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Sunset in Alabama bay way

Joined
Dec 15, 2018
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#1
Photo taken @ around 200 feet AGL.
Mantis Q is a very nice drone to be flying around. However, I'm still learning a lot since this is my first "pro" drone + I'm a newbie on this type of hobby etc. Tips are more than welcome when it comes on how to enhance photo shots, videos to get the best out of this. Thanks and looking forward to share great videos and pics. Screenshot_20181215-210411_Gallery.jpeg
 
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#3
Lots of things you can do to improve your photos... indeed taking them is only half the process :) You will need an image editing application like Photoshop, or free equivalent GIMP.

1. Make sure the horizon is level. Photos that involve the sea look very odd when they are at a sloping angle. If you can't get it level in the craft, you can always fix this afterwards in Photoshop etc, though it is better if you can get the camera straight at the time of shooting, because correcting it afterwards will lose resolution...

2. If you can shoot in DNG do. It will look like cr*p initially, but has greater dynamic range, is more suitable for editing, and is a lossless format that doesn't have jpeg compression artefacts.

3. Resolution - take photos at the maximum resolution you have available (4160 x 3120 px) and reduce to the size you need in post-processing, which will enhance detail. Upload to forums like this at 1920 x 1200 px (72 dpi) or similar (each pic can be about 2-3 MB) so we can see all the nice details, but it is not too big for the web.

4. It is very rare that a photo looks as good as it can without post-processing in Photoshop or similar. This can involve (selective) sharpening, levels (or curves), shadow/highlight and saturation adjustments and any colour grading you need to do to make the image better match how it looked to you at the time.

There are tutorials for pretty much every image editing app out there on youtube, and you can often find the most useful ones by adding the terms 'landscape' and 'color grade' into your searches. But here's a good one for beginners...


Hope that helps...
 
Last edited:
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#6
That is better, but it's also a lesson in the one thing you can't fix after the fact - overexposure. If you try and turn the blown-out white area down with levels, it will go grey and look even worse, so this is why it's a good idea to use manual exposure when shooting, and to ramp it way down when pointing at the sun so that you get the solar disc better defined, and no blown out white areas except in the very center of the sun...

03-01-2014-ButserDawn-03.jpg

20-03-2013-WHQ-19.jpg

26-01-2013-01.jpg

The top 2 images show how far down you have to go with shutter speed to get the sun exposed correctly - look how dark the land is in the second one particularly.
In the 3rd image I've processed the sky and the land separately and then masked between them so we get something of a faux-hdr image meaning we can 'superbify' the sky without losing the ground detail :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
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#7
That is better, but it's also a lesson in the one thing you can't fix after the fact - overexposure. If you try and turn the blown-out white area down with levels, it will go grey and look even worse, so this is why it's a good idea to use manual exposure when shooting, and to ramp it way down when pointing at the sun so that you get the solar disc better defined, and no blown out white areas except in the very center of the sun...

View attachment 13148

View attachment 13149

View attachment 13150
Awesome!! Nice pic!! Now, what video/photo editor will you recommend since I'm stock using the only tool (phone) at the moment for editing? Thanks for such as a great help in my new drone journey.
 
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#9
Awesome!! Nice pic!! Now, what video/photo editor will you recommend since I'm stock using the only tool (phone) at the moment for editing? Thanks for such as a great help in my new drone journey.
For video I have found nothing better than DaVinci Resolve, and even better news there is a free version that does pretty much everything you'll need. The only downside is that something that powerful requires some initial learning curve, but it is well worth the effort to get studio quality grading for free.

For pictures, Photoshop would seem the clear winner, but free equivalent GIMP (as linked above) is not bad either (but also not as intuitive to use and has an arguably steeper learning curve).

What kind of drone was used here?
Those were all taken on my old TBS Discovery Pro with a GoPro 3+.
 
Likes: MR15
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#11
Very good advice by @AeroJ one thing I would point out is how a DNG (Raw) image captures far more information than a Jpeg. In a DNG there is more bit depth in the overexposed areas than in the shadows so there are times when I will go for a slightly overexposed image when shooting sunsets or sunrises, even if I also want to pull detail out of the ground. Here are some samples of sets of pictures I have taken using the DNG+JPG setting on my Typhoon. So just to be clear these images were taken at the exact same time. With the DNG, I can drop the exposure further in post reducing the blown out sky while at the same time pull far more detail out of the underexposed ground. Here are a couple examples: Jpegs and their DNG counterparts processed out as PNG's

BadSky.JPG

BigSky1.png

YUN_0014.JPG

YUN_0014.png
 
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#13
Video is a much deeper subject and there have been some good conversations over the years on this forum. Rather than, put them in this thread, I will see if I can find a few good ones and send you a link and we can pick the subject up there.
 
Likes: thetrecker
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#14
any recommendation for capturing from video
There are several ways to capture stills from video. Your favorite video viewer may have a screen capture feature built-in. However, the easiest way I've found to capture a still image from video is to use the PrtScr key. This works best if you have a 4k monitor. In Windows Media Player or "Movies and TV" viewers, move the cursor into the image while playing and wait for the cursor and headers/footers to disappear (full screen mode). I generally back up 10-15 seconds from the place where I want to capture the image so there is time for them to disappear. At the desired location press PrtScr to copy the 4k image to the Clipboard (do not press Pause). Note, for dual screen systems, you need to press Alt-PrtScr to get just the main screen view only. Now, you Paste the Clipboard image into your favorite photo editing software and have fun.

You can also use VLC Media Player. Use the "Take Snapshot" function in the Video menu. The file will be located in the folder you selected in the Tools/Preferences/Video menu and in the format you selected there. I have not found any image quality differences between these two techniques.

Make sure your video is shot at maximum resolution (4k, or UHD). You will get the best results if stills are captured when the camera is not moving or moving very slowly. This is because, for 24/25/30 fps video, the recommended shutter speed is 50/60th of a second which creates a satisfying amount of blur in moving scenes (ND filter may be required). If you plan to use the video only for capturing stills, use the fastest shutter speed possible (no ND filter) to create crisp stills, even when the camera is moving.
 
Likes: thetrecker
Joined
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#15
That is better, but it's also a lesson in the one thing you can't fix after the fact - overexposure. If you try and turn the blown-out white area down with levels, it will go grey and look even worse, so this is why it's a good idea to use manual exposure when shooting, and to ramp it way down when pointing at the sun so that you get the solar disc better defined, and no blown out white areas except in the very center of the sun...

View attachment 13148

View attachment 13149

View attachment 13150

The top 2 images show how far down you have to go with shutter speed to get the sun exposed correctly - look how dark the land is in the second one particularly.
In the 3rd image I've processed the sky and the land separately and then masked between them so we get something of a faux-hdr image meaning we can 'superbify' the sky without losing the ground detail :)
what altitude where youy at in these pics. and range. very nice thou
 
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#16
what altitude where you at in these pics. and range.
Don't worry all nice and safe and legal ;) Clouds were almost down to the top of the hill and I found a nice wide hole in them to ascend through. They were very slow moving and I moved with the hole, so never lost sight of craft... range-wise was not much - I was pretty much standing right under it for the whole flight.
 

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