Aerial Photography – Drone Style

DCIM103GOPROI become interested in aerial photography some time ago and have done some from small airplanes. When a friend of mine, Bill Fortney, did his book, America from 500 Feet, from an ultralight airplane, I was even more intrigued. After several of Bill’s close encounters, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go the ultralight route. Then I saw George Steinmetz’s article in Nat Geo that he shot from a powered parachute. But I promised Rebecca that I wouldn’t do anything like that until the boys were all out of school.. Guess what!

Still, as a Wilderness Medicine doc also, and have lots of ER experience, I wasn’t sure I was ready to sit under a parachute with a lawn mower engine and propeller strapped to my back ( well, almost, but you get the idea). Then I saw the teaser video for the Nikon D4, titled Why, which had aerials shot from a UAV copter. Then I got to see the video at a conference about the making of Why and I was hooked on the idea of Aerial Photography from a multi copter. I have been toying with the idea for over 2 years when I decided to dip my feet in with a DJI Phantom and GoPro.. I figured that if I crashed, the GoPro is tough and even if it gets trashed, I not out much (compared to replacing my D800 or D4 if they were in an aerial misfortune).

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So I am now out there, practicing with my GoPro and Phantom and having lots of fun. It gives me vantage points that I couldn’t get any other way. No ladder tall enough and too low for conventional aircraft ( all that I shoot is under 400 feet). We photographers are always looking for a different perspective, whether it is a fisheye lens, underwater, low to the ground, up in a tree.. Something that is not common. Well, shooting from 300 feet is not common, yet. I guess if Amazon starts delivering packages with drones, then baby drones with small cameras will be around for anyone to use like the point and shoot cameras or camera phones are today.

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I have friends that don’t think the Phantom is a “professional” platform. It all depends on your market and what you need. The GoPro does quite well for simple things. I just saw that a company took apart a GoPro and repackaged it with a removable lens system. Now if I could just get my hands on that system for my Phantom! Check it out GoPro Modified by Radiant Images

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If you’re interested in Drone Aerial Photography, check out Team Blacksheep

The ultimate selfie taken to a new level (LOL) as reshared by my college son, Luke.DCIM100GOPRO

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