When I first started looking at photography as a hobby, I spent a lot of time looking at different aspects of it – portraiture, landscapes, stock/micro stock photography, etc. One of the sites I visited at the time at had a series of photographs by Mark Fearon taken using a camera suspended on a kite. I loved the unique angle of the shots but there was no way I was ever going to connect my camera to something so….. temperamental. (Sorry Mark, I can’t find the site any more, but if you send me a link, I’ll add it)
With the rise of consumer drones and the improvements in image quality and ease of use with these platforms, I guess it was only a matter of time before I picked one up. I’d looked a a bunch of different options from self build through to Octocopters, but eventually settled on a DJI Phantom.
DJI seems to have the market quite well covered in terms of semi-professional/high quality drones for video and photography folks and certainly the one I bought could be confidently flown by anyone with a few minutes training (my 10 year old daughter was able to get the basics in moments!). A lot of these models come with GPS stabilisation and a host of advanced flight features like Return To Home and Point of Interest, which makes the flight aspect simple, allowing you to concentrate on the image(s).
Over Easter I finally managed to take it to Donegal and use it in anger for the first time. I was incredibly impressed by the output of it, especially given it was a windy day.
As with other aspects of photography, there is a lot to learn and I suspect there’ll be a lot of images that just don’t work. It’ll be an interesting thing to learn over the coming moths/years.
One other interesting aspect of the whole experience is the video output from the drone – probably the thing people are using them the most for. Prior to Easter I’d have proudly told you I didn’t know how to turn on the video mode on my SLR, but some of the footage captured on the Phantom is stunning. I’ll share some soon.