Sometimes you drive an hour for a shoot. Totally worth it.
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.
I don’t like the cold
The sun looks great in Winter
I want some bacon
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:
I made it up for the last sunrise of 2016. This is a photography blog so that’s enough words.
It pays to scout out a new shooting location. Then you can go back and get the good shots. I’m glad I still had time on our little trip or I wouldn’t have discovered this awesome angle of yesterday’s shoot.
I’ve found that some of the best sunrises are during the winter months. It’s tough, though, to get motivated to get out of a warm bed and subject myself to frozen hands, but the end result is usually well worth it.
This place is magnificent and it’s right in our “back yard.” Hopefully soon it won’t be as “hidden” when the documentary is released. It’s also a wonderful place to fly – I wasn’t the only drone there this time.
“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Great day to fly – yeah, I’m a geek, so.
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.
I’ve been lucky enough to live in towns where a drive-in theater is minutes away. If you haven’t been to the Family Drive-In in Stephens City, I’d encourage you to give it a try. Now that’s some good old-fashioned fun. I had the opportunity to visit one in South Dakota in an RV and I’ll tell you, there’s no better way to enjoy it than in an RV.
Well, just because…
There’s an incredible amount of construction around here these days. It’s apparently Winchester/Frederick County’s turn to grow. These schools are pretty amazing, too – the new Frederick County Middle school looks very much like a high school. And then there’s that whole trend where the school’s essentially share the same campus (separate, but together). I remember my primary schools (elementary-middle-high) weren’t even in the same town really.
note – I just read that back to myself and just pictured the old wrinkled man sitting on his porch telling his grandkids that he used to walk through 4-foot-high snow to school both ways barefoot. I refuse to accept that that’s where I’m headed. 😁
Waking up early is no big thing when you know it’s gonna look like this. It doesn’t matter what brand of coffee you drink, I still think this is the best part of waking up.
That would be the Northern Shenandoah Valley. I’d love to come up here and shoot aerial during the sunset, but there are too many people and I don’t want to disrupt their experience with the noise. I don’t want to be “that guy.”
It felt like a surgical scene as I was reassembling the drone last night, but I’m back. It’s back. My nerves are going to really keep me in check for a while after that incident. Perhaps that was a good thing.
Let’s lead with this…
I now join the ever-increasing number of UAV pilots who’ve crashed their aircraft. I should make it clear that it was 100% pilot error. Luckily it did NOT involve any other people, buildings, or vehicles (including aircraft). I can tell you that it had everything to do with me being rushed in the moment trying to capture the perfect lighting on an incredibly cinematic scene. And guess what, I got the shot! I suppose that’s the photographer’s mantra (after “ƒ8 and be there”).
Long story short (here goes) reception officially starts at 7pm:
- Took a little longer with the bridal party that I had anticipated (family waiting for pictures at ceremony site). 6:45
- Arrive, sprinting, to waiting family. Have to set up aerial platform fast to capture that fading, but awesome, sunset. 6:50
- Finish setting it up and ready to fly. Guests now waiting for dinner. 6:55
- Line up shot and start flight.
- I continue flight to get more landscape while, at the same time, I begin lining up family shots. 7:05
- Last image I see in the display is tree branches
- Still have formal family photos to get (including me).
- I kinda don’t remember the next hour or two…
My brother and son immediately volunteered to go after it. We all put our heads together (and our smart phones) to determine its last known position and they went after it. It was about a kilometer from its ground station and 30 feet up in the tree! I just didn’t have the altitude to clear the terrain, but it was so close.
Just look at my face – that expression says it all!
I have so much more respect for the RC community now that I’ve had a chance to fly with some of them. And I’m talking strictly RC, not the new wave of folks who’ve purchased drones and are flying them around referring to themselves as RC folks. I’m talking about the RC enthusiasts that go way back to flying with gas-powered craft. I’ll equate it to talking with photographers who used to shoot on film and develop their own images. These RC guys (and gals) were around long before we started slapping FPV cameras on the bottom of multi-rotors. I only spent about 45 minutes around this group in Florida and gained a lot of respect. It was really cool to watch and listen as they literally flew circles around me (I asked them to – made for better images). For the record I am NOT an RC guy. I’m just a photographer that uses an aerial platform. I have so much to learn.
So it’s time to start traveling with the aerial rig. I’m starting to think that my galleries are getting a little saturated with Winchester images (makes sense, right?). Anyway, I know this isn’t very far from me, but it’s a start. I recently shot some aerial footage for the town of Front Royal and, as always, I grabbed some stills while I was up there. Gonna see if I can snag a Disney panorama while we’re in Florida this year.