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How To Shoot HDR Photos On A GoPro

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How to capture beautiful HDR Photos with your GoPro

HDR stands for high dynamic range and traditionally HDR images are created with DSLR cameras by capturing a series of usually 3 images at different exposures also referred to as bracketing. There is one image of each capture (over exposed, normal and under exposed) usually by 2 stops per image. The photos are then merged in software to create one single image that has great exposure in all the bright and dark areas. The photos also tend to be very colourful and have a very surreal feel to them.

How To Take Bracketed Photos With A GoPro for HDR

GoPro’s out of the box are not really capable of this as you need a reliable way of taking 3 bracketed photos in different exposures. However this problem is solved with a Smartphone app called GoPro HDR. With a click of a button it will capture 3 or more bracketed photos remotely to your GoPro that can then be merged together. Follow the steps below to create stunning HDR Photos on your GoPro. The App is compatible with the GoPro Hero 4 series and GoPro Hero 5 Black. The App is available for download on Android phones and the iPhone.

Examples of bracketed photos shot on a GoPro.

HDR GoPro Photos Tutorial

Step One: Make sure you have the App installed on your phone. Connect your GoPro to your Smartphone via Wi-Fi and launch the GoPro capture app first. Set the GoPro to photo mode and make sure protune is on. Now Mount Your GoPro and line up your Shot.
Tip: It is very important to use a tripod. The GoPro must stay absolutely still while capturing the bracketed images. Any movement will cause ghosting or blurry images when they are merged later on.

Step 2: Now its time to launch the GoPro HDR App. Select how many shots you would like it to capture. 3 to 5 shots is usually sufficient for the most part I only ever do 3. When you are ready press the “Start Capturing” button and wait for the GoPro to take the bracketed photos.

GoPro HDR App

 

Step 3: Now its time to transfer the bracketed photos to your computer or laptop. At this point in my tutorial we will be using software from HDRSoft called Photomatix Pro to merge the bracketed images that we just shot. There are other applications that will perform the same functions including plug-ins for Photoshop.

Step 4: Launch the Photomatix Pro software. At the top right side of the screen click the button that reads ‘Load Bracketed Photos”. Brows to the location on your computer were you saved the GoPro bracketed images you just transferred. Select all 3 or 5 depending how many you shot and open them.

Step 5: A dialog will appear prompting you to input some settings. For this tutorial we will use some basic settings. Use the diagram below to set your options. For the most part we are going to tell the software that the images were created on a tripod so it knows how to align the images and that we want to reduce noise. There can be a lot of noise associated with HDR Photos. When ready press the “Align & Merge to HDR” Button. This can take several minutes to perform.

 

Step 6: The software will now align all images and merge them into one photo. Once ready you will be presented with you newly merged photo that already has some HDR effects applied to it. Now this is not a tutorial on how to use Photomatix, but you can play around with the sliders on the left to achieve a look that you like or you can use the built-in presets on the right. Keep in mind this is just a preview, some things may look a little funny. We now need to render our image with the settings we selected. We do so by clicking on the ‘Apply” button on the right hand side of the page. Your image will be rendered and presented to you.

 

Step 7: You will now see a copy of your final image. At this point we could save our photo or we can make some fine tuning adjustments. A box called finishing touches will pop up with some tools. Under the “Sharpening” tab I like to set it to “Mild Sharpening”. Under the contrast tab I like to bump up the shadows just a bit. You can also use the colour tab to pull out some colours or tone them down. Just play with these until you like what you see. When done click on the “Save Final Image” button on the right hand side of the page. Your new beautiful HDR photo that you shot on your GoPro is now done.

 

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Drone Reviews / Tutorials

How To Use A Bluetooth Game Controller With Ryze Tello Drone

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In this video I go over all the steps on how to connect, pair and use a Bluetooth game controller with the Ryze Tello drone. Ryze does not make a dedicated controller for the Tello, you can however use various game controllers to fly the Tello. These Bluetooth controllers for iOS are normally used to play games on you iPhone or iPad but they also work quite well to control some drones. Now one thing I would like to point out is that these Bluetooth controllers will not give you any extra range for your drone unlike other drones such as the DJI Spark. A Bluetooth controller is different in the fact that it does not connect directly to the drone. The controller connects to your iPhone and then the iPhone to the drone.

The controller I opted to go with is the Speedy controller by PXN. Setup is quick and easy and the controller has a nice quality build. What ever brand you go with make sure it comes with a phone mount. This is important so you can mount your phone while flying.

To set up your Bluetooth remote with your Tello Drone you will need to do the following steps.

  1. The first thing you need to do is power on and put your controller into pairing mode. You do so by long pressing the power button for 4 seconds until the battery lights start to blink slowly. Then press the “wireless” icon beside the lights to enter into pairing mode. The lights will now blink fast to signify it has entered pairing mode.
  2. Now you will need to pair the controller to your iPhone/iPad via Bluetooth. Open up the Bluetooth options in the settings app on your iPhone. Find the listing for the “Speedy Controller” or what ever brand you are using and click on connect. Your phone will now be paired with your Bluetooth controller. This step only needs to be done once.
  3. At this point you can connect the Tello drone to your iPhone via WiFi as you normally do.
  4. Launch the Tello app and that is it. The Tello app will automatically detect that there is a Bluetooth remote connected. You can go to the settings within the Tello app to view a diagram of what buttons can be used for shortcuts (see Below).

Speedy BlueTooth Controller (USA) https://amzn.to/2IjjPgm
Speedy BlueTooth Controller (CAN) https://amzn.to/2Il8sUW

Ryze Tello Drone (USA) http://amzn.to/2FqSHPH
Ryze Tello Drone (CAN) https://amzn.to/2GpbpYr

Ryze Tello Case (USA) https://amzn.to/2Inivcu
Ryze Tello Case (CAN) https://amzn.to/2GoCPJF

Here is our YouTube video demonstrating how to connect a Bluetooth game controller to the Ryze Tello Drone

 

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DJI Mavic Air

Using The DJI Mavic Air With DJI Racing Edition Goggles

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In this video I go over the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to fly your DJI Mavic Air with the DJI Goggle Racing Edition. Before the two are compatible you must update the firmware on the DJI Goggles or you will not get a video feed. To update the firmware on your DJI Racing Edition Goggles simply download the DJI assistant version 2 from the listed location and follow the steps below.

Download DJI Assistant

How To Update Firmware On DJI Goggles Racing Edition

Once the DJI Assistant V2 software is installed, plug-in your goggles to a USB port on a desktop or laptop computer with the USB cable that came with your Racing Edition Goggles (same port as charging on goggles). With my computer I must have the goggles powered on and connected first before I launched the DJI Assistant or it will not recognize my goggles. This may not be the case for everyone. Once the DJI Assistant is launched you will notice your goggles listed, click on the goggles icon to detect and upgrade the firmware. You will see a list of available firmware versions. You must install the latest version for your DJI Mavic Air to be compatible with the DJI Racing Edition goggles. The update process will take about 3 to 5 minutes to complete. Once it has finished you are now ready to soar FPV style with your DJI Mavic Air.

How To Connect Mavic Air to DJI Goggles RE

One thing to note before connecting your Mavic Air to the DJI Goggles Racing Edition is that it only supports one display at a time (first one that is connected). The way I like to do it is to set up the Mavic Air and controller as if I was going to be flying with a smart phone display. Launch the DJI Go 4 app and connect to the Mavic Air. At this point you will now have the visual feed on your smart phone. Now Power on your goggles and wait for it to fully load. In the mean time unplug the mini USB connector from the side of the Mavic Air controller. Your video feed will now be lost on your phone. Using the micro USB cable that came with the DJI Goggles, plug the micro USB end into the goggles (Charging Port) and the USB-A end into the USB port on the bottom of the controller. At this point you should now have the video feed from the Mavic Air in your goggles. Your all set to fly. If there is no feed you may have to use the navigation on the goggles to set the correct input.

The reason why I like doing this extra step and connecting the phone first is that at any time during the flight if you want to view the feed on your phone again all you need to do is unplug the goggles and re-plug the micro USB cable back into the side of the controller. You will now have a normal feed back on your smart phone or iPad.

Watch our video tutorial showing you how to update the firmware on the DJI Racing Edition Goggles and how to connect all the equipment.

DJI Goggles RE (DJI Store) https://goo.gl/qaWFrQ
DJI Goggles RE (Amazon) http://amzn.to/2HC1meI

Mavic Air (DJI Store) https://goo.gl/t74LaQ
Mavic Air (Amazon) http://amzn.to/2EccQaM

 

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