Drone Photography- The Best guide for editing your photos
Updated: Jul 27
Drone photography is not limited to a good drone, camera, and
landscape. Post-processing of photos and videos is equally
important to really make your photos pop and bring life to them.
You maybe skilled in normal editing but editing drone pics is just not the same
Compared to normal editing photographs taken from above there is a considerable difference in lighting and angles. Also as there is mostly no human subject we can be a bit more creative with colors and toning. When retouching people, we need to keep them looking human, so we can’t go overboard.
In the beginning, one must explore different software like photoshop or lightroom, get used to the different interfaces and figure out the one which fits you the best.
Some settings and other features to look out for while editing photos:
Getting this correct will help you a lot, even if you may have forgotten to adjust it before shooting you can always adjust it in post-production. To adjust the white balance in lightroom you could use one of the several automatic settings provided like auto, as shot, daylight, cloudy, shade, tungsten, fluorescent, and flash which have specific temp and tint values.
But if you wish to go custom then you can adjust the white balance manually by moving the sliders labeled Temp and Tint. Or, select the eyedropper tool, and click on any part of the photo that you want to be neutral. If you want to sync the settings of a particular shade of grey or white then just click on the photo of that shade and it's done or else click on any part in the photo which is pure white or pure grey.
Eliminating fisheye distortion
The fisheye distortion also known as the barrel effect can pose a major problem for optical clarity in aerial photography. The reason it happens in drones is that the lens's field of view is wider than the size of your image sensor. On a more technical level, this happens because the camera squeezes the field of view so it fits into the image. It causes straight lines in the photo to look curved, or like a barrel shape.
Eliminating this may seem complicated but is pretty simple given the right software.
In adobe lightroom import and isolate the photos where the barrel effect is the particular problem then go to the develop menu and select lens correction.
For those of you who are using the go pro studio just import the photo and go to advanced settings where you will see a box that says remove fisheye click this and press ok.
If you don't want your image to be looking soft remember to sharpen them. Programs like Lightroom have the sharpening tool under the “Detail” tab. Remember, a little goes a long way and you don’t want to overdo it. Zoom in to about 400% and start at about 20.
Merge Bracketed Photos
Merge your 5 bracketed exposure together using programs like Lightroom, LR Enfuse, or Aurora HDR. Try them out see what differences you get from each program and choose the one that suits you the best. In every program you use, you’ll get a .TIF file that should provide a balanced photograph that you can edit into the image you want to create.
Adjust your exposure first as necessary. Then lower your highlights and increase your shadows as you see fit. This will provide you with a more property-exposed image with good contrast.
Remove Chromatic Aberrations
The color fringing around the edges is known as chromatic aberration(CA). You can edit this in lightroom by the lens correction tab. It may not solve all your CA issues, but it is a good start. If additional CA removal is needed, head into Photoshop for that.
Post-processing photos might become time-consuming and cumbersome but it's all worth it in the end, so make it a habit to always post-process your photos to make them come alive.