Part 107

So I just posted a response (quoted below) to a video that showed up in my Facebook feed, but then I removed it.  Something about the time and placement of the response didn’t feel right to me, but I still feel that it needs to be said.

As more and more people earn their sUAS remote pilot certificate, the skies are becoming more and more saturated with “legal” drone pilots.  And when I say “legal” I mean drone pilots who are allowed to be paid for their craft.  Those flying for recreational purposes do still have rules to follow as well.  And for the most part, those rules are essentially the same rules as the ones for licensed remote pilots (of course, licensed piltots have the added CFR 14 part 107).

I’ve gotten on my soapbox before and I’ll keep getting on it because I feel strongly about these rules and the safety of everybody involved.  I’d also like to continue with my craft and grow it into a more successful piece of my studio, but it becomes increasingly hard to do with such blatant disregard for the rules and regulations happening all around me.

As I mention in the post, I’m not perfect and don’t claim to be perfect.  Granted, you can get some amazing imagery with drones these days, but that doesn’t mean “get the shot at all cost.”  I don’t have the additional cash on hand for potential fines from the FAA.  For me, I’ll continue to follow the rules as best I can.  And I’ll keep plugging away on my little soapbox when I see fit.

On the one hand I enjoy watching well-done video and this is certainly well-done.  On the other hand he, being an FAA sUAS remote pilot, should know better than to fly in some of the conditions depicted in this video.  Completely against part 107 regulations.  Granted, I’m not perfect, but it burns me up that FAA remote pilots are not really following the rules they agreed to when applying for the license.  Of course, my rant is negated if waivers were granted.

part-107

This is the photo that got the attention of the FAA back in the Spring of 2015.  They never saw the photo, but did receive a report from the local police about my flight .  This incident is why I’m so very careful these days and advocate for safe, law-abiding flying.

Sneak Preview

Alright folks – set your DVRs and TiVos and whatever else you high-techy techies use.  Next Thursday 8-9pm EST – “Saving Place, Saving Grace.”  Cedarmeade Studios’ debut on PBS.  Well, it’s not MY debut, but it kinda is for my aerials except that I did just win an award for aerial cinematography.  Anyway…it’ll be cool to watch it.  You can get a sneak preview of it and meet the filmmakers this Saturday (1/7) at The Barns of Rose Hill.  I’m going.

Here’s every link I could find about the film:

  1. Picture Farmer Films (this is the production company)
  2. Holy Cross Abbey (this is what the film is all about)
  3. Indiegogo (you can support the film)
  4. Sneak Preview (another link to get tickets for the sneak preview)
saving-place-saving-grace

One of the few still images I took while filming near the river. | Order a print of this image or others like it.

Last Sunrise

I made it up for the last sunrise of 2016.  This is a photography blog so that’s enough words.

last-sunrise

The scenic Colonial Parkway runs along the James River. |  Order a print of this image.

 

Maiden Voyage

Well, So far so good.  I took the new Mavic Pro out for its first flight this morning and was impressed with everything about it.  It’s easy to set up, unassuming and is incredibly easy to fly (as I expected having used DJI products for almost 3 years now).  Its image quality is incredible for as unassuming as it is.  It’s ultra portable and the battery lasts forever.  It doesn’t take the place of my Inspire 1, but is simply another tool in the toolbox for this massive gear head.

maiden-voyage

Sunrise over Winchester (processed from a single RAW photo). | Order a print of this image.

Organic Creativity

Photography is one of those things that can truly have an organic component to it.  I often venture out with a specific shooting goal in mind and almost always become inspired on site to be creative based on whatever situation presents itself to me.  It’s simply part of the creative process.  I gotta figure out how to teach that in the classroom.

organic-creativity

I was there to shoot Fall foliage.

Tuscarora

I always wondered what BFE looked like – now I know.  What an awesome place.  A bit of a hike to get there, but so worth it in the end.  Look for more images like this hitting the marketing material of visitwinchesterva.com.

tuscarora

Sunset from Eagle Rock along the Tuscarora Trail right here in Frederick County, VA just west of Winchester. | See more like this here.

X5 FTW

I was cleared for takeoff this evening.  Yep, I filed my first (and second) flight plan.  It’s kinda surreal for me that I’ve made it this far.  When I got my first aerial camera, it was so new that there weren’t really any regulations for it (which explains all the images in my collection that I can’t really shoot these days).  It’s crazy how fast the governemnt moved on this set of regulations.  But I’m always about what’s next and that usually spells trouble for me being a gear-head and all.  I have to separate myself from the ever-growing community of “dronies” who are basically shooting with the same super-wide-angle-infinity-focus camera that everybody else has.  That’s not good enough for me anymore.  Not after tonight’s flight.

x5-ftw

Can you appreciate what’s slightly different about this aerial image? | Order a print of this image.