Drones – often called unmanned aerial vehicles – have become vastly more common over the past few years. In the United States alone, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts that more than one million drones will be sold over this holiday season; many more will be sold in other countries across the world. Whether you love or hate the growing prevalence of drones, their popularity has never been greater. In this tutorial, I will share some tips that I have learned over the past few months of using a drone for taking pictures. My focus is on still images, but many of these tips apply to drone video and cinematography as well – particularly for people in the midst of buying their first drone.
Nowadays, it is not unusual to hear about photographers being asked by their clients to do video work for them. For many photographers adding video to their list of services can be a bit intimidating, especially when it could entail making some investments in video-related gear. While it is certainly possible to spend many thousands of dollars on additional gear, most people wouldn’t want to put that much money at risk when first venturing into this area. If you choose gear wisely you can keep your investment at a modest level while adding a significant amount of production value for your clients.
Big thanks to everyone who supported us in our launch of our very first photography video – PL Level 1 Photography Basics. Since the launch, we have enhanced the video quite a bit by cleaning up the sound, adding more visuals and text to guide our readers better. In addition, we have just added a brand new Chapter 11, with detailed menu guides for four different camera types: Nikon Entry-Level DSLR, Nikon Pro-Level DSLR, Canon Entry-Level DSLR and Canon Pro-Level DSLR. That’s another 3.5 hours of video that we have added to the already extensive 5 hour course! And that’s the beauty of this course – we will continue to enhance it in the future and if we feel that something needs to be added or changed, we will do so, making our courses some of the most thorough, up to date and complete photography courses out there.
After almost a year of hard work, John and I are excited to finally release our first photography course “Level 1: Photography Basics“. It has been an awesome experience creating this video and I can proudly say that we have done our best to produce truly educational material for our readers to learn from. Compressing years of photography knowledge and experience into a 5 hour course was not easy, but we managed to do it! Although this is our first commercial product, we have huge plans for making more of such videos in the future, as detailed below.
With almost all of our cameras featuring video capabilities (I’m looking at you, Nikon Df), most of you have probably considered going beyond the occasional family video. However, like photography, video requires post-processing for best results, and the prospect of buying After Effects, Premiere Pro, and SpeedGrade just to get your toes wet is daunting for many photographers. What you may not know is that you already have a powerful video-editing program in Adobe Photoshop CC, or CS6 Extended. This is an easy way for photographers to play around with film without purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of software, and is surprisingly effective. I’m certainly not a professional videographer as my example video will show, but I have enjoyed editing a few shorts, just for fun. The two most critical aspects of editing for video (not including cuts/sequencing) are color-grading and sharpening, both of which can be done relatively painlessly in Photoshop using tools you’re already experienced with.
One of our readers was kind enough to send a link to a YouTube video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Obervatory (SDO), which has been capturing images of the whole sun 24 hours a day for the last 5 years. After putting together image sequences into a time-lapse, NASA created a stunning video that is absolutely worth watching. If you visit NASA’s official website, you can click on the Related Media link and see many more videos and images from SDO, which are all as amazing as the below video:
Having toured across Turkey as a teenager, I have so many wonderful memories of this beautiful and historic country. I instantly fell in love and have since been wanting to go back and revisit this magical place. Earlier this week, one of our readers sent an absolutely stunning video called “Watchtower of Turkey”, filmed by Leonardo Dalessandri, who spent 20 days in Turkey traveling thousands of miles and capturing both stills and video. The resulting three and a half minute film is absolutely stunning and definitely worth watching. I decided to share this video with our readers and I hope you enjoy this masterpiece as much as I did.
About a month ago, Canon Australia posted a short film titled “To The Ends of the Earth”, where adventure photographer and Canon Master Krystle Wright is shown taking pictures of rock climbers and divers in different conditions. I decided to share this video with our readers, because I found it to be beautiful and inspirational. I loved Krystle’s opening line “my biggest fear is regret”, because that’s exactly how I feel about many things in my life. Krystal lives and breathes photography and you can feel her deep connection with the craft in every second of the video, which is amazing. Very few of us can truly follow their passion and make it their way of life, so seeing someone not only achieve it, but also be very successful at it is truly inspirational for me personally. I hope you will enjoy the video as much as I did!
Like many photographers and videographers, I’ve found that there have been times when I really could have used a small, highly portable, adjustable light source. This most often occurred when I shooting close-up still images or video clips of industrial machinery where I couldn’t get my regular studio lighting to fit into cramped quarters. I began looking for a solution and came upon the Genaray LED-7100T On-Camera Light.
If you are like many professional photographers, you may be finding that more and more clients are asking if you can also do video for them when you’re on-site doing a photo shoot. Video can be a “strange new world” and you may be passing up some good opportunities. Most modern DSLRs are quite competent in shooting video, and you can use them to create industrial and commercial productions that are ideally suited for use at corporate functions, in sales presentations, as training aids, and as promotional spots on YouTube…so there is a great opportunity to expand your service offering by including video.