Cinematic Drone Shots You Need to Master: From Where I Drone with Dirk Dallas


Hey guys this is Dirk Dallas here with Adorama TV and today I want to share with you five cinematic drone shots I think you should master. If you do you’re going to take your drone shots to the next level. If you tend to put your drone up in the air and then struggle with what to do next or if you just randomly shoot around filling up your memory card then this tutorial is for you. So let’s get started the first move we’ll discuss is the reveal because it uncovers something in your scene. To do this move find a foreground element that can hide a middle ground or background subject. This can be trees hiding a sea of fog or a hill hiding the Sun as it rises. Once established carefully move past the foreground element to reveal what is hiding behind it. The reveal can be an interesting way to create layers in your scene because it establishes a foreground, a middle ground and background. These three overlapping layers work together to provide a sense of depth, scale and complexity, which results in creating visual interest for your viewer. To mix things up with this move try doing it while ascending up or descending down or try doing it while moving backwards to reveal the foreground instead. The next move is the tilt reveal and it’s the one move I always do when I get to a location. To do this move point your camera down and then slowly move your camera’s gimbal up while moving forward to reveal a landscape. I like the tilt reveal because it starts off by creating some mystery for the viewer. This can make them curious as to what they are looking at which can leave them wondering where are we or what’s coming next. That then draws them in eventually leading them to the answer which is your big reveal. These types of shots work great as an establishing shot because they give your viewers some context as to where they are. To mix things up with this move try doing this shot in Reverse or try descending down or ascending up while tilting towards your subject. Next up is what I call the top-down shot. To do this you just need to point your camera down and then have your drone hover steadily in place or fly in a straight or diagonal line. The key for this to work is to find a great subject with movement or look for shadows or even compelling patterns. People are easily able to understand the perspective of an image when it contains both the land and sky so doing a top-down shot that includes no sky can instantly make your videos unique and interesting. This shot will likely create visual interest because it will force your viewer to take a moment to decipher what exactly they are looking at. Once they understand though they should be surprised to see your subject matter in a new way. The top-down looks best when your moves are steady also when you’re moving your drone try to fly as straight as possible to avoid any drifting. To mix things up with this move try doing it while ascending up or descending down. The next move I call the orbit and just know it can be tough to do, so you will need to practice this. To do the orbit you just need to fly around your subject while rotating the drone at the same time, so the camera always faces the subject. These orbital drone movements can be visually interesting because you have layers that are constantly overlapping and blending and changing in perspective. For best results it’s important to keep the drone moving smoothly and consistently through the entire move. To mix things up with this move try doing it while ascending up or descending down and/or you can push towards or pull away from your subject. The last shot is a more advanced move I call the tilt while tracking shot. To do this move point your camera at a subject while making sure your drone is clearly above it then fly towards that subject while tilting the camera down. Be sure to keep the subject lined up in the frame the entire time as you fly over it. This can be really compelling because the image planes dramatically shift over each other creating a vertigo like effect. For best results fly the drone straight at a steady speed and try to match the camera’s tilting speed accordingly. To mix things up with this move try doing it while ascending up or descending down or try doing it in Reverse to create a reveal, so in closing I want to encourage you to practice mastering these moves. Once you do you’re well on your way to creating more professional and compelling aerial footage. Alright guys well hey thanks so much for tuning in to Adorama TV. I hope that was helpful to you. Leave a comment down below letting me know which shot you’re going to try to master first. Alright well I’m Dirk Dallas and I’ll see you guys next time.

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