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How to Edit Your Drone Photos Like a Pro

Drones have revolutionized the way we take photos and capture stunning aerial views. The ability to capture unique perspectives and stunning vistas has made drone photography increasingly popular in recent years. However, taking great photos is only half the battle. Editing your drone photos correctly is essential to bring out the full potential of your photos. In this article, we will discuss some of the best techniques and tips for editing drone photos like a pro.

Drone shot of the ocean
Drone shot of the ocean

  1. Start with the right equipment: Before we get into editing, it's essential to start with the right equipment. The quality of your photos will depend on the camera and drone you are using. Make sure you are using a drone with a high-quality camera that can capture RAW images. This will give you more flexibility when it comes to editing.

  2. Shoot in RAW format: As mentioned earlier, shooting in RAW format is essential for editing drone photos like a pro. RAW files contain more information than JPEG files, allowing you to have greater control over your photos. RAW files give you more latitude to adjust the exposure, white balance, and other settings, giving you more control over the final image.

  3. Choose the right software: Choosing the right editing software is crucial for editing drone photos like a pro. Adobe Lightroom is an excellent choice for most photographers, but other software like Capture One, Luminar, and ON1 Photo RAW can also produce excellent results. Choose software that has features like exposure and color adjustments, cropping and rotation, and other essential tools.

  4. Adjust the exposure: Exposure is the most critical aspect of any photo, and drone photos are no different. If your photos are overexposed or underexposed, it can ruin the entire image. Use the exposure slider in your editing software to adjust the brightness and contrast of your photo. Be careful not to overdo it, as this can make your photo look unnatural.

  5. Adjust the white balance: White balance is another essential aspect of editing drone photos. The white balance determines the color temperature of your photo. If your photo has a blue or orange tint, adjusting the white balance can correct it. Use the temperature and tint sliders in your editing software to make these adjustments.

  6. Correct lens distortion: Drone photos can often have barrel distortion, which makes the edges of the photo look curved. Correcting lens distortion can make your photo look more natural and professional. Most editing software has a lens correction tool that can fix this issue.

  7. Crop and straighten: Cropping and straightening your photo can help improve the composition and make your image look more professional. Use the crop tool in your editing software to remove any unwanted elements and straighten the horizon.

  8. Adjust color and saturation: Adjusting the color and saturation can help bring out the vibrancy of your photo. Use the saturation slider to increase or decrease the intensity of the colors in your photo. You can also use the vibrancy slider to boost the colors without overdoing it.

  9. Apply sharpening and noise reduction: Sharpening your photo can help bring out the details and make it look crisper. However, too much sharpening can make your photo look unnatural. Use the sharpening tool in your editing software to make subtle adjustments. Noise reduction can also be used to remove any grain or noise from your photo. Apply creative filters: Creative filters are a great way to give your drone photos a unique look and feel. Many editing software packages have built-in filters that can be applied to your photos. Experiment with different filters to find the look that best suits your image. Just be careful not to overdo it, as too many filters can make your photo look unnatural.

  10. Use local adjustments: Local adjustments allow you to make changes to specific parts of your photo. This is particularly useful when you want to adjust the exposure or color of a specific area. Use the local adjustment tools in your editing software to make these changes. This will give you greater control over the final image and make it look more professional.

  11. Experiment with black and white: Black and white photography can be a great way to add drama and emotion to your photos. Drone photos can be particularly effective in black and white, as they often have strong lines and shapes. Experiment with converting your photos to black and white to see if it adds a new dimension to your image.

  12. Don't be afraid to crop creatively: Cropping your photo doesn't always have to be about removing unwanted elements. Sometimes, cropping can be used creatively to change the composition of your photo. Try cropping your photo in different ways to see if it improves the overall look of the image.

  13. Use the histogram: A histogram is a powerful tool that can help you understand the exposure and tonal range of your photo. Use the histogram in your editing software to see if your photo has any areas that are overexposed or underexposed. This will help you make the necessary adjustments to improve the overall quality of your photo.

  14. Practice, practice, practice: Editing drone photos is a skill that takes time and practice to master. The more you practice, the better you will become. Take the time to experiment with different techniques and styles to find what works best for your photos.


Editing drone photos like a pro requires the right equipment, software, and techniques. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can take your drone photography to the next level and create stunning and professional-looking images. Remember, editing is a creative process, so don't be afraid to experiment and try new things. With practice and patience, you can master the art of editing drone photos and creating breathtaking images that capture the beauty of the world from above.


Akshata is a writer based in Bengaluru, India. She is known for her deep passion for drones and her ability to overcome challenges in this rapidly-evolving industry. She has spent countless hours researching and experimenting with various drone models, honing her skills as a pilot and innovator. She continues to inspire others with her passion for innovation and her commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible with drone technology.

LinkedIn: @akshata Topmate: @akshata


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