the back. In this case, if you're watching this front of the image all the way to the back. Our eyes love to be guided when we look at a good photo, it is considered a good photo because we don't want to think. The viewer just wants to receive the image. Get that nice little hit of dopamine or whatever chemical releases when our brains see a beautiful image and go about our merry way. When we see a poorly composed image and we don't know where to look, it hurts our brain's like, "I'm spending too long on this". I don't want to do this anymore. We consider it a bad photo. The point is just to compose the image so that your viewer doesn't have to think. It's easy, It feels good to see this image and leading lines are a big help with this. 15. Patterns and Repitition: Man, we've made it far in this course. Reward yourself, pat yourself on the back. Done?. Now it's time to talk about patterns and repetition. Part of why I love photography is that I learn how my brain works. I learn how my eyes work. This whole area, how we see life and perceive it is a magical place, just full of fairy dust and gears turning, and it's just amazing. It's awesome to learn how some of these stuff works, and one thing I've realized is that our brains love patterns and they love repetition. Well, let's talk about those two things. Let's start with patterns. If you go out and shoot and turn the camera down to bird's eye view, so straight down, scan your area and start looking for very unique looking patterns. They don't have to really make sense. They just have to be abstract and appealing to the eye. Some examples might be the twist and bends in some roads near a city, for instance or even if you just live near your local highway, you can find exit ramps that spin around and they create these really cool patterns. You can even find this in just water. Different depths of water create different shades of blue and it'll add this really cool pattern. You can find patterns in sand, you can find them in lush forested areas with trees and grass. The idea here is basically just to look for the perfect iPhone background or MacBook background. That's the way I try to see it when I go out and shoot. I take the picture and I'm like, would I put this on my computer screen saver? If it's a hell yeah, then keep it. Even if you're just walking around town or going on a hike without your drone, look at the ground whenever you're walking around. Pay attention to the foliage, pay attention to the texture in the rock or the gravel. Look for these sorts of things so that later you can bring your drone back and go get these cool pattern photos. Lastly for patterns, you can play with different sizes. Try raising your drone up high in the air and getting the pattern a lot smaller aka a bigger photo, but the pattern is more refined. While bringing your drone down lower can make the pattern a lot larger looking. Take a few photos from different heights and see which one you like most. Next, we have repetition. Like I said, our brains love organization. When things are nice and organized, it's very pleasing. Our brain gets a little bit of hit of dopamine when we see this. You can find this super easy. 16. Dividing Lines and Symmetry: You guys still with me? All right, let's talk about dividing lines and symmetry. These two go hand in hand perfectly. Let's start with dividing lines. Dividing lines are exactly what they say they are. They're a line that divides two halves of your image. These lines can be physical objects like a dirt road that's separating two halves of a forest or it could be a boardwalk separating the land from the sea. You can also find this in bridges and city streets and pretty much anything man-made. It's going to be a hard physical object line that's dividing two halves of an image. The two halves don't have to be different. They can be the same. The point is to find the line that divides the two halves. Or you can have a dividing line that's non-existent. It's simply just the line of contrast between two different colors, or say, light and dark. An example would be at the beach, the line where the water meets the sand. It may not seem like a hard line when you're standing on the beach, but when you put the drone up way high in the air and look down at it. It's a very hard defined a line. That's the whole thing we're looking for here, is very definable lines of contrast. Obviously all this is done in bird's eye view. You can play with it a little bit in high angle, but to start, I would recommend staying with bird's eye view and it doesn't have to be one single line. Sometimes you can manage to find two or more lines in one shot. It's dividing your image into three or four different sections. If you can find this, cool, photograph it. To start out, I would just look for one single line dividing two halves of an image. Now, these lines look best when they're either perfectly vertical, perfectly horizontal, or diagonal. But before you get your riches and a bunch and you go run out there looking for exciting dividing lines, we need to talk about symmetry, because symmetry is going to go hand in hand. Symmetry is simply the balancing of these two halves of your photo. For some reason, our brains love perfect tabs. They say that the two halves of everyone's face are slightly different from each other and they also say that some of the most extraordinarily beautiful people, or at least that our society considers beautiful, everyone's beautiful, they say that those people have almost identical halves to their face. No idea if that's actually a true fact or a load of horse crap. But all I know is that our brains do love symmetry. The closest that you can get your dividing line to the exact middle, the better. Does this mean that you have to go shoot it perfectly every time and you need to take a million photos until you get the one that's in the exact middle of the frame? Nope, you don't. Because that's what cropping is for, which we will talk about later in editing. Just get close enough. Now with symmetry, it doesn't necessarily mean that the two halves have to match perfectly in color and pattern. It just means that the two halves have to be split down the middle. If it's diagonal, they're split perfectly on the diagonal or horizontally. You can experiment with somewhere in-between if you want to get creative and artsy, but to start out I would recommend trying to stay as organized and exact as possible because when people look at your photo and they see that you put work into making sure that it was perfectly split, it shows that you're a good photographer. A lot of abstract art work that's all over the place shows laziness. Not all of it, but a lot of the time when I see a photo that's not leveled properly, it's not balanced correctly, I assume that they just didn't want to take the time to crop it. 17. Dead Space: Here's a cool topic that you might find super interesting, and you don't even need literally anything to do it. Because we're going to be talking about utilizing dead space to your advantage. By dead space, I literally mean the absence of things. Let's get into that right now. Once in a while, you may be scrolling Instagram, or Facebook, or whatever it is that you like to look into other people's lives with, and you would see a photo that is so simple yet so appealing. It's like there's literally nothing there. It might be a blank wall or just a foggy background with one single person standing in there, and it looks epic. The nothingness is what makes it so interesting. What's with that? I haven't quite figured out the brain dynamics behind this one, but I do know that our eyes like to find the subject quickly. When there's nothingness all around, finding the subject is extremely easy. Let's talk about the different types of dead space. If you're shooting bird's-eye, this is pretty simple. All you want to do, is look down for one solid texture, non-distracting texture. This is the key to dead space. Is that there are no distracting elements in the background to steer you away from whatever single subject is in there. When you're shooting dead space, it's key to have a subject. This could be a friend. It could be your dog. It could be a lonely tree. It could be literally anything. Throw a refrigerator out into a field and take a photo of it. Because for some reason, our brain doesn't really care what it is we're looking at, it cares about how it's composed. If you live near a body of water, for instance, go out there, find somebody canoeing on a happy Saturday and photograph them. This doesn't even have to be bird's-eye. You can tilt the camera up into more of a high angle. It's looking out at the horizon. As long as there's dead space around and a single subject, you're good. With dead space, you mainly just want to look for one general tone of color. It could be a shade of blue and you've got anything from a semi-light blue to dark blue, but they're all the same color. Whatever is on top of that, like say a yellow kayak, this is going to look really great. It's going to make the kayak really pop out. Or if you're like, "Well, Dale, I don't live near a body of water, so how am I going to do that?" That's okay. If you live near any open field, if you're out in the middle of rural, nowheresville, you can still just go find a lonely tree or lonely cow and put the drone up above it and shoot straight down. As long as the grass is one nice even tone, still going to be interesting. Cool. All right, see you on the next lesson. 18. Plan Your Shot with Google Earth: In this lesson, I'm going to be talking about a really cool trick using Google Earth. You can use this trick to plan out your shot and figure out where you need to go set up before actually getting in the car and running around trying to figure it all out on the spot. You can plan right here at home in the comfort of your bedroom or your couch, or wherever you want to do it. I got my laptop here. It's off-camera, I'm going to be screen recording on my laptop and I'm just going to be teaching you how to do it. With that said, let's jump in. First things first, you just want to go to Google and just type in Google Earth. You'll see it very top first link. Just go ahead and click on that. Boom, here we are. Fancy, I feel like I'm in NASA right now. Go ahead and launch Google Earth. Boom, there's our planet. Makes you feel really tiny looking at that, so many infinite drone shooting possibilities. First thing I'm going to do is just pick a place, go shoot it. Just so we can walk through the whole process of actually doing this for real. None of this like fake for the sake of the lesson stuff. Let's do this for real. I want to shoot one of my favorite spots near Seattle. It's called Snoqualmie. It's actually some waterfalls. Here we are, Snoqualmie falls, Snoqualmie Washington. We will click on that and zoom all the way in. It's going to bring us all the way there. First thing you want to do is go down to the bottom right here and click on 3D. Now it's tilted us on this axis where everything is three-dimensional. Next thing you want to do is go to the compass down here in the bottom right, just below that 2D button, and double-click that. Now that you've done that, you've got this control over here. You've got these dots on the side, where you can drag left or right, up, down and it'll turn the camera left or right. You can also click on the middle of the compass itself. You can tilt the camera up or down, etc. Down, up, whatever, if you like, inverted. Not sure. Yeah. That's this little compass here right in the middle. Down here in the bottom right is where you're controlling all of the camera moves. You can also use two fingers or your mouse wheel, if you've got a mouse and you can zoom out or zoom back in. What I'm going to do is just use these controls to plan out my shot. First thing I do is just get on a general level where I can see the horizon. Hold on, there we go. Where I can see the horizon. I just want to rotate around the whole thing and see what I'm looking at. I've got a general perspective of the whole place. I really like the front of this thing where you can see the falls. What I'm going to do is just tilt up, a little bit. I want to get down on these falls. If you click in the middle of the screen, you can drag it around. I want those falls right in the middle. I'm going to zoom in a little bit. Now I like this canal here and I like the river below. I'm going to try to line those up right in the center, right about there. So that that canal above the waterfall is completely straight leading off into the horizon. That's pretty good right there. I like that shot, shows everything, shows where the water is coming from and where it's going. I can also see that there is parking over here. I also know this because I've been there, but you can also use these camera moves to go around and figure out. "Okay, where can I park? Where can I take off?" Now that we know what our shot is going to look like, here is the real version. Pretty accurate. Google Earth is such a powerful tool for planning out your shots, because Google Earth is like having your own virtual drum. You can even type in your own address and you can look around near where you live and figure out what types of cool things that you've never even discovered. Or if you're going on vacation and you know that you're going somewhere to get a cool shot. Type in the place that you're going, type in the city, type in exactly where your hotel is, and go look around. The possibilities are endless with Google Earth. Google Earth does not pay me to say this. I just like Google Earth. 19. Shooting Tutorial: All right, so we're outside and there's cars going by, so you'll probably hear those in the background. But I can't connect my microphone while I'm using my phone with the drone. First thing I've really done is just turn on drone and it's giving me this aircraft status. Everything looks normal. We're good to go, we can exit out of that, and up at the top left it says ready to go. With that being said, I'm going to crank the sticks down or you can hit the little button on the left, so here we go. All right, first I'm just going to go to get to a safe location. With that said, go over to image size, make sure that we're on 4 by 3. Image format is in RAW, which is correct, and white balance. I'm going to keep that on auto. Color will go to D-Log. Remember we want to have as much room and editing later as possible. With all that said, we can exit out, I'm going to point the gimbal down. Let's go back, so now that we're pointed down, it's a lot darker than we anticipated, so I'm going to bring this up. So 1400th of a second. Let's keep going up. This water slide looks really cool, and I just want to get a bit closer to it. It's got a very unique pattern which we talked about earlier, bird's-eye view, you really want to look for these unique patterns, and luckily, theme parks have been everywhere. All right, before I forget, let's turn on the grid, go into settings, grid, grid lines. I almost forgot that, very important. Now we can see if everything is going to be lined up. I like where this is at right now, and let's go ahead and take a shot at that. Let's go a little bit higher so we can get some of that stuff that's in the top there. Let's try one like that, move over to the right so we can get everything. I like that to take another shot. Let's maybe try one with our exposure down just a bit. We want to have some safety room because if these other ones look perfect on my phone, they might look too bright later on the computer. We're just going to try a few variations of the same shot. All right, so now that we've done that, let's take an HDR photo. We'll go in to photo at the top, HDR shot. Straighten this out just a bit, there we go. Take a shot, let's also try tilting the camera up, and let's go get some shots of these slides. We are also going to take an AEB shot, Auto Exposure Bracketing, so we'll do three. Let's do it like that. Boom. Same with this, let's do a few different variations. Little bit brighter and a bit darker. That's really exposed for that sky there. Now we're starting to see the sun there, but we're losing that background. Let's stick with that. Boom. All right, so I'm doing one more bird's eye view of the slides that I just got. I think they are really cool-looking. Water slides have such a awesome looking pattern. Just take a shot, we're doing AEB again. Let's go over and do an HDR while we're here. Boom. Again, you never know, which is be crazy about how many pictures you actually take. All right, so now we're going to find home. If you look at a map, if I turn, I'm just going to follow that green line all the way back. Now you can see I'm pointed at the green line and all I got to do is fly straight through it. Let's go edit our photos. 20. Intro: Night Drone Photography: Let's talk about shooting at night. Now that you properly understand exposure and how ISO and shutter effect your shot, we can start playing with them. We can go out and shoot at night and get two different types of night shots. We can get one that's very crisp. It's exactly like you would see it with your eyes except way up in the sky, looks cool. We can change the ISO a little bit, I'll talk about it and then, we can get the second type, which is long exposure. We can get those really cool light trails, like cars moving, planes taking off, and it paints across your image. But before we begin, I have to say that shooting at night takes a good bit of trial and error. Don't go out there and be like, I'm going to shoot for like 10 minutes and then get out of here. That's not the case. A lot of the times, you're going to take an image and it's going to be too bright or blurry at first and then you're going to take one that's too dark, and then you'll finally find that sweet spot right in the middle. Be patient with this. Basically what I'm going to do is grab my drone, I'm going to go outside, it may or may not be a little bit noisy, but I'm just going to show you exactly, start to finish, how I would take both types of night photography shots. Let's do it. 21. Night Shooting Tutorial: All right. Here we are, we're outside and we're going to go ahead and take off, it's about 11:30 PM. We're going to go get a couple of different forms of night shots, we're going to do a Chris Bowen and then we're going to do a long exposure. So with that said, let's take off and get this rolling. All right, so light off the bat, I really liked this road right here, real simple, this is supposed to be something that you guys can do, pretty much anywhere, right near home. So I'm going to go ahead and use just a really simple road for this lesson. So I'm going to line that road up, right in the middle of my grid, and I'm going to point to that center point, right at the horizon, right where that road ends. So we've got some nice vantage point leading off from the background. One thing I notice is that, we're a little blurry. If you go up to this button at the top right, and you click on it, you go to manual focus. If you use two fingers, you can zoom in and you can see, we're obviously pretty blurry. So if you drag this slider over here on the right, all the way down, that looks a lot crisper. Let's slide back out with two fingers, now we got to make sure that we got the right settings. Let's go over to manual shooting and we'll adjust these parameters in a minute, just go up to the camera at the very top and make sure that you're shooting in RAW, so go to Image Format. Then RAW, if you're in JPEG, just switch over to RAW, we want the best quality file that we can get. Go over to Photo and just make sure that you're on a single shot, you can do HDR it's at night, but really, since we've got dark exposure already, and there's no need for capturing multiple different exposures with highlights and shadows in the shot. It's best just to stick with Single Shot, and make sure that your color is in D-Log. So down at the bottom, click "D-Log." If it's all normal, make sure that it's in D-Log. So now that our settings are correct, we can go over to our exposure and we can start playing with some stuff. Let's just start by dragging the ISO up, if we're going to be doing a crisp one. Let's say about a 400, maybe between four and eight somewhere. Let's do eight, it likes to just pick one or the other. Let's change our shutter, let's go. So you can see when I increase, you've got all this noise here at the top left, all over our image. We don't want that. So let's bring that back down. That's also from our ISO, let's bring our ISO down to about 400. That clears it up, the image is a little bit darker, but you can see at the top it's darker. This looks exposed pretty well. Before we take this picture, the last thing we want to do is go over to our settings wheel at the top-right and go to Head LEDs Auto Turn off, and let's just turn that off. Because basically that's going to turn off those red lights on the front and sometimes those red lights can leak into your photo and cause a red tint, so it's best just to remove that altogether. Now that we're here, we look like we're in focus, let's go ahead and take that photo, let's go into the playback, take a look at it. For the long exposure, I'm going straight down because I want to get a car that's coming straight across this intersection right here. I'm going to make sure that my drone is rotated the right way, so everything is straight and going into my settings, let's just do a three second. Notice I have my ISO all the way down at a 100. I want this to be nice and dark with the ISO because I want it to be clean, I don't want any noise on it. All we want to play with is the shutter speed. So it's at three seconds, so that when a car comes into view there, it'll drag across the screen and hopefully leave some light trails I can show you guys. So here comes the car and see what happens. That car went from a dead stop at the stop light, so let's maybe wait for one more to completely drive across. Here we go. Cool. So as you can see, we're getting some light trails here. The best thing to do is just to go out and play with this, there's not a lot of cars on the road right now, if you're in more of a high trafficked area, you can go right when it gets dark, like say nine PM. People are still driving around a lot. Do this nice long shutter, I suggest a three second at first, get used to it. If it's real dark out, you could maybe go to a five or six, but as of right now, I'm sticking to a three and keep that ISO as low as possible. The next assignment is, to take a nice crisp night photography shot and then take a long exposure shot and we're going to be going through and editing these later and adding some cool stuff to him, maybe we'll add some stars to it, make it really pop. So that's the next assignment. Go out, have fun, don't crash. Talk to you soon. 22. Architecture and Real Estate Shooting Tips: I want to do a quick bonus lecture on shooting architecture, because I know that a lot of people come here for real estate photography and that's great because I do have some helpful tips to do this. Or maybe you're not even a real estate photographer. You just want to show the dope spot that you're staying on your vacation. Of cause, let's face it, sometimes you can find a sweet Airbnb for a really low price. We all feel like balls just throw in the $, $ bills out. Real quick, let's talk about shooting architecture. The first thing to know is the common mistake. The common mistake is shooting the piece of architecture straight on from the front. Yes, this shows the most important side of the piece of architecture that you're shooting, but it doesn't give us a lot of depth. The key with architecture is showing as much 3D dimension as we can. In my opinion, the best angle to be at, is a high angle, looking down at the piece of architecture and you're off to the right or left at an angle. You're showing not only the front side of the building, but also one of the sides. You can see that the architecture is three-dimensional, especially if you're using a cover photo for your Airbnb that you're renting out or you're trying to sell your property on Zillow, whatever it is. The first image that people see is the attention grabber. It's got to show as much as possible. Showing the front and one of the sides and the property around is good for this type of shot, which is the cover shot. Now, if you've got a whole album of pictures that you want to show, okay, now we can start to play. Ideally, if it's got a really nice piece of property, bring the high angle out and show the house on the property still at an angle. Then our next shots, we want to really get close in. The key here is to fill the frame with what you like. Whether you're taking a picture of a flower or taking a picture of the house that you're trying to get sold. You want to fill the frame with the house. Getting closer so that the sides of the building are more towards the outside of the frame that shows more detail in the house, and there's not all this empty space around that doesn't do anything for us, unlike the last lesson that we just talked about with dead space, where you might be going for that effect. But in real estate photography and architecture photography in general, it's usually isn't the case. Also helpful tip is to try and shoot at golden hour. Of course, it's going to make the architecture just looks so much more cinematic and epic. The harsh light at mid day could really ruin a great composed shot. Now, lastly, if you're trying to get a whole album of this architecture, let's say if you're Airbnb, you're Zillow, whatever it is, show all sides. Do that angled shot on every single corner of that architecture. That way we get a nice 360 degree view of what it looks like. Maybe do the same with the property so that we can see the idea with the drone photography in real estate is to cover as much space as possible. That's why having a drone is nice because we can back way out. Of course, the straight down bird's eye view shot with the piece of architecture or building, whatever it is right in the dead center. That is obviously a great shot to get to, so snap it while you're there, but make sure that it's in the dead center. Whatever is in the center of the frame is probably the very first thing that our eyes are going to go for. When the house or whatever it may be that you're shooting is off just a little bit into one of the corners. It's going to show amateurism, and that's going to show laziness. As a photographer, you want to show that you put work, it's organizing this frame with the perfect elements in the perfect place. With patterns and repetition that we talked about earlier, you can take those elements of shot composition and add them to your architecture photography. To start, start with your house. Act like you're selling your house on Zillow or renting it out on Airbnb and you want to get the best photos of this property that you can. All right, see you on the next lesson. 23. Transferring Your Photos: Now that we've gone out and taken all of these amazing photos with all these cool new shot composition techniques, we can now transfer our photos for editing. Editing is technically the next section, but in this lesson, I just want to talk about transferring your photos. There are a couple of different ways to transfer your photos. There's one real way if you're shooting raw, but the other way is from the card on the drone to your phone. The only way that this can work, is if you shoot in JPEG, which is not as high of a quality as raw. If you don't want to mess with computers at all, you can shoot JPEGs instead of raw, and JPEGs can be downloaded to your phone, onto your camera roll, and then you can bring them into the Lightroom app, which is free. You can find it on the App Store and you can edit your photos that way. The control on Lightroom for your phone isn't as complex as what you get with your computer, so if that's the way you go and you just want to download from the drone to your phone and then it right over to Instagram or Facebook, go ahead. But professionally, shooting raw gets you the highest quality images and it's worth the manual transfer. The manual transfer is just taking the card out of your drone. There's a little slot on the side, you can just flip that down, and if you just push in real quick, the card will pop out. It's a tiny little thing, so keep track of it, don't lose it. Put it in a plastic baggie, that's what I do. I've lost them before, it's a pain in the butt, especially if you shoot all day and all of your footage is on this one little card, and then poof, you can drop it in the grass and never find it again. So yeah. Take this card and you'll have to put it inside of a little adapter. You can find these anywhere, Walmart, Best Buy, any store where there's electronics. You put it into this little adapter and then you can stick it in your computer and you can transfer all of your files onto your computer this way. You just go down and find the external device in your My computer section, and you just copy all of the files from that day and drag them over into a folder on your desktop or wherever you save all of your files. The other way to manually transfer, is take the charging cable for the controller, it's got a little mini USB, and you can plug that into another slot on the opposite side of the drone. On the other end of this cable, is a regular USB and you can just plug that into your computer, and you can find your drone that way and transfer all your files over directly from the drone without ever taking out that little card and losing it. If that's your style, go for it. Both are fine, both are going to get your files over at high-quality. I also recommend backing up your photos because let's face it, computers crash, things go wrong. It's always best to have a backup, especially if you're working with a client and they're paying you. You can get a four terabyte drive. I think now for like a 100 bucks, you can get a terabyte drive for a quarter of that cost. This is the hard drive I use, it's called Easy store. It's a four terabyte drive. I've used it for a long time now and still have yet to fill it up. So instead of buying a million USBs, it might be worth it to just go out and buy something with a crap ton a space. To be honest, the last computer I had, it was a mac-book, I was on a flight and I spill ginger ale onto the keyboard. Immediately, the computer just went black and I hated my life for the whole week that I was gone. Lost everything. Or you can just find a thumb drive that's maybe 20 gigs, and you can put a bunch of photos on that just as a backup. You may never need it, but you never know. In the next section, we're going to be talking about editing in Lightroom, and I will show you how to import all of your photos and edit all the different types of photos we have. This will be the fun part. This is where the magic comes to life. So whenever you are ready, head on over to the next lesson. Here we go. 24. Dowloading Lightroom: Welcome to the editing section. This is where the magic happens and I'm just going to dive right in because I don't want to take anymore of your time than I have to. I want you guys to be able to practice editing and taking photos. Just go over to Google and the first thing we want to do is download Lightroom. Just type in Adobe Lightroom, and you can see we've got the second link here that says buy Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. You can also do a free trial if you'd like. To get the free trial, just go back to Google and type in Adobe Lightroom free trial, I've got it on a second here. You can just see right here, free Lightroom, download Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC full version. You can just click on that, and you can click "Start your free trial". It'll just have you sign up with a account and you can download Lightroom for free for I think it's about 30 days. But if you like Lightroom and you want to get it, I highly advise that you do. It's what every professional photographer is using. All you got to do is just go up to the top and hit "Choose a plan". Just click that and you've got your pricing here. Best thing to do, in my opinion, which is actually the cheapest way to go, there literally is no a cheaper option, do the photography plan over here on the left. You can see it includes Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC, and Photoshop CC with 20 gigs of cloud storage. You can store all your photos on the cloud and access them anywhere you are. You can sign into different computers and you can access all your photos. It's pretty awesome, and you get Photoshop, which is what we will use to do a sky replacement tutorial later. It'll have you sign up the same way you would with the free trial. All right. Pretty simple to download, now we're just going to hop over to Lightroom and open it up. 25. Navigating the Lightroom Main Interface: All right, cool. Here we are. Lots of gray space, not too many buttons, so you don't need to get worried. I'm going to go through each of these boxes and tell you what they are. But to start, we're going to look here at the top right. You've got your library, which is where you put all of your photos, and then you've got Develop, where you can actually develop these photos and change with all of the settings and actually edit them. You also have map, book, slideshow, print, and web. Honest to God, I don't use any of those, but if you're in the printing business or you're designing web pages, or maybe you just want to come up with a slideshow to show your photos, you can do that. I don't really dive into them because I just like to post my photos to Instagram or Facebook, whatever it may be. I really only use develop and library. If we go back to the library, this is where you import your photos. You've got these boxes here on the left, which basically just has everything that you've ever imported into light room, and then you've got your previous import here. Underneath, you've also got folders. I again, don't even use these because the quickest, simplest way for me to import my photos is to literally click the "Import" button all the way on the bottom left. It'll bring us to this nice empty box. If you'd like, you can use the box on the left to go find your photos here. It's like navigating your computer. Again, I like to go the quickest and simplest way possible. I just open up a new window and I navigate to where all of my pictures are on my desktop or my data drive, wherever you'd like to keep your photos. So these are all the pictures that we took earlier in the course, and I put them all into one folder because they were all on the same card on the drone. All you want to do is select the first one, scroll all the way down, hold "Shift", and select the last one. Now all of these pictures are selected. We can just move this box over and drag them in. Now we can see we've got all of our pictures checked here. That means they're all about to be imported. Cool. So all we got to do is just click import, importing files and boom, there they all are in our library ready to go. Now that we've gone over downloading light room and importing our photos into it, we're just going to select a photo that we want to develop, and I'm just going to show you the main interface of developing. Let's just pick a photo at random. I'm going to just select number 5 here, it looks like there's a lot going on, and just go up to the develop tab at the top right. This can look confusing because there's a lot of buttons, but it's much more simple than you think. There's only one thing that you even use on the left side of the screen, and that's if you want to apply a preset, it's light room's already pre-made affects that you can just throw on your photo if you just want to click one button and be done. If you'd say want to do a light room color preset, you can just click this little arrow here and this drop down and come up. All you got to do is hover over each one, and you can see it is showing us what each of these are doing in that little thumbnail up at the top left. If you want one of these, you can just select it and it'll apply that effect to your photo. But I like to just try and edit my photos from scratch. So that's there if you want it. Underneath, the only next important box is the history. This history tab here, if I do absolutely anything to this photo, so let's say I will change the exposure. I'll just drag that way up. Once I let go of this in the history tab, that change will show up like that. Anything that you do to the photo will show up in the history tab. All we have left is these boxes on the right side of the screen. They're not nearly as intimidating as they look. I'm going to cover them in the next section. I'm just going to do an editing tutorial as if I was editing this exact photo that I took myself. Head on to the next lesson and we'll get started. 26. Editing Tutorial: Let's get started. All we're going to start with is just our basic controls. To alter this photo, you've got this box here. It says basic, and you've got all these great little knobs here. First thing I do is just determine, is this a good exposure for the photograph? If not, you can change it. Honestly, I like where the exposures is at, so I'm not even going to touch it. The more work that we do while shooting, the less work we have to do while editing, so keep that in mind. I like to have brightened highlights, so I'm going to bump these highlights up. All that's doing is taking the widest parts of my image and brightening them up. The shadows, if you want to bring those darker areas out, you can boost that up. You can see if you bring him down, they get real dark. If you bring them up, they come out a little bit. I like to have more of a contrasty punch to my image. I'm going to bring those shadows down just a little bit. Whites and blacks are almost the exact same thing. You really don't need to touch them unless you just want an extra boost in those whites or bring them down. But I like where they're at, so I'm not even going to touch them. Next, this clarity tab is really cool. You can go overboard with this if you drag it too much. But basically when you drag this clarity slider, it's going to add this really contrasty punch to your photo. Or if you bring it down, it'll soften the whole thing up. It'll make it dreamlike. I don't really like the dreamlike. I like to punch it just a little bit, let's say a 28. Next you've got vibrancy and saturation. I don't really touch saturation too much because vibrance is actually a smart form of saturation. What vibrancy will do is take all of the colors that may be not saturated enough and it'll try to equally saturate the whole image. I just drag that up, make it nice and colorful, like that. Or if you want, you can drag it down and get more of a black and white or just a really faded look if you'd like. But this is a really colorful image, so I'm going to keep it at around 45, make it nice and bright. Before we move on, you've also got your temperature and your tint. Light-room will automatically set the correct temperature and tint when you import a photo. But if you'd like it to be warmer, you can drag the temperature to the right. If you'd like it to be colder, you can drag it to the left, but it gets very blue and very orange. So less is more here. Same with tint, you can add a little bit more green or a little bit more pink. I really only use these as corrections to my white balance. If my photo comes in looking like this and it's raw, I can drag that slider over to try and equalize it. That's what I use these sliders for. They are not for just throwing color onto your picture. That's it for the basic controls and you can do a ton with the basic controls. Our next box is tone curve, honest to God, I never use it, so I'm just going to close that, not even going to go over it. This next box is my favorite by far because you can control individual colors. All of the trees and the grass in this photo they have a yellowish green, I think they're more yellow than green. Basically, what I can do is just take that yellow slider and I can drag it to the right, and make them more green which looks really cool. Or I can drag it into the left and make them more red, which also looks really cool. It just depends on your style. Do you want to have boosted greens and all of your photos on your Instagram or really washed out greens. I like in the washed outlook. I'm going to just stick with that and you can do this with all of the colors. We've got a lot of blue in this photograph as well. Like aqua blue, so we can just play with the acqua's. If we drag all the way to the left, we get more of a light-blue, drag them to the right, they get a little bit darker. I really like that aqua look. I'm going to bring them to the left and with the blue slider underneath, you can refine so that one's really changing them. There you can do a really light blue or you can drag them and get more of a purple. That's too much control for the blues so I'm just going to reset those to the middle. All individual colors you can change, reds, oranges, purples, magentas whatever you want. When you've change them, you can just click on saturation to the very right of here. Now you can control the saturation for all of these. Again, the trees and the grass were yellow originally, I can boost those yellows and make a really saturated, really colorful. Or I can just individually bring those yellows down so all the trees and the grass don't have any color anymore. I'm going to actually boost mine a little bit, just give it an extra 20. Same with the blues, those acquas, we can really boost them out or we can really bring them down. It's almost like there's no water in that park anymore. But I like where they were just in the middle. When editing your photos, less is more, the worst is looking at a really over processed image. Split toning is another box that I don't even use. You can touch it if you'd like, I'm not a huge fan, so I'm just going to close that. All you really do with split toning is you can control the colors of the highlights. Whatever tint you want to throw on it, and same with the shadows. You can control what color the shadows are. I think it really washes out your image so I don't use it. Next, you've got detail. You can sharpen your image if you'd like. If it's a little bit too blurry, you can sharpen it to try and save it a little bit, but it really won't do a whole lot. Underneath you've gotten noise reduction. If you've got a lot of noise because your ISO was cranked really high because it was starting to get dark, and you're like, "Man, I need to save this photo." You can drag that noise reduction up and it will get rid of that noise. I don't have a lot of noise in this photograph, so you won't see any of it. Lens corrections, I don't use that so we're going close that. We don't need it. Same with transform. We don't need that. Affects, we do need this tab is great because you can add a vignette. A vignette is basically just the darkening of the corners of your image. You can just drag the amount down which will make it darker, or you can drag the amount up, which will add white, brighter corners. Typically I never do white corners so always stick with darker. Drag that down and you can change the midpoint. What this will do is bring the darkness in towards the center or push it out towards the edges. I'm just going to leave that in the middle. The roundness, will basically just determine whether it's going to be like a square. If you drag it to the left. Here, I'll darken this so you can see what we're doing. See we've got more of a square towards the corners, or we bring it in to more of a circle towards the center. Again, I leave this at the middle. Feather will determine how much this vignette is going to fade out. For the sake of showing you, I'm going to darken this vignette. If you drag the feather all the way to the left, we've got a hard line. If you drag the feather all the way to the right, it's going to really fade out. Again, leave that one in the center, and that's all you really need for vignette. For this individual photo, I'm going to give just a little bit of a vignette, like a negative 11. Lastly, we've got camera calibration. All this really does is you can play with different highlight and shadow tints without ruining your photo. This is more of a refined version of what we talked about earlier with split toning. Camera calibration, you can just grab the reds and you can bring them all the way to the left and see what that does for our photo. Drag them all the way to the right. Just play with each one of these if you're like, one of these has a cool look to it. Maybe you want your Instagram feed to look very magenta and aqua. You can drag the reds all the way to the left on all of your photos and have this signature style, or you can do the same with the greens. Drag the greens all the way over, drag to the right. You can see what they do. Same with blues. If you want more of that orange and [inaudible] on looking color, drag them to the left, or purple and green, you can go full on hulk status, drag them to the right. Really, you just want to play with these things. Drag sliders around, see what they do, and then refine. Also in light room, if you want to really zoom in and see what your colors are doing, all you have to do is hover over the picture and just click wherever you want to zoom in and hold, and you can zoom in on the photo. Now that this image is edited, we can see before and after it just by clicking on "Reset". That's what our image looked like before. Just hit "Control Z" and you can see what it looks like now. Now that this image is done, we can export it if we want to email it to ourselves and throw it up on our Instagram or our website wherever you want to put it. To export, just go up to "File" and just go down to "Export". You've got this fancy box here. All you want to do is click "Export To", and you can tell it where to go. You can tell it your desktop, my documents, my pictures, wherever you'd like. I do a specific folder because I put a specific folder on my desktop that I wanted to put those photos into. Click "Specific folder", click "Choose" over here on the right. You can just go to your desktop, create a "New folder". Let's call it edited drone shots. Select that folder and then hit "Select folder" down here at the bottom. Now you'll see file naming, just click "Rename To", and then select "Custom Name" down here in the drop menu. We can just give this photo a name. Let's say water park edited. Now that we've named it, we can just tell it how we want to export. Just go to file settings down below, and you'll see image format. We can select a JPEG, a photo-shop file, a TIFF, DNG or original, and our original is [inaudible]. For the sake of putting this on, let's say Instagram, I'm just going do a JPEG color space. We want to be RGB. That's good. Just make sure that your resolution is in 240 pixels per inch. With that said, just go ahead and click the "Export" button. Boom, exported. You have now completed your first full drone photography shot. 27. How to Merge Your AEB Photos: In this quick lesson, I'm just going to show you how to merge your AEB photos that we took earlier, which were auto exposure bracketing photos. So remember, it takes three to five at a time and it takes a dark, a medium, and a light version. We want to combine all of those into one nicely lit photo. Again, we're doing this manually. This is not like an HDR where it combines all into one photo as you take it. These are all separate. Now that all of our photos are imported, you can see that we have a few variations of the exact same photo. I know that our AEB photos that we took were number 26, 27, and 28. If you don't know, just look at how they're lit. So you can see that 26 is very dark, 27 is pretty neutral, and 28 is a little bit lighter. I know that those were the three AEB photos. All you want to do is select number 26, hold Shift, and select number 28. Now that we've got those selected, all you want to do is right-click on them and go over to Photo Merge. Inside of Photo Merge you'll see HDR and panorama. We want to select HDR. Basically, what this is just going to do is take all of those auto exposure bracketed photos and combine them like it would for an HDR. It's the exact same thing. So select HDR. It's creating HDR preview. Boom. That's what our photo would look like if we combined all those exposures. We can see that we've got some shadows that are not too dark because we exposed for them in its own separate photo. If you go up to the top right, you can see that we've got some highlights. We've got some white sand over here and nothing's overexposed because we expose for the highlights in their own separate photo. We've got this menu over here called Deghosting Amount. Ghosting is where, if you took all three of those photos and the camera moved just a little bit between those photos, you can tell it how much you want to combine those photos. It'll try to blend all those photos into their exact position. With AEB photos, you never have to use deghosting because the photos are taken back to back. Just go down and click merge. Now what that did is it just added that photo to the very right of all three of the separate photos. We still have all three of our separate photos selected and number 29 is all of those photos combined. You can see what that looks like. Nicely lit. Everything is perfectly lit. Nothing is too dark. Nothing is too light. It's a magical photo. I love AEBs and HDRs. 28. BONUS: Sky Replacement in Photoshop: I'm going to show you how to do a sky replacement in Photo shop. All you really need to do is click on exactly what I'm clicking on, and you will be able to replace your sky even without knowing the basics. Feel free to pause the video as I go and you can work on yours while I work on mine. When you downloaded Light room, it should have also downloaded Photo shop. All we want to do is go to our desktop and open up Photo shop CC 2018. When you open up Photo shop, you've only got these two options. You have got Create new, and you have got Open. We are just going to go to Open, and all this is going to ask us which photo we would like to open up in Photo shop. I'm already routed to where I keep my photos on my desktop. It's in the edited drone shots folder, and we have got night photo 1. I'm going to open that up, and now we have got this menu. This is called Camera Raw, and it's bringing this up because we saved it out of Light room as the original file, which was a raw file. It's giving us this last minute chance to alter any sort of the colors or the contrast and the exposure and things like that before we open it up in Photo shop. Since we have already done all that in Light room, we can skip this. All we need to do is hit open image. All right, now we have got our image open in Photo shop. First thing to check for, is that you have your layers panel. This is this box in the bottom right over here. This is literally the single-handedly most important box that you can have open while you are editing in Photo-shop aside from the toolbar. The toolbar is this thin one off to the left, this has all the tools that we can work with in Photo shop. As long as you've got the toolbar, and you've got the layers panel open, you are good to go. You can pretty much close anything else like this character panel. I can just close that. Now all we have is layers and toolbar. That way the interface is a lot less daunting. The first thing we want to do is hit this little paper symbol to create a new layer. Just tap on that, and now we've got a new layer and we are also going to duplicate this background layer. Just right-click on it and go up to duplicate layer. Just hit okay. We are doing this so that we can look back at the original photo and see the difference. That's all. We have gotten this nice room up here for our sky, so what we are going to do is go over to Google and we are going to type in unsplash.com. Unsplash does not pay me for this. It's just a good free stock photography website so that you can use this images without worrying about copyright. Now that we are in Unsplash, you can just click on the "Search bar" and type in stars. Now we have got all these cool star pictures, which are royalty free that we can choose from to put into our sky. This is basically going to completely replace our sky. You can pick any ones you want. If you want to go crazy and do the milky way traveling down onto your photo, go for it. I like to be a little bit more subtle, a little bit more realistic, so I'm going to use this plain one right here. All you have to do is click on the button at the top right that says download free, just navigate to where your downloads are. I have just put mine on the desktop for now just to keep things neat and organized. Let's go back into Photo shop real quick and make sure that we are on layer 1. That is the layer that is selected and highlighted, now we can go back to where we keep that file and just drag it onto layer 1. Now layer 1 turns into that photo. First thing we want to do while we had this control before we click anything else is go up to the top right corner and hold shift, drag that to where the line meets the outside of the frame, and same with the left side. Click on the top-left corner, hold shift and drag it all the way up until that line just barely overlaps. What you can also do is click the "Space" bar and hold it, and you can drag your entire window back into view. We want to be looking at our image, and now just click anywhere and drag that whole photo down until we can see our image. What we want to do is go up to the top. Let's just say right about there, now you can hit enter and that will place the photo there. In order to see what we are doing now, what we are going do is change the opacity. Make sure that your new stars layer is selected, which it is here. Let's just rename it to stars. Go up to the opacity, and we are just going to bring that down to let's say 34. It doesn't matter just enough to where you can see what's going on behind the image. Now, what we are going do is take the eraser tool, and we are just going to erase everything that's on the ground on this image. Make sure that you are still on the stars layer. Go over to the eraser tool over here, select it, and in order to actually use this, you have to click once, and it will ask you to rasterize this layer. Maybe you have an image that's already rasterized. Rasterizing just means finalizing the image, it's not a smart object anymore. Just click "Ok" because yes, we want to rasterize it, and now we can start using the eraser tool. If you hit the brackets, you can either hit the left bracket to decrease your brush size or you can hit the right bracket to increase your brush size. You just want a nice big brush that's almost going to cover the entire ground. All you want to do is just swipe across the screen to erase anything and just get a little bit closer to the horizon. Stars don't usually exist very close to the horizon. We can actually erase some of the stars that are up above our horizon. Now that's done, that already looks almost completely done, it looks fantastic already. The only thing left to do at this point is just to go back to the opacity on your stars layer, and you can just play with that and figure out how much stars you want. Do you want them to really pop like that, or do you just want little bit of subtle stars? I really like the stars. I'm going to make those boost. I'm going to keep them around 60, so you can click off. All you want to do is turn off the visibility on both of these layers and you can go back to the original photo. That's our original photo. That's the new one. Those stars add a really nice pop to that image. As long as you are taking a high angle photo and you have any amount of sky in there, you can throw stars into almost any night photography shot and it's going to look amazing. Get imaginative and figure out what types of things you can throw into your shots. You could do birds, you could do an airplane, anything to help spruce up your shot and add a new subject for your viewer to look at. Now that this image is done, we can export it so that we can post it to Instagram or Facebook or wherever you want to host your images, maybe on your website. To do this, just go up to file and go down to Save As. We can save this anywhere. I have already got my folder selected. You can select your desktop wherever you would like to put it, and let's just call it Night Photo Sky Replaced. Right now it's asking me to save this as a Photo shop file. If you would like to do this, you can keep working on it later, maybe the next day you are like, I wish I had added a shooting star or something. You can save it as a Photo shop file and you can go back in and it has all of your edits still. It has got all of your layers separated, everything that you need. I like this one, I'm done. I'm not going to edit it anymore, so what I'm going do is select Save As Type, and I'm just going to save it as a PNG. A PNG is a high file type, so it's going to be great quality and we can open it almost anywhere. A JPEG gets compressed and a PNG is a lot less compressed. It's a lot higher quality. We are just going go ahead and save that, and it will say large file size, which is the fastest saving. Go ahead. If you would like to have a smaller file size, you can do that, but keep in mind it will compress the image more. I'll do a large file size and just hit okay. All right, that file is saved. We are all done with this sky replacement tutorial. I hope you followed along, if you didn't, you can go back and look at this video and pause it wherever you need to. I recommend doing this to all of your night photography shots. It just really helps them pop. 29. Final Tips: You guys have learned some valuable stuff in this course, and I cannot wait to see what types of photos that you guys can get. With that being said, just shoot all the time whenever you can, shoot on your lunch break, shoot when you get up in the morning before you go to work, shoot at night when you get home, even if it's dark, just shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot whenever you can, because the more you shoot, the more that practice makes perfect, and the more mistakes you'll probably make, and end up with crap footage so that you can go out, and shoot tomorrow, and correct it, and get better footage. The more time you put in, the more you get back, the more you invest, the more successful you'll be. This applies to everything, not just drone photography. Fly even when you feel like there's no point, make something out of nothing. If you've gotten nothing but trees, make something out of these trees, there's always a shot to be taken if there's life around you, and feel free to break all the rules that I've told you. All the rules of shot composition, and all the techniques with editing, break them all, get creative. See what you can come up with, see if you can develop your own style. It'll take time, but once you do, you'll have a signature look that people will recognize on social media or wherever you put your photos. My next tip is to follow your favorite drone photographers on Instagram. Start following the hashtag drone photography. Get into some new artists that are putting some cool new stuff out there, and see if you can mimic it, and add your own style. Artwork inspires new artwork, which inspires new artwork. With all that being said, thank you guys so much for being here. Thank you for signing up for the course. Feel free to check out any of my other courses, and don't forget to rate, and review if you haven't already. These ratings, and reviews help me a ton. See you later.