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#Autumn# Ascension - music video, photos, and tips!
555 20 11-7 12:03
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Illuminations
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This video is the culmination of two months of work, about a dozen hours of cumulative flight time, over a week of editing, 3 rough drafts, and numerous re-shoots. The song is "Ascension" by Miracle of Sound, which I selected mid-way through the filming process, a selection which dramatically increased the complexity of the project as it demanded that I match my visual story with that of the song.

Here are a few things I learned during the production of this video:

  • When matching video to music, think of the tone: is it dark? is it bright?
  • For a rising, building portion, consider using an aerial shot where you are ascending. When the music falls away use a descending shot.
  • Changing seasons mean unpredictable weather - keep a close eye on the forecast!
  • Even on a rainy day you can sometimes get lucky with a brief reprieve from the precipitation - don't necessarily right off a filming session due to rain!
  • foggy weather can make for super dramatic shots, but you've got to be extra careful when visibility is reduced!
  • Aerial timelapses are awesome, but I've found that when hovering or flying at slow speeds drones will rotate minutely and you'll have to stabilize the footage in post production. You can minimize camera drift by flying more quickly - though keep in mind that this will limit the duration of your timelapse due to range and extra battery drain.
  • When filming people, try different angles to add variety to scenes. Consider flying at a low angle so as to add background scenery to your shot - an open ridgeline is ideal.
  • When editing high resolution footage on a computer unable to render your edit in real time, render a rough draft, then make a note of issues and necessary changes, apply them, and render again. If problems persist repeat the process. You can also do this with individual scenes.


And now for some photos, along with related tips!

DJI_0429.jpg

Even evergreen trees can undergo fascinating changes in the fall! Keep an eye out below for unexpected patterns and colors - even in landscapes over which you have flown before.
Also, keep in mind that sunny conditions aren't always ideal for every shot - this one was taken on an over cast day. This eliminated distracting shadows and brought out subtle colors. When I returned to the location on a sunny day the scene had dulled to mediocrity.

DJI_0357-Pano.jpg

When taking photos directly at bright sources it helps to shoot in RAW format and to expose for the highlights. When editing you can use gradient filter to bring back dark areas while keeping the highlights properly exposed. Also, I should mention that when I took this photo I had to fly within just a few feet of the mountain slope to get the framing right - I was sweating with fear that I would crash! Always use great caution when flying at low altitude in a distant location.

DJI_0549.jpg

Wide, top-down photos can make a familiar landscape look totally different - especially if you can find something that can look like something else to the casual observer! Everyone I've showed this photo to has thought it looks like a river, when in fact it is a paved road! Getting the color and exposure right in post processing in an image like this can be difficult - try selectively adjusting color using the HSL/Color channels in Adobe Lightroom.

DJI_0466-Pano.jpg

Foggy landscapes can be the most spectacular - but usually only if you have some other subject to add interest to photo! Intermittant fog layers are ideal, which trees rising out of swirling sea like islands. Look the best conditions close to dawn - the low angle of the sun can send awe inspiring rays of light lancing between tree tops!

11-7 12:03
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Nebuchadnezzar
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Beautiful job !! Video & shots are amazing
11-7 12:10
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Nebuchadnezzar
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Music = Epic
11-7 12:12
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Illuminations
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Nebuchadnezzar Posted at 11-7 12:10
Beautiful job !! Video & shots are amazing

Thank you!
11-7 17:47
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DJI Panda
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Nice works! So stunning!
11-7 19:39
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Montfrooij
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Very nice entry!
11-8 01:20
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A CW
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Stunning work and thread! This has got to be the winner!
11-8 06:24
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HendrikJB
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really good job.  I really liked the natural scenes.  However for me the "staged" people took away a lot of the "WOW" factor.
11-8 10:54
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Sayhelloforme
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Great tips. Beautiful captures. Thanks for sharing.
11-8 11:37
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Sayhelloforme
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Great tips. Beautiful captures. Thanks for sharing.
11-8 11:37
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Caspers driver
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Over all really nice. Some of your scenery footage is to die for! Wow !!
Time well spent on this end. Hopefully to you as well.

PS: you mentioning the work trying to get footage to match the song. Reminds me of many years ago on forest fire crew in Alaska. When time allowed we put together slide shows (multiple projectors) to music.

Again,well done
11-8 16:58
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sirrahc_nash
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Beautiful video and scenery!  Thank you for sharing!
11-9 06:19
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Illuminations
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A CW Posted at 11-8 06:24
Stunning work and thread! This has got to be the winner!

Thank you - I hope so!
11-9 15:14
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Illuminations
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Caspers driver Posted at 11-8 16:58
Over all really nice. Some of your scenery footage is to die for! Wow !!
Time well spent on this end. Hopefully to you as well.

Thank you - even if I don't win this was worth doing! It was fun to create and I managed to really challenge myself and try new filming and editing techniques.
11-9 20:29
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A CW
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Illuminations Posted at 11-9 15:14
Thank you - I hope so!

You’re welcome
11-10 00:06
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Caspers driver
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Illuminations Posted at 11-9 20:29
Thank you - even if I don't win this was worth doing! It was fun to create and I managed to really challenge myself and try new filming and editing techniques.

You’re welcome. .. and I think you’ve already won just because of doing something you like with an obvious passion.

Good luck!
11-10 08:11
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filipsnajdr
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You have some fantastic footage and the video is really great!
11-10 09:21
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Illuminations
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filipsnajdr Posted at 11-10 09:21
You have some fantastic footage and the video is really great!

Thank you!
11-10 16:26
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Illuminations
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Thank you!
yesterday 10:07
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Montfrooij
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You're welcome!
yesterday 23:22
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Illuminations
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sirrahc_nash Posted at 11-9 06:19
Beautiful video and scenery!  Thank you for sharing!

Thank you!
12 hours ago
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