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Tip #708: How To Shoot Great Aerials

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Aerials are punctuation for your project, not the entire script.

A drone in action at sunset. (Image courtesy of Pexels.com.)

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This article, written by Ryan McAfee, first appeared in Pond5.com. This is an excerpt.

Aerial footage is one of the most versatile types of footage you can use in your projects. In its most basic form, it establishes a location or gives a scope to the story; it can also heighten drama, help transition between locations or subjects, and can add physical and emotional depth to your productions.

The best aerial videographers maximize the utilitarian nature of aerial shots, but also try to push every creative boundary when it comes to dazzling viewers. Here’s how to shoot aerials and use them in storytelling.

In many cases, less is more, and it’s more about maximizing their impact. Show scale, heighten drama, and aerial dolly zooms, aerial hyperlapses, and aerial timelapses also increase the drama just like they would if they were “regular” shots.

Not only do aerials create new perspectives for and enhance the production value of your videos, they can also simply help ease transitions between shots or scenes.

You position the drone or helicopter so that the object or subject is obscured by an object in the foreground, and then reveal it by flying in a direction so it’s no longer obscured. These shots are great for giving importance to the item being revealed, and can also give more context to the scene as more and more is being revealed, like a waterfall being from above.

The article has excellent examples and more comparisons on when to use drones vs. helicopters, along with necessary permits.


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