Issues I’ve Added to My Drone Enhancing Workflow That Make a Large Distinction

I have been flying drones for about 5 years, treating them like one other lens in my panorama package. My present drone is a DJI Air 2S, which has a one-inch sensor to present me a wonderful 20 MP picture. I just like the drone as a device as a result of it will possibly get me views I in any other case would by no means see, so on most journeys, I get an equal quantity of pictures from my DSLR and my drone. 

My processing has advanced over time as new instruments have been developed that may significantly help my enhancing. I was a Lightroom/Photoshop editor solely, however now, that is modified. 

To start, and I most likely need not say it, however simply in case, I at all times shoot uncooked. I want all the information that I can get, and fortunately, DJI and most different drones supply uncooked information proper out of the digital camera from the onboard microSD card.

For this tutorial, I’ve pulled a picture from a latest journey to the Alabama Hills close to Lone Pine, California. It is a marvelous place for panorama images, and the Alabama Hills have been a filming location for a lot of main films, together with How the West Was Gained, Tremors, Iron Man, and a whole bunch of westerns and sci-fi films. It is drone pleasant, and often, you’ll be able to have the place just about to your self.

In capsule kind, my workflow appears like this. Uncooked picture into DxO PureRaw -> Adobe Digicam Uncooked -> Photoshop -> Topaz Sharpen AI as a PS plugin -> Luminar Neo as a PS plugin -> then again to PS for a remaining save and rendering to 16-bit TIFF and 8-bit JPEG for the net.

Let me go over the steps I absorb some depth. 

My first cease is at all times DxO PureRAW 2. It is a terrific, must-have utility for beginning any image-editing session. The parents at DxO have information on nearly any lens/sensor mixture and may repair any anomalies in your optical path, together with gentle fall-off within the corners, fringing, optical distortions, and extra.

Fortunately, just lately, DxO added the DJI household of drones, so it routinely acknowledges my optics and sensor and corrects for them. The method is computerized. It will get the digital camera/lens information out of your metadata within the picture and applies the corrections. The result’s at all times good geometry corrections, vignette elimination, and a few sharpening. The outcomes are so hanging and so constructive I might not course of any drone picture and not using a first cease with DxO PureRAW. My screenshots actually do not symbolize the standard change in addition to should you might see the unique file, however in cut up display screen, you’ll be able to see the development. I am zoomed in to 2x on this shot, so you’ll be able to’t see how DxO PureRAW offers with vignettes within the corners, however they’re gone.

The DxO software program retains the picture as a DNG, so the picture is about to routinely open in Photoshop, which obligingly opens Digicam Uncooked at launch. My first workflow merchandise there may be to pick the Adobe Panorama profile, which on most of my pictures, improves on the default digital camera profile.

I might also use a slight bump with the dehaze device, because the Sierra Nevada Mountains are fairly distant. From Adobe Digicam Uncooked, I open the file in Photoshop. 

With out touching the picture at this level, I nearly at all times add Topaz Sharpen AI. You may ask why one other spherical of sharpening after DxO PureRAW is required? The reply is it is a completely different type of sharpening. DxO does some optical sharpening, however Topaz routinely senses some movement blur. It is nearly inconceivable to keep away from if there may be any wind, and naturally, the drone propellers are offering some movement blur. Topaz corrects for the blur, and I nearly at all times get a tack sharp picture. 

Then, it is time for the Luminar Neo contribution. I take advantage of it primarily as a Photoshop plugin. Neo is a reasonably new providing from Skylum, and only in the near past, they added AI Masking, linear and radial gradients, and some different enhancements. I take advantage of the AI enhancement instruments sparingly, however they make an enormous distinction. The place Neo outclasses Adobe is with sky substitute. I usually encounter what I name “extreme clear” skies, which do not supply a lot to a panorama picture. Generally, I regulate my composition to keep away from the sky, however right here, on this large drone view, I changed the sky. I at all times use my very own skies and match the climate and time of day, so I believe the change helped.

I additionally used Neo shade controls to get the colour of the rocks nearer to what I noticed after I was there. It was a sligh however useful adjustment. This is a earlier than and after.

When you take a look at the 2 pictures, you’ll be able to see that little modifications add up. PureRAW gave me a really clear DNG file. With Digicam Uncooked in Photoshop, I might dehaze successfully, and Topaz Sharpen AI mounted any movement blur brought on by winds and the drone. Luminar Neo gave me some good shade and distinction enhancements and corrections and let me add considered one of my beforehand shot skies that I believe made for a greater picture. 

Drone cameras have come a great distance, and a few newer choices to editors like DxO PureRAW and Topaz AI Sharpen together with Luminar Neo can have seen influence. And I nonetheless use Photoshop and Lightroom in my edits as effectively. This can be a nice time to be a panorama photographer, and drone photographers have higher instruments than ever. All of the software program and instruments I take advantage of can be found for each the Mac and Home windows computer systems.

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