How to Shoot Amazing Top-Down Drone Panoramas

Anthony LeDonne Would Make A Fast Tennis Ball Boy.jpg
 

I FINALLY remembered a cool trick to taking cool drone pictures a few days ago in New Orleans. The picture above is what came out of it.

Here’s how I did it…

IN THE DRONE

I pointed the camera straight down, set my exposure (1/160 @ 2.8, 400 ISO, if you’re curious) and started strafing. I aligned my drone with the tennis courts—so the drone was pointing UP in this image—and then strafed right, firing off a few shots along the way. There was a decent amount of overlap in each image. I probably had 50% of the image overlapping onto the next one, but you needn’t take so many photos. Once I’d gotten one row, I moved the drone forward (UP in this image) and went back along the next row.

In Lightroom

Just pop open Lightroom, select the images you want to stick together, and click Photo >> Photo Merge >> Panorama. Et voila!

You can recreate the image (minus my retouching and cropping) using the source files here.

Happy shooting!