In a previous post I discussed a recce shoot at Ringstone Edge reservoir. Earlier this week when driving back from Buckstones Edge (post to follow, hopefully next week) I noticed a band of cloud ahead and realised it would form the backdrop for a shot to be taken just beyond Ringstone where I’d previously parked. It wasn’t a “miss-it-and-you’ll-always-regret-it” type of shot but would be a useful marker in the sand as it were. It was also quite pleasant to see something in the sky behind the reservoir instead of wall-to-wall grey as I’d had on the recce.
First attempt at some aerial abstracts yesterday. I’m still assimilating what I learnt but one point immediately jumped out at me. I am used to looking at a scene and pre visualising in my head the likely compositions. It is not such an easy task with aerial photos as your perspective is so different. The main image here only revealed itself as the drone reached a hundred feet and watching the composition change as it rose gently up was fascinating.
You may have realised that I spend a lot of time in my backyard. I often eat my breakfast sat on the upper patio (that sounds grand!) and when weather permits I like nothing better than sitting with a mug of tea and contemplating life. As well as domestic duties (note the washing line) it is also one of my main photographic locations as I’ve noted many times in my blog over the years.
So what I thought I’d do this week is something that Postcard Cafe actually suggested a month or so back and that is a slideshow of just a few of my favourite backyard images both old and new. I mentioned in a previous video post that I once owned two slide projectors and struggled vainly to produce the sort of slideshow that nowadays many photographers take for granted – I’m hoping that my 2017 attempt is better than my 1977 efforts!
So enjoy this selection, I always enjoy making photographs in the old back yard and I hope you enjoy seeing them.
We all get pre-flight nerves don’t we? I’m most definitely not the most comfortable flyer in the world it has to be said. The wait in the departure lounge also adds to the pre-flight nerves I find, and I daren’t have an alcoholic drink in case I have to fly the plane at any point. Whilst I usually end up enjoying most of the flight I do struggle with take-off and particularly with landing. The speed at which the land rushes up towards the plane puts the heebie-jeebies up me.
But yet – what if instead of being a passenger I WAS the pilot? Doesn’t bear thinking about does it?
Or does it?
I went to investigate a GoPro compatible drone recently … long story … short version … I bought a DJI Mavic Pro. Which is how I came to photograph West Vale from the air (above!) this morning. This purpose of this blog is just to put a marker in the ground; as with most of my blog posts this is primarily intended as a memory bank for me to look back at in a few months time and see how I’ve fared. It’s been interesting looking back this week at August 2016 when I last had a play with creating videos for example.
I was very apprehensive, having never even driven a remote controlled car before, but after an hour and a half flight time (over a couple of sessions) I’m ready to share my initial thoughts.
I am still very nervous is probably the first thing to say here.
Seventeen take-offs and seventeen landings have given me a degree of confidence in the technology and in my ability to handle it. I have deliberately kept it in beginner mode figuring I can work with the distance and height limitations for now. What is important is getting to know how to handle the craft and how to get the best from the camera. Multi-tasking is never easy when both tasks are totally new but I’ve been impressed with how the system works together.
The guide that comes in the box is pathetic; it probably doesn’t even warrant being called a quick start guide. I found how to format the SD card for example by playing with the App on my phone which works with the controller to aid flight and operation of the camera. Prior to my maiden flight I read a lot of articles and read parts of the online manual which thankfully is a bit more comprehensive although it is very, very poorly organised; DJI could surely afford to produce professional documentation at this price point?
The best advice I received prior to my maiden flight was to watch some of the many “newbie” video tutorials before turning the machine on. These turned out to be very helpful in giving me a visual reference for when the drone was on the ground in front of me with flashing lights and whirring blades.
I will write my initial thoughts after a few more sessions with the Mavic but I get the feeling that I am going to enjoy this latest addition to my photographic arsenal.
A busy few days since my return from Lincolnshire mainly with domestic chores but I didn’t want to completely lose the habit of updating the blog. So, here are a few more images from last weekend all taken with a Nikon DSLR.
I do have a few things to share photographically but I’m still putting finishing touches to these. I am also well on with the June video blog, something I hope will become a regular feature. It’s half term here next week and the school has decided to close for two weeks to give people a chance to go away outside of the peak pricing period. All well and good but it will mean I will spend most of the next two weeks child-minding.
Finally, a teaser image until I get time to complete the latest project …