Constructive criticism for P3 videography

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So I put this little video together last night. I know I need to try to be a little less jerky with my movements in some parts. I also hate how the exposure levels can change so quickly. Maybe I need to turn them to manual only when doing shoots like this. But I would love to hear some feedback on how I can make videos like this turn out better. Thanks!

BTW, this is shot at Thomas Jefferson's summer home (Poplar Forest) located in Forest, VA.
 
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You're finding out what all professional photographers and videographers repeat often - this takes practice. It's not easy. You have to do these passes and movements over and over and over. Eventually the Camera movement and drone movement will be slow and smooth - but the most difficult part is that repositioning your drone is a massive pain in the butt. If you do a pass and you jerk the camera a little (which is instinct for flying) you need to go ALLL THE WAY BACK and start over and practice the sweep. It's just hours and hours of practice... But I can tell from your video that your BRAIN knows what it wants - and you're aware enough to know what was wrong... so it's just a matter of doing it a bunch.
 
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You will definitely want to shoot scenes in manual if you plan on making a professional looking video. Otherwise the white balance and exposure can change too quickly on you.
You can also learn to control the auto-balancing nature of these cameras if you keep the majority of the sky out of the shot. It's a double-edged sword because you have so little flight time. The video he was trying to capture above could easily be pulled off in auto, he just had to keep the camera at the right angle. Manual is great unless you need to change it during the shot, at which point you're going to look quite amateur as you see the notches click. However, if he wanted to fly into a perfectly white sky after a shot of the house? Yes, gotta pop it into manual. Thankfully you can do this (literally) on the fly. :D
 
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My suggestion is to really slow down the flight movements. Avoid pans or turns in your videos. Slow down all camera pitches down or up. Even stationary video for 10 or more seconds can look great, especially if there are things in the video moving. Trees swaying, cars or birds moving. Best shots are straight up slow climb or straight down slow descent looks great in many videos.

Fast flying impresses drone operators, if you avoid the crashes, but for non-drone owners only familiar to movies and TV, where the video camera rarely pans, zooms or tilts in the movie or show. So the movement makes the video look like an amateur video production. Super slow pans, or leave the yaw alone, and move slowly left or right.

If you can get a shot with perfect circling shot of a subject without being jerky with either the pan, tilt or flight, you are very good. Straight down video or stills is also an artistic view if the subject matter is interesting. There are uses for drones in action photography for a sporting event like skiing where movement is expected. But many drone operators are doing landscapes, sunsets and in many of these less motion in the video makes it look more appealing to non-drone owners.
 
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My suggestion is to really slow down the flight movements. Avoid pans or turns in your videos. Slow down all camera pitches down or up. Even stationary video for 10 or more seconds can look great, especially if there are things in the video moving. Trees swaying, cars or birds moving. Best shots are straight up slow climb or straight down slow descent looks great in many videos.

Fast flying impresses drone operators, if you avoid the crashes, but for non-drone owners only familiar to movies and TV, where the video camera rarely pans, zooms or tilts in the movie or show. So the movement makes the video look like an amateur video production. Super slow pans, or leave the yaw alone, and move slowly left or right.

If you can get a shot with perfect circling a subject without being jerky with either the pan, tilt or flight, you are very good. Straight down video or stills is also an artistic view if the subject matter is interesting. There are uses for drones in action photography for a sporting event like skiing where movement is expected. But many drone operators are doing landscapes, sunsets and in many of these less motion in the video makes it look more appealing to non-drone owners.
This is a killer point. What feels "good" as a drone hobbyist rarely looks good as a videographer. They're two completely separate skills.
 
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My suggestion is to really slow down the flight movements. Avoid pans or turns in your videos. Slow down all camera pitches down or up. Even stationary video for 10 or more seconds can look great, especially if there are things in the video moving. Trees swaying, cars or birds moving. Best shots are straight up slow climb or straight down slow descent looks great in many videos.

Fast flying impresses drone operators, if you avoid the crashes, but for non-drone owners only familiar to movies and TV, where the video camera rarely pans, zooms or tilts in the movie or show. So the movement makes the video look like an amateur video production. Super slow pans, or leave the yaw alone, and move slowly left or right.

If you can get a shot with perfect circling shot of a subject without being jerky with either the pan, tilt or flight, you are very good. Straight down video or stills is also an artistic view if the subject matter is interesting. There are uses for drones in action photography for a sporting event like skiing where movement is expected. But many drone operators are doing landscapes, sunsets and in many of these less motion in the video makes it look more appealing to non-drone owners.
Stan, I totally agree with your comments - I still practice rotating around a subject and trying to keep the subject centered and it is hard to do! I like to fly like a bat-outta-hell for fun, but I also practice slow transitions that I want to use when doing video work.

One thing I might add is that you can take multiple passes at different levels/perspectives and edit them into a very nice presentation of the subject, rather than trying to capture the entire concept in a pass...
 
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Yes, if you are impressing another drone operator, fast flying, jerky videos don't really matter. Drone flying can have many motivations. Flying skill, search and rescue, police use, fire department use, creating artistic photos or videos and finally it is just a great personal toy and hobby to entertain yourself and your family.

Once you decide you want to create art in the form of still pictures worth framing and hanging on your wall, or videos that look award winning in their content, artistic beauty, lighting, framing, location uniqueness and the "story being told" you need to cross over into a lot of basic photography and video production knowledge and skills. That takes a lot of work. Some of the greatest drone photographers either had great prior photography experience, or started reading books and taking classes after they got their drone.

One of the easiest ways to impress your friends is try taking and sharing still photos. It is so much easier to create something impressive that creating an impressive video for non-drone loving audiences. With just a little imagination and practice you can create photos that people will ask to hang on their wall at home or the office.

Try some of that first and watch how impressed they are with your drone.
 
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I too am very much learning, so I'll say that you've got some great ideas and a beautiful place to film! I'd say that you should slow down in just about every way. I would think you can speed up some sections a bit in post but better to film slowly - especially the turns.

I really like the section at 1:23 and forward where you start very high to show the mountains, but pull back in to the house.

I haven't played with the exposure control enough, but I think you can leave it in auto, but lock the exposure on one particular spot. Alternatively, if you go manual, you can leave the exposure the same across multiple individual shots.

Thanks for sharing!
Chris
 
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You can also learn to control the auto-balancing nature of these cameras if you keep the majority of the sky out of the shot. It's a double-edged sword because you have so little flight time. The video he was trying to capture above could easily be pulled off in auto, he just had to keep the camera at the right angle. Manual is great unless you need to change it during the shot, at which point you're going to look quite amateur as you see the notches click. However, if he wanted to fly into a perfectly white sky after a shot of the house? Yes, gotta pop it into manual. Thankfully you can do this (literally) on the fly. :D
You're assuming that you'll take a full video clip out and only trim the ends. I"d rather shoot each scene in manual and then edit all the clips together. Isn't that why we got the start/stop button on the remote instead of the old way of just pressing record on the GoPro and then landing 18 min later with 18 min of video to edit?
 
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I am not a smooth pilot, so I try to shoot scenes in small 10-20 second increments, and I shoot the same scene several times. I can later put them together into the video I want selecting the best shoot of each scene. I find that my audience gets bored if my scenes last more than 7-12 seconds. That's my amateur advise.
I like your video, just keep practicing the flying and like the others have already said, slow down. Practice, practice, practice and the speed will come.
 
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You're assuming that you'll take a full video clip out and only trim the ends. I"d rather shoot each scene in manual and then edit all the clips together. Isn't that why we got the start/stop button on the remote instead of the old way of just pressing record on the GoPro and then landing 18 min later with 18 min of video to edit?
It's more of a speed issue when you're draling with a short flight-time. Knowing how to effectively use the auto-modes can allow you to make the most out of your limited time. Just depends on your situation. I use both modes often, but find I can use auto to my advantage since I understand lighting and composition.
 
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