The great thing about drones (or any other field) is that there’s always more to learn. This is especially true if you want to elevate your skills up to that level where people will literally stop in their tracks to admire your work. Today, we’re happy to dive into an option we believe is worth exploring.
So you’ve owned a drone for two, maybe three years. You overcame that first learning curve, maybe had a few crashes. Now it’s become second nature to go for a fast flight capturing some stills or video. You might even throw on a neutral density filter on a nice sunny day. But still, when you look at your images, there’s nothing that really pops, or at least not the way some images do online. You’d like to take your piloting, your image capturing, to the next level. Simply put, you want to become more of a pro.
Good for you. Upping your drone skills can be the ticket to better jobs if you’re doing this for income… and greater satisfaction if it’s a hobby. And we’re pleased to tell you about a program we feel offers an excellent foundation.
Everyone’s learning online these days, so we decided to explore some of the offerings and tell you about them over the course of two stories. This, as you may have guessed, is the first of those two pieces.
The courses we are going to explore have several things in common:
- Well produced
- Logically structured for best learning experience
- Quality content, delivered by subject matter experts
Think about the more memorable images or cinematic drone videos you’ve seen online. The color is great. The exposure is rock solid. The shots are smooth and memorable. Plus, more often than not, the final product is nicely edited and with good titling. None of these things happen by accident. Rather, they are the result of planning and deliberate techniques while capturing and in post.
Of course, if you happen to be filming in some exotic locales, so much the better. Gorgeous landmarks and landscapes truly do help make these aerial images pop. Your potential instructor has been there, done that, and often sold images that he’s captured.
An artist’s eye and a head for business
Johan bills himself as a professional drone photographer. And that he is. His portfolio is impressive, and filled with shots like these:
We’ve seen a lot of Johan’s work, and it always impresses. It’s even more impressive when you learn that Johan bought his first drone — a DJI Mavic Air — in 2018. Just a year later, he bought the Mavic 2 Pro, which is his go-to machine. This is clearly someone who already had talent, learned quickly, and never stopped pushing himself.
I still try to learn every single day. I follow other great (drone) photographers and analyze why their photos or videos are good. I look at their composition, editing and story telling. Their work inspires me. I’m definitely not the best drone photographer in the world and I’m also not claiming so. Staying humble and trying new things is always part of the learning curve. I can learn from my students, as they learn from me!
Johan, drone photographer/instructor
With a high-level background in sales (think companies like Coca Cola or Nestlé), Johan wanted to turn his newfound passion for aerial cinematography and drones into a business. He already had the portfolio, so it was really a matter of structuring a course and a method, and then just putting it into an online learning system that would be easy to use. The result is called the Drone Adventurer Masterclass.
One of the things we liked about Johan’s approach was his structure. He’s broken the overall course down into three major modules, with very logical sections within each module. Those modules are:
This module contains 26 videos plus assignments, and covers such foundations as the Rule of Thirds, Golden Hour, Apps and settings… and many more. Johan orders his instruction so that the student is always learning based on the fundamentals. We asked him to explain more about his approach, and why he wanted to create this course:
When I first started, I spent hours and hours on YouTube trying to find the right information in order to improve my skills. YouTube is great for answers to specific questions, but I didn’t find anything that would give me an overview of the entire creative process in photography. It was difficult to put A and B together, and some techniques are even kept secretive. That’s why I decided to create a course myself. I wanted to guide students towards (drone) success and teach them everything I have learned over the past two years. So, they can stop wasting time and focus more on having fun!
So, what are you going to do with all of those images you’ve captured? Well, you’re going to learn how to process them. Adobe’s Lightroom is favored by many because it’s non-destructive (it doesn’t alter your original file), easy to learn and powerful. Johan takes you through from being a total beginner to someone accomplished at getting the most from this software.
This masterclass teaches you all you need to know about taking that amazing photo or shooting that interesting video, then it takes you into Lightroom and Premiere Pro in order to edit your footage into a beautiful professional-looking photo or a cinematic drone video.
Finally, Johan has quite a business background — and has a particular passion for negotiation. He packs those skills and more into the third module of the course, which is intended to help students learn to get the best prices for their drone images and jobs. It’s a key part of turning a hobby into a successful profession. (And, trust me on this one, if you’ve never worked as an entrepreneur before, these are valuable lessons.)
If this appeals to you, you can sign up at the Drone Adventurer Masterclass website. If you do sign up, use the code DRONEDJ15 at checkout to get 15% off. This is valid for 10 days only, so sign up by October 2.
I’m very passionate about drone photography, but it also gives me great joy to see the progress my students are making. So, I really hope to be able to keep doing this and create a small community where every drone adventurer can thrive. I have the feeling I’m only at the start of this big adventure!
Tomorrow? Part two!
Tomorrow, we look forward to introducing you to another specialized drone course. Coming direct to you from a company with a high-level reputation, we’ll explore such specialized skills as Surveying by Drone and Real Estate Photography.