13 drone shots you need to know

13 Drone Shots You Need to Know – Footage Glossary

To navigate through the jungle of available video footage out there, it’s good to have an idea of the terminology that most creators use when uploading. Below is a summary of the most common terms used for drone filming which will make it a lot easier to filter down your search results. Here are 13 drone shots you need to know – our video footage glossary and terminology


  • Simple but effective, in this shot the drone is flying backwards, away from the subject of the scene. Often used to create depth in the shot or to reveal the ‘bigger picture’.

Ascending / Pedestal

  • An ascending/pedestal shot is where the only motion of drone is vertically up. The drone is flying upwards and the camera and gimbal do not move at all.

Descending / Pedestal

  • The opposite of an Ascending/Pedestal, the Descending/Pedestal shot is where the only motion the drone has is vertically down. The drone is flying downwards and the camera and gimbal do not move at all.

Circling / Point of interest / Orbiting

  • A more complex shot, the circling/point of interest/orbiting shot involves the drone flying around a focus object, where the camera remains fixed upon the subject. Often used for buildings, trees, vehicles or a lone subject in a scene.

Truck(ing) / Sliding

  • Similar to the Follow/Dolly, but in this shot the drone flies with a sideways motion to follow an object.

Overhead Shot / Birds-Eye / Top-Down

  • A shot where the camera is pointing straight down and the drone is either hovering or in motion. Aside from directional flight, this shot can often be combined with ascending, descending or spinning motions.


  • A shot where the camera on the drone moves (pans) to the left or right. It’s commonly used to give a panoramic perspective of a scene or when the creator wants to reveal something. A panning shot can be made both when the drone is hovering in the same place or whist flying forward or backward – this can give the shot an extra dynamic element.

Follow / Dolly

  • A shot where the drone is moving forward or backward to follow a moving object, for example a car driving down a road.

Hovering / Still

  • The drone remains still in the same position and records the scene that unfolds in-front of the camera.


  • A Timelapse is a sequence of photos that are stitched together to create a film sequence. For this shot, the drone remains still in a fixed position while taking many individual photos over the duration of the shot. The result is a sped up, stop motion style effect.


  • Not unlike the Timelapse, a Hyperlapse is a version that has motion. The drone is moving while taking a sequence of pictures which are stitched together – the result is a dynamic Timelapse effect.

Tilting / Panning Up / Panning Down

  • Tilting refers to the motion of the camera on the drone, often the drone remains hovering in the same position but the camera moves up or down through the scene. This technique can also be used while the drone is in motion to create a more dynamic shot.


  • A fantastic shot to introduce the subject of the scene with a little bit of wow factor. This shot can use almost any of the previous techniques, but what makes it unique is that the subject starts out of the shot and the drone camera moves to ‘reveal’ the subject in the shot.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for when searching the VReel library? Just send us an email to hello@vreel.co and we’ll search out the footage for you, free of charge!

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We came across you and your brother through your drone flying when VReel started off as a drone platform. How long have you been flying a drone and how did you get into it? We’ve been flying drones for many years, probably around seven years, more or less. In Holland we were one of the first companies using drones for making videos and photography.