Many of you asked for advice to improve your photographing skills with your Bebop Drone.
In order to answer all of your questions and to allow new droners to try drone photography, we met Qorz, a professional photographer who happens to be a Bebop enthusiast.
Qorz has been shooting some incredible pictures for a few months now. They’ve been published on his Instagram account (+200.000 followers). During our meeting, we took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his piloting methods and photo/video editing tips.
Nice to meet you Jean Bernard (Qorz), could you please introduce yourself briefly?
Hi, I’m from Paris. For the past 3 years, I’ve been passionate about photography, and more specifically through Instagram as @qorz. What I want to do is to create my own style and master the technical aspects enough to be able to pass on my emotions through my pictures.
Your editing work is remarkable. What’s your secret?
I only use the DNG format (RAW) for the pictures because the JPEG format generates too much information loss. I correct the Lens with Photoshop which is perfect for that.
The DNG mode (aka RAW) is available in the “Recording Settings” of the Bebop Drone.
To edit it, to change the brightness, the contrast and to use masks, I switch to Adobe After Effects. This soft is really convenient because you can use it to edit pictures or videos with just one Soft.
On top of that Adobe Première and AfterEffects work well together: as you’re editing with Première, you can have each layer in AfterEffects without importing or exporting any file.
I almost never use saved filters or plugs because each photo is unique and has to be considered in a special way. I’d rather do everything on my own. This method sure is time consuming at the beginning; it allows me to improve my skills and get a style of my own.
Once you’re in AfterEffects, it’s just a matter of masks to highlight more or less some areas like we used to do with old photo enlarger. The next step is to create color gradients to compensate brightness differences between the sky and the ground. The color gradient also allows you to amplify a color as a gradient filter would do as you take the photo.
You have to keep in mind that no edit will ever replace the right angle or a good light as you shoot the photo.
Why did you choose a drone as a new tool? Why did you pick the Bebop in particular?
I was curious and wanted to try out new angles, especially the aerial one. It’s a peculiar exercise; I need to train my eyes to these new angles and anticipate the results from the ground.
The Bebop is small and easy to maneuver. You can easily put it in a backpack or luggage. The DNG format is also really appealing!
The all in one aspect was a major factor and I was bluffed by the image stabilization for the video, as for photography.
How long did it take for you to get familiar with your Bebop? Did you have any former experience with drones or RC helicopters?
I had absolutely no experience with any kind of drone or UAV before flying with the Bebop.
I’m doing it step by step. I started with easy stuff and now I’m trying more and more complex things as I become more experienced. I had quick results. The important thing is to remain calm and to anticipate the takes you want.
What accessories do you use with your Bebop? Are you flying with a Skycontroller?
I use the Skycontroller, I find it more accurate. To orientate the camera with a real joystick is a significant asset, especially when you’re shooting videos.
You also have a YouTube Channel named Qorz. We discovered your incredible videos shot on the cliffs of Normandy and more recently pictures of your trip to Corsica. How do you edit your videos?
I use AfterEffects for the compositing and Première for editing. I use the same effects as for the photography. I keep the same state of mind for photography and videos.
What changes would you like to see in a future Parrot Drone?
I’d like to be able to switch the exposure from auto to manual from the piloting screen.
A smaller Skycontroller would be more convenient. Better sharpness and a slightly higher framerate like 25 images per seconds would be neat. A feature to disable stabilization in order to use the drone like a regular camera could come in handy as well.
A mode that would allow to point a person or a place and to have the drone rotate around it would be helpful since it’s really difficult to do it manually.
Do you have any plans for the future?
I’d like to take pictures and videos all over Europe. I could use the opportunity to work on my piloting skills with the Bebop. I really want to push it to its limits.
Since I started on Instagram, I’ve been trying to develop my own style in my pictures. To pursue this goal with aerial video would be wonderful and the next logical step in my passion for photography.
What advice would you give to an amateur photograph who’d like to try drones?
I would recommend the Bebop because it’s incredibly easy to use. It’s just perfect for a beginner. It’s also a really portable drone, even when you’re travelling abroad.
When you own a Bebop, it’s important to be familiar with it: to know what it’s capable of and what it can’t do. For that I strongly advise to read the manual and to watch the video tutorials. It’s impossible to take good shots without being confident about your piloting skills.
Concerning the photography technique, don’t forget the rule of thirds and the gold number to make a great picture.
Last but not least, relax, wait for the right time, the right light and take off!
Thank you Qorz for these precious pieces of advice.