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Air2S - shooting at sunset (photo and video) guidance.

RonanCork

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Cork. Ireland
Hey Guys,

I hope you're all well.

I've been asked by a client (a hotel - with gardens/grounds surrounding) to take some footage (video primarily but with some photos) of their property around sunset. Essentially they're looking for something similar to this video - not quite a nighttime but dark enough that outside lights are showing.

I've been flying a Mavic Drones for a few years now (Air2S I have now) but have mostly shot during the day and I'm confident to be able to do the job - but wanted to ask if you guys, who might have done similar, for any advice you may have at shooting this time of the day, as it's a little after sunset. I want to ensure that the quality of the footage is as good as possible (i.e. as good as you can get in diminishing light.

In post, I'll use Lightroom Classic for photos and Resolve v17 for video.

My thoughts: Remove any ND filters, and shoot in low ISO if possible otherwise grain/noise can creep up. Shoot in RAW and pro mode for both photo and video and use the on-screen Histogram to help me.

Any tips/pointers etc. would be much appreciated.



Thanks Ro
 
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...My thoughts: Remove any ND filters, shoot in low ISO if possible otherwise grain/noise can creep up. Shoot in RAW and pro mode for both photo and video and use the on-screen Histogram to help me.

Any tips/pointers...
Mainly what you wrote... then try to expose as far to the right in the histogram as possible without blowing out any highlights you want to preserve, this to brighten up the darker parts as much as possible & minimize noise creeping in there if you try to brighten them in post.

Then also consider to lower the frame rate to access slower shutter speeds when videoing... the camera will not go slower than 1/the frame rate... can be a trick to get more light in instead of increasing the ISO, just bear in mind that possible motion blur will increase... so move slowly & smoothly.

For the stills, if shot in RAW... you can "develop" the same RAW with several exposure settings in the converter, then merge them for a higher final dynamic range.
 
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Magic Hour is tough, very wide dynamics, but there's a lot going on too. Might consider lifting the shadows (things look a bit dark, crushed, and then pushing saturation (lifting shadows might thin it out), and perhaps apply a light vignette on the sky so it doesn't get away from you. And everything @slup said of course.
 
I would suggest flying the area during the day so you have a feel for where the obstacles to avoid are. At dusk, the sensors will not work in helping avoid collisions.

For shooting where there are large ranges of lighting, AEB of 3 shots will help a lot to get to a well exposed shot. For video, you can utilize the gradients that are available to even exposure out when necessary.
 
I would suggest flying the area during the day so you have a feel for where the obstacles to avoid are. At dusk, the sensors will not work in helping avoid collisions.

For shooting where there are large ranges of lighting, AEB of 3 shots will help a lot to get to a well exposed shot. For video, you can utilize the gradients that are available to even exposure out when necessary.
thanks - yup I did exactly that last week to plan out my shots in daylight, examine obstacles, trees and be prepared for the sunset shot the next week. Yup I do AEB 3 also. thanks for the info. One quick thing - what do you mean when you say utilize the gradients that are available to even exposure out ? do you mean in resolve etc?
Ronan
 
Hey Guys,

I hope you're all well.

I've been asked by a client (a hotel - with gardens/grounds surrounding) to take some footage (video primarily but with some photos) of their property around sunset. Essentially they're looking for something similar to this video - not quite a nighttime but dark enough that outside lights are showing.

I've been flying a Mavic Drones for a few years now (Air2S I have now) but have mostly shot during the day and I'm confident to be able to do the job - but wanted to ask if you guys, who might have done similar, for any advice you may have at shooting this time of the day, as it's a little after sunset. I want to ensure that the quality of the footage is as good as possible (i.e. as good as you can get in diminishing light.

In post, I'll use Lightroom Classic for photos and Resolve v17 for video.

My thoughts: Remove any ND filters, and shoot in low ISO if possible otherwise grain/noise can creep up. Shoot in RAW and pro mode for both photo and video and use the on-screen Histogram to help me.

Any tips/pointers etc. would be much appreciated.



Thanks Ro
This is a tough time of the year to be shooting twilight shots as the length of twilight is diminishing. That having been said it is easier to shoot a bit before sunset, especially on an overcast day when the lights are needed inside and out at the end of the day and then darken the exposure a bit. It isn't really dark yet - you can see what you are doing, but the final product appears to have been shot after dark. You will lose detail if you wait until the light is perfect and you won't have enough time to get the job done.
 
This is a tough time of the year to be shooting twilight shots as the length of twilight is diminishing. That having been said it is easier to shoot a bit before sunset, especially on an overcast day when the lights are needed inside and out at the end of the day and then darken the exposure a bit. It isn't really dark yet - you can see what you are doing, but the final product appears to have been shot after dark. You will lose detail if you wait until the light is perfect and you won't have enough time to get the job done.
Great suggestion! - my thinking for the shot I want is to record it a few times before sunset, during and after and then in post see which one "looks" the best. thanks!
 
thanks - yup I did exactly that last week to plan out my shots in daylight, examine obstacles, trees and be prepared for the sunset shot the next week. Yup I do AEB 3 also. thanks for the info. One quick thing - what do you mean when you say utilize the gradients that are available to even exposure out ? do you mean in resolve etc?
Ronan
Yes, in resolve. On the screen where you can create correction nodes for color grading and stuff, you can create gradients that allow you to adjust things like exposure in part of the image. Lightroom has masks you can create which can be gradients as well. Guess the point I was trying to make was there are things you can easily remedy in post processing if you need to and you don't have to worry too much about when shooting. Get the exposure as close as you can and fine tune it later.

Sounds like you have it all under control...good luck!!
 
Just to give you confidence, the Air 2s is my goto solution when shooting twilight photo shoots for my Real Estate clients. In low light, movement of the camera is a killer without a tripod and the stabilized drone camera is perfect. I typically setup about 30 minutes before sundown and begin shooting about 10 min prior and keep shooting until the sky is too dark and begins blending in with the shadows.

The detail the drone provides is simply amazing. Here is one of my recent shots. Good luck!B5921B67-7FC3-41D2-BFD2-E0D49C2924EE.jpeg
 
Just to give you confidence, the Air 2s is my goto solution when shooting twilight photo shoots for my Real Estate clients. In low light, movement of the camera is a killer without a tripod and the stabilized drone camera is perfect. I typically setup about 30 minutes before sundown and begin shooting about 10 min prior and keep shooting until the sky is too dark and begins blending in with the shadows.

The detail the drone provides is simply amazing. Here is one of my recent shots. Good luck!View attachment 156773
Great points there. Beautiful photo too. Love the colours and the warm glow in the house
Ro
 
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