The Flying Camera: Drone Photography skills webinar series

About this product

Drone webinar series

Type: Webinar

Originally broadcast on March 11, March 18, March 25 and April 1 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

Time Estimate: One hour for each session. Each class will be recorded for participants to review after the live session is completed.


SKU: NUWEB01-19 Category:


As soon as the Federal Aviation Administration started issuing drone licenses, The Poynter Institute organized intensive training workshops for journalists who wanted to get their licenses and fly.  Nearly 300 photographers attended our workshops in four states. Now, Poynter is launching a series of four intensive online classes to help drone photographers hone their flying photo skills. The classes are led by Poynter’s Senior Faculty, Al Tompkins, a licensed drone pilot, and Judd Slivka, the Director of Aerial Journalism at the University of Missouri.

This course is laser-focused on photo skills and the flight skills you must hone to capture the most compelling images and videos.

The teaching will be specific, practical and applicable to journalism and beyond. Filmmakers, real estate photographers, public relations and public information photographers will benefit from the teaching too.

The courses include a mix of live interaction with participants and demonstration of the techniques and skills that produced an image or clip.


  • How to create dynamic shots with the three surface controls
  • How to use the gimble to create better shots
  • Different modes and how to use them
  • How to track subjects
  • Storyboarding
  • Editing and integrating drone shots into a larger piece
  • The gear you need to effectively shoot

Single-axis photography- the bread and butter shot for breaking news and limited opportunities.
Dual-axis photography that reveals photographic surprises and adds dimension
Orbit photography that adds context and dimension to the subject
Mastering pitch, yaw, roll moves
Learning how to use ATTI mode to gain flight and photography control

Making a plan to capture great images and video
Lighting and exposure adjustments for arial photographers
What to do when you have to fly toward the sun
The importance of capturing “RAW” images
How to effectively use ISO and shutter speeds in flight photography
How shadows add depth to aerial images
The power of a vertical image
Using the gimbal to add dramatic movement to a single-axis shot

Building aerial sequences for editing
The value of leading lines in drone photography
How high should you fly and why?
The drone as a low-flying steadycam
The power of still photography using drones.
Drone photography composition.
Following your subject at an angle
Using drones to create a “big reveal” shot hidden by a foreground

Why constant recalibration is vital
Mastering Intelligent Flight modes
  • Trace
  • Profile
  • Spotlight
  • Point of Interest
  • Courselock
  • Tripod mode
Bracketing photos-post-production to perfect your images
Hyperlapse and timelapse techniques
The tools you want versus the tools you need
  • Neutral density filters
  • Landing pads
  • Screen shade
  • Carrying cases / backpacks
  • Batteries and power stations
  • Which memory card should you use?
  • Hazard lights / nightlights
  • Insurance


Drone hobbyists and commercial drone pilots who want to improve their aerial photography skills.