Finally! DRONE COMPOSITION Clearly Explained [DJI Mini 2, DJI Mini 3, Mini SE, Air2s, Nano+]
This is my wheelhouse right here now. This episode is for beginners its a real 101 of drone composition. So first im going to explain what is composition then. Well, look at how, specifically we can apply it to our drone cinematography. Now the rules of composition are many, but ive picked out the top five most important ones for us flying camera people then youre, coming with me to a favorite location im going to walk you through the process of analyzing the scene before the drone goes up then. Well, launch the drone and youll see, step by step, how i follow these rules of composition to get cinematic results efficiently, Music. So before i define composition, i have a very important analogy. I want to share. I review a lot of beginner footage here on the channel and i know they know some of the rules of composition, but theyre just nowhere to be seen in any of their footage heres. Why flying is fun buzzing around in sport mode? Is a blast exploring seeing whats over the next mountain buzzing around trees, and then you know theres a little bit of danger involved. You could crash youre thinking about battery level and which nd filter. Should you be using the very last thing on a beginners mind, are the rules of composition heres? My point here is the perfect star contrast to what i just described and its a landscape photographer stay with me here. This landsat photographer arrives at the scene.
They survey it slowly, they analyze it, they make a decision, then they set up their camera, their tripod. They put the camera in place, theyre visualizing the finished picture. They make some adjustments. Then they see an odd shaped tree in the lower right and then they think huh. If i lower the camera three feet and angle it this way that tree will add to the depth of field and it will add to the leading lines of composition. So let me try that they set it up. They look to their viewfinder yeah thats, it they nailed it hit. The shutter button got it, so the rules of composition are the only thing on that landscape photographers mind. Compare that to that beginner drone pilot whos flying around buzzing around thats composition is the last thing on their mind. So do you see that analogy of the two different situations there? I think thats a really important thing to keep in mind. I want you to be that calm, poised, landscape, photographer analyze, recall your one or two or three rules of composition. Try to imply them in your scene, then you can kind of slowly add some movement with your drone done. Okay were moving on. I want to make an important distinction here, because many people confuse these two things. Please keep them separate. In your mind, composition is things like leading lines, the rule of thirds symmetry and so on. Camera movement is things like tilting up and down panning left and right, lateral tracking shots Music got it.
I want you to keep those separate in your mind: good moving on Music man, composition in general, its tough to explain because it deals so much with the preferences of the subconscious mind, and these are very non concrete things that our subconscious mind is drawn. To now were not talking about things like your favorite color, because thats personal preferences of your conscious mind, composition, deals with the preferences of the subconscious, mind, which means theyre universal across all people and its all, based on proven research over hundreds of years. So you just kind of have to accept it. Research has found that for just for some reason, theres just certain shapes combinations, numbers colors that are simply more pleasing to our minds, eye, which means subliminal so thats. What composition is its just this collection of rules over time, thats used in photography its used in hollywood painting all the arts once youve practiced a few of them over time and they kind of become instinctual thats. When it said you have a good eye thats what that means that youre simply employing one or two of these rules of composition – okay, great, but how ted? How do you use them? I pulled out the five rules of composition that i think are the most applicable to us flying camera. People lets go through these briefly then well, go on location and put them into action, so heres our five rules of composition that i think apply the best to drone cinematography theyre, quite obvious, so well just go through them quickly.
Symmetry for some reason, our minds eye is really drawn to balance and symmetry, so keep an eye out for that next rule of thirds seems to contradict the rule of symmetry a bit, but for some reason our minds eye is really drawn to subjects that are in One of those third quadrants, so we all know about the rule of thirds, just stop ignoring it leading lines. They can be kind of hard to spot sometimes, but that will develop over time. Youll just kind of naturally be able to spot them a little bit easier. So just have that in the forefront of your mind, because they help draw the viewers eye to your subject when you have leading lines that are working in your favor simplicity. This is a big one for drone cinematography, because when the the drones really high and got these kind of grand landscape shots theres a lot of elements in the scene. So the trick here with this one is to identify the main subject in your scene and then work to position the drone, so it maybe removes some elements that arent contributing to this subject or are distracting from the subject. Lastly, depth and layering they can add a lot of visual interest when youve got some things that are in the foreground and then maybe the background is kind of adds to it. Just one of those things to practice and keep an eye on okay lets go fly.
A drone and put these into action hi here we are on our scene. So when i get to a new scene, i like to just quickly look around and look for some obvious composition, elements that ill use. For example, i could see this dock definitely working on the rule of thirds some leading lines with the horizon line. There intersecting with the dock will definitely be some some good composition, definitely with the drone kind of maybe overhead putting this dock overhead with some symmetry and some balance so right off the bat theres, some things that im definitely going to look for. Then, of course, once you get the drone up, theres a lot more to look at, but i like to take this first step. So here are the five rules of composition that im going to have in the front of my mind as im moving the drone around and looking for them in the scene. So remember, these considerations are preceding our camera angles and our camera movement considerations so lets put the drone up and ill kind of think out loud of what im kind of interpreting as what the drones looking at and kind of put together that game plan for composition And then ill think about my shot selection things like some lateral shots, maybe some top down shots and some symmetry things like that, so lets get started, go yonder, yonder whoa. So i just want to say i did all this with one battery, because i wanted to move pretty quickly.
Theres some super rich houses along here and i didnt want anyone calling johnny law on my ass. So i moved pretty quick, so this footage is sped up. I know this dock is really going to work for me, so let me move on and just look around and see if theres anything else. I like these docks here and this little peninsula of land, see if nothings really grabbing me. Let me look around some more remembering my rules of composition. It looks down lets look for some texture nah, so now im going to go im going to check out this kind of peninsula, this little beach up ahead here and see if theres anything uh still nothing. You know this kind of organic shape here is grabbing me a little bit. So let me move up and see if theres any rules of composition that uh that grabbed me thats, looking kind of cool theres, definitely some potential here. The wind is shaking my gimbal. A little bit so you know i kind of like this here. These docks sticking out theres, definitely a shot here here somewhere, but uh im going to move on. I kind of like this jagged shoreline here in that random white boat. You know im just going to go back to my dock and capture. My shots, i know, will work so im liking these elements here. So im going to put the controller down right now. Go walk out on that pier now lets edit it Music yep.
So obviously theres the rule of thirds here but theres another one called rule of composition, called visual weight and its quite esoteric, but it really works here so ill. Just explain it quickly. So the rule of visual weight states that things that are brighter in a scene have more visual weight. Things that have a lot more texture in a scene have more more visual weights, also, things that are larger, have more visual weight. So this dock is said to have visual weight because its bright – and we can kind of see some texture in there so to balance that out on the lower left, weve got that large piece of land now its darker, so it doesnt have much visual weight in That regards, but it is larger and its got some of that brown texture there, so the two balance each other out that brown piece of land and then that bright, white dock, so thats. One of the reasons why this shot works is the visual weight is balanced between the two so this shot here. The drone is about 25 feet. High theres, nothing wrong with this shot, but im going to do two things here: to employ the rule of composition for to simplify it and im, also, obviously employing the rule of symmetry. So when i make my few edits, we got this so by removing the shore. The trees, the land it shifts attention to different things in the scene when you remove elements, so you notice here more the texture of the water, the texture of the dock and obviously my silhouette against the water.
So the rule of composition, to simplify, hear really works and obviously symmetry. So in this case here the rule of composition to simplify. I did it in editing by cropping in, but you also want to look for that rule of composition, of to simplify when youre, flying and thats important, because you wont always be able to simply crop in or crop out elements in editing. So you want to look for them while youre flying as well, so this drone position employs leading lines and the rule of thirds. So, even though im quite small in the scene, the viewers eye is drawn to me because of those leading lines that are pointing to me and also obviously, my silhouette against the water enhances that thats a nice drone shot. So the drones about 25 feet high and i would have loved to do a lateral tracking shot here if i had follow mode, so i do have the lychee app, but i just didnt have the time to switch to it. Music. Alright, thanks for watching this tutorial now, this episode right here is one of my favorites. It shows you how to intentionally employ silhouettes with your drone shots.