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4.2 Timing and Time of Day

A single spot in the world can look radically different depending on the position of the sun. In this lesson you’ll learn how to examine your terrain to determine the best times of the day to get cinematic aerial shots.

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Drone Project Uses

2.Equipment and Setup
2 lessons, 09:33

Technical Specs

Cameras and Gear

1 lesson, 04:46

Shooting Techniques

4.Outdoor Factors
2 lessons, 07:29

Weather Factors

Timing and Time of Day

5.Camera Setup
2 lessons, 12:46

Camera Settings


6.Maintenance and Preparation
2 lessons, 11:23

Routine Maintenance

Planning for a Shoot

2 lessons, 07:30

What Is Legal?

How to Obtain UAV Insurance

8.Drone Services
1 lesson, 02:36

Service Ideas

1 lesson, 02:05


4.2 Timing and Time of Day

In this lesson we're gonna look at the best times during the day to get the most cinematic shots with your drone. And we're also gonna look at the differences between footage shot at different points in the day. The first thing to know is quite often we might not have a choice as to what time we shoot our aerial video. Because quite often the shoot has been set up in advance and you may only have a set time period available. So it's all or nothing. And that's okay. You can still get good looking aerial footage. However, if you do have the opportunity to choose the times of day. There are two different times that I highly recommend. And then that's the golden hours of the day, it's sunrise and sunset. Basically, the first hour when the sun rises in the morning, and the hour just before the sun sets in the evening. Just like with ground based cinematography, the golden hours of the day will really help your footage stand out. And a lot of directors and cinematographers that I've worked with specifically request shooting only at these times of the day. Shadows will be visible helping you to find the trained features that aren't as visible during the afternoon. Also just fewer people film at these times. So just by doing this one step. You're already gonna differentiate your footage greatly from the mass of other footage that's already out there. Sure, it may not be fun waking up at five, or six AM in the morning. But once you get back to your computer and you're viewing your footage. You'll quickly realize how something so simple can change your footage in such a big way. [MUSIC] Sunrise is by far the most desired time to shoot aerials for a few reasons. The first, and as I've said earlier, most people just won't put in the effort to wake up this early and shoot at this time. The sun will be casting a beautiful golden light on terrain. It will cast longer shadows, and this will help define and even flatter the terrain features. And because we're seeing light come in from an angle that's only there at a limited time during the day. This is gonna make the footage even more desirable. But sunrise still has another trick up its sleeve. And that's the morning mist and the fog is often associated with sunrise. [MUSIC] And this is what vastly separates sunrise from sunset. The fog and the mist from the cool humidity that developed during the night will burn away about mid afternoon, and then it won't be around for sunset. This fog may be great sense of atmosphere to the scene and the light will be diffused on the fog surface. The one thing you will need to watch out for during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset. Is because the sun is at such a low angle, it'll be prone to a lot of light flares on your footage if you're facing the sun directly. This can really wash out the contrast of your footage, or just completely over power the footage all together with blown out highlights. Sunset also offers some unique shooting options as well. If the fog effect is not for you. Then you probably want to shoot at sunset. You can get some really great silhouette terrain at sunset that can offer a great variety of colors that will likely fade into a nice purple tone. And this can also change depending on the time of year and how quick the sun is setting. A good resource if you're interested in shooting at sunrise and sunset are apps that are specifically made for your smart phone. They're great for tracking the location of the sun and telling users the exact times of golden hours, sunrise and sunset for specific days. You can even check out data for days that are months away if you're pre-planning for a shoot. A good resource for Apple users is the app called Lumy, and for Android users there's an app called Sun Surveyor. Now all this talk about sunrise and sunset doesn't mean that you can't get great looking aerial footage during the middle of the day. It's really just to say that midday shooting is the most common. Because it's the easiest time of day for most people to be up and shooting. You can get great vibrant colors during midday, because the shadows will be at their shortest, revealing the bright colored treetops and terrain. Not to mention the bright blue sky, and if there's some scattered clouds, this can really break up the sky. And give a real sense of depth to the landscape shots. [MUSIC] Also there's less chance of encountering harsh light flares since the sun's gonna be directly overhead. In the next lesson we're gonna look at the best camera settings for your aerial camera. And how you can avoid some common problems with aerial footage.

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