Drone videography: Basic and creative aerial filming techniques for drone video cameras

If you have a drone video camera but don’t know how to film professional-looking videos, watch these footage to get some ideas for basic and creative drone filming techniques.

Basic drone filming techniques

Whether filming a larger scene or a specific subject, drone videos can learn from the established practices in theater and video productions. Check the video below – other than flying over or circling around the scene/subject, there are some basic shots such as:

  • Pan shot: camera moves from left to right or from right to left.
  • Tracking shot or dolly shot: camera moves parallel to the subject.
  • Pedestal shot: camera moves vertically parallel to the subject.
  • Still shot: camera records action or activity; camera itself does not move.

Creative drone filming techniques

When we combine some basic shots and draw on the unique perspective of the drone video camera, we can produce a variety of creative shots. Let’s watch a few creative shots that are easy to implement but will sure add a professional touch to your drone video.

Use a foreground subject: find relevant objects to use in the foreground; for instance, when revealing a larger scene, start flying from behind a foreground subject.

Line of sight: camera moves straight forward or backward to reveal objects on both sides.

Start from the specific: start from a close shot of a subject then gradually reveal the scene.

The sample shots above are just tip of the iceberg – there are many people who have been doing  creative and innovative work with drone video filming. For instance, check out the collection of fantastic drone videos by Sky-Hook; or take a look at the creative use of shots in the drone video below:

Best-selling drones at Amazon:

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About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (www.mulinblog.com/mooc), a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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5 Responses to Drone videography: Basic and creative aerial filming techniques for drone video cameras

  1. Alison S says:

    I’m glad you posted this, as so many videos from drones are just flying over empty fields, or general terrain. We’ve worked hard to integrate all of the basic shots, plus more interesting ones in to our repertoire when shooting aerial video for clients. Appreciate the write-up.

  2. Viki says:

    Hey guys, great article. Would love your opinion on my first two weeks of flight having never flown before but worked in video and editing for a while. Please check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hC-ekv9_ps

  3. rc drone says:

    great post, thanks for sharing

  4. Jon Favreau says:

    Great article guys. One thing I learnt about aerial drone cinematography is that preparation is key. What you do before your photographic session or aerial filming session is very important. This will easily help you to know what to shoot, what type of cameras to use, when and how to shoot. For commercial aerial film production this is very important. The most vital tips include knowing your working budget, knowing your target audience, understanding the type of cameras to use, and having a great marketing strategy. So apart from all these tips guys who love drones should remember this.

  5. Nice to read. I really appreciate the insight here in this post and wanted to say thank you for answering the questions on my mind

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