Let’s face it, there are just some angles that you can’t get while standing on the ground. Drones now enable us to get to new places without hiking up mountains or sneaking onto rooftops.
One of the issues that I have encountered recently is that editing programs like Lightroom, have yet to update with lens corrections for many drones. Meaning that they have a few but even my mavic air, which has been on the market for over a year now is yet to be included.
With this in mind, Skylum has recently introduced AirMagic. This program is similar in many ways to Photo Lemur but is specifically designed for drone photography. I believe that it is one of the only editors out there specifically designed for drones.
AirMagic can be used as a plugin or as a stand-alone application. When you export or drag a photo on the the AirMagic dialog window, the application will kick into action. Drag your mouse about the AirMagic window and see what happens. It is cool if you have a slow computer like mine…
Typically, I just import all of my photos into lightroom to begin with. Then I export them via the plugin. For me, this just suits my workflow better. I like having everything in my lightroom catalog as it is nicely organized and I do not need to create any more folders on my hard drive.
However, you can also run the AirMagic as a stand-alone app as well. This works better if you are looking to batch edit all of your drone images at once. Keep in mind that editing a bunch of images at once will also slow down the export of the images.
What I like
One of the more interesting features is Air Magic’s ability to use AI to edit images creatively and effectively. This is not simply hitting “auto” in Lightroom and hoping for the best. When you load an image into AirMagic, it goes to work producing the best image that it can for that specific photo.
It still leaves you with a certain level of creative control as you can adjust the amount of editing applied to the image. This is a good thing because at times the effect may not match what you are trying to achieve. Thus, you can tone it down a little to get it just right.
You can also choose a different “style” for your image as well. This is the same as what they did for Photo Lemur as it uses basically the same sort of technology but this time tailored to meet the needs of drone users. These presets can also be adjusted to a desired strength via the slider on the lower right of the AirMagic screen.
These styles make it easy to add a unique touch to your photos and give it a sort of “instagramy” look. The “cinematic” and “emotional” styles are my favourites as well as “Zephyr” as well but honestly, the image edited straight up is often the better choice. You can buy more from their marketplace for about $13.20 for each additional style.
What I Don’t Like
While the idea that you can have a specific editor for your drone is great and the results from AirMagic are usually decent, there is still a bit of work to do. There are no major issues but there are a couple of things that I would like to see implemented in the future.
The first is to tone down the highlights. I typically have an ND polarizer on my mavic air most of the time anyway, I still find that the images tend to almost blow out the highlights. Not too much but I do find myself dropping them down one I am back in Lightroom.
The other thing is that when you apply the styles, the process starts all over again. I know that sounds a little obvious but coming from Lightroom, I sort of expect to see an immediate change. It doesn’t take too long but when you can’t find the right style, it does get a bit annoying.
Finally, the styles nice but a little too “instagramy” for my tastes. Not to mention that the names don’t really give me any indication about what the effect is going to be. They did a better job this time as “sandstorm style” would be something washed out and less saturated. However, ones like Chinook or Zephyr will have you guessing at times.
The bottomline is that if you are not really into editing your drone images and are looking for something that will produce a quality image and tailored edits then AirMagic is the best and easiest choice.
However, if you are looking for something that will allow you to completely edit your images the way that you want, then this is not for you. Likewise, if you are used to editing in photoshop or lightroom as this is more of a one-stop shop designed to speed up your workflow.
Where AirMagic does excel is the fact that it puts out a quality image effortlessly. So if you are pinched for time and you just want to dump your selects and have everything adjust to a certain degree without having to go through the images one-by-one and editing them individually, AirMagic will save you a ton of time.
AirMagic is currently priced at $42 for the basic edition and $45 for the creative edition (includes a premium style). If you use my coupon code “TEALE” you can save $8 on the basic edition and $20 on the creative edition. I believe the $20 savings includes the $11 you are already currently saving.