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How AEB can help your drone photography

The following weblog put up is a visitor piece from Chris Anderson, the creator of the positioning The Drone Trainer.

Modern drones usually include the likelihood to seize mind-boggling photos at a number of completely different exposures, and create gorgeous HDR (High Dynamic Range) photographs. But with that comes an onslaught of HDR photographs which are far overdone — and principally burn your eyes.

Here’s your information on the way to create pure trying HDR photographs with your drone, utilizing AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing).

What is AEB?

When capturing in AEB mode, your drone’s digicam will robotically take three or 5 pictures, every at a distinct publicity stage. On their very own, these particular person photographs are going to be under- and over-exposed. That’s okay although; when you merge them collectively, you’re going to have a factor of magnificence!

Let’s work by means of this AEB instance:

These photographs had been captured by setting my DJI Phantom four Pro to shoot in AEB 5 mode. To alter this, merely go into your digicam settings (proper facet of your display screen under the shutter button), and in photograph mode choose AEB. You’ll have the ability to select three or 5 as soon as in AEB mode, relying on the scene that you simply’re seeking to shoot. I discover that for scenes which are effectively lit, AEB 5 works effectively as all 5 of the photographs will seize sharp element.

As you can see with the above photographs, the primary one begins off overexposed, whereas nonetheless offering element at midnight areas (shadows), progressing to the final one that’s underexposed however offering particulars within the gentle areas (highlights). Each one among these photographs technically could possibly be used, nonetheless we wish to merge them collectively right into a balanced HDR photograph.

Want to comply with together with these actual photographs? Simply fill in your title and e mail and I’ll immediately ship you the photographs by way of e mail.



Start engaged on your photographs in Lightroom

I’m utilizing Adobe Lightroom for this instance, however you can use some other comparable software program to course of your HDR photographs. In this instance I took three completely different photographs, all shot at AEB 5, giving me 15 particular person images.

Before we go any additional, I’m going to indicate you a shortcut that may prevent numerous time down the highway whenever you begin capturing every thing in AEB. What we wish to do is figure with these photographs in “stacks” moderately than as particular person photographs.

Select all 15 photographs by urgent COMMAND+A (mac) or CTRL+A (home windows), after which proper click on on one of many photographs. After proper clicking choose “Stacking” after which “Auto-Stack by Capture Time…”

What Lightroom goes to do now’s attempt to stack all your comparable photos collectively, primarily based on the seize time. The subsequent window that opens up will mean you can choose the period of time between every stack, primarily what number of minutes or seconds it took you to shoot the 5 AEB photographs.

You can transfer the slider round, till you see the variety of stacks that you simply’re anticipating. In this instance I took three photographs, so seeing “3 stacks, 0 unstacked” within the backside left nook of this window is precisely what I’m searching for. In this instance, it occurred to work out at 5 seconds.

If you set your time between stacks too low, you’ll see an sudden quantity within the backside left nook like the next two examples.

Too Low:

Too High:

Once you discover the best steadiness of stacks (stack quantity should equal the variety of AEB photographs you took), then click on on “Stack” to create them.

Once you’ve created your stacks, you’ll see a small quantity seem within the first photograph of every stack, on this case 5. The stacks are nonetheless expanded, so we’ll collapse them as a way to take away any confusion as to which photograph belongs to which stack.

Right click on on one among them, select “Stacking” -> “Collapse All Stacks” to break down the photographs down into their particular person stacks.

Once collapsed, you’re going to see simply three stacks, containing all the person photographs. By working in stacks, you’re not going to run the potential for choosing the unsuitable photographs whenever you begin your HDR merge, and also you’re going to save lots of a pile of time whenever you begin working with a number of photos. I’ll get to the time saver in a second.

Create an HDR picture from a stack

Select and proper click on on one of many stacks, and navigate to “Photo Merge” -> “HDR” or CTRL+H for those who desire utilizing your keyboard.

Lightroom will robotically create a preview of your HDR merge, and gives you a few choices to tweak the photograph. I’ve discovered that Lightroom does a fantastic job at “Auto Align” and “Auto Tone” so I at all times have these two chosen. Deghosting can be a great tool for scenes the place there might have been numerous motion, however for stationary objects akin to this home, a deghost setting of “none” works completely advantageous. If you will have numerous tree motion, or possibly a automotive or hen went by means of your scene, you can transfer between low to excessive in try to isolate that motion, however for this instance it’s pointless.

Once you’re pleased with the preview, click on on “Merge” within the backside proper nook and let Lightroom work it’s magic!

Now that is the place the large time saver is available in…

Now that we’ve created our first HDR picture and are pleased with the outcomes, we can begin to batch course of the remaining stacks, moderately than going by means of them one after the other! Say you will have 10 stacks to course of; that’s a painstakingly lengthy course of to create a preview after which merge them one after the other.

With this straightforward trick you can get all of them achieved within the background when you work on different duties.

Simply click on on the subsequent stack, after which as an alternative CTRL+H, press SHIFT+CTRL+H and it’ll course of the HDR merge primarily based on your final settings. As Lightroom processes the HDR, you can click on and repeat on the next stacks and have Lightroom do all of them within the background for you moderately than one after the other. In this instance of solely three photos it may not seem to be an excessive amount of of a time saver, however when you begin capturing every thing in AEB and have dozens of photographs to work although, you’re going to thank me.

After you’ve accomplished your HDR merges, you’ll see your newly created HDR photograph present up beside your stack.

As you can see, HDR photography with your drone can yield some wonderful outcomes. Don’t get caught simply taking single photographs, whenever you can use AEB to seize three or 5 photographs, and sew them collectively into one thing rather more interesting! Now get on the market and shoot some AEB photographs with your drone, as we’d like to see what you create!

-By Chris Anderson

With a background in aviation and photography, Chris Anderson was simply drawn to the drone world and has been operating a profitable business drone enterprise ever since. As a business drone pioneer, Chris has additionally efficiently educated over 700 college students globally by way of his coaching web site, The Drone Trainer.

Follow The Drone Trainer on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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