Achieve Cinematic Drone Footage Using ND Filters

While photographers often aim to create images that are tack sharp from edge to edge, cinematographers face a different challenge: introducing motion blur to better replicate human vision. This video from Drone Film Guide shows how to do just that. 

Shooting during the Golden Hour is usually preferable to capture that magic light of early morning or early evening, but it's not always possible. When shooting in the bright midday sun, drones (most of which have a fixed aperture) can struggle to capture motion blur. Instead, the footage can look jagged, as host Stewart Carroll describes it. 

By reducing the amount of light hitting the sensor using an ND filter, the cinematographer is able to reduce his or her shutter speed and create that perfect motion blur. As Carroll points out, you'll have to become comfortable shooting in manual mode to achieve the desired results. With a 16-minute run time, the video is informative, easy to digest, and offers plenty of tips about how, when, and when not to use ND filters when filming aerial footage. 

Do you use ND filters in your drone videography? Drop a comment below and tell us your best tip. 

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2 Comments

Interesting how the term Cinematic is so much overused by YouTubers who actually have never done actual cinema shoot.

john wheatley's picture

Yes, I have noticed the over use of the term cinematic by YTubers too !!