Aerial abstracts – the shoot

© Dave Whenham
Water levels were very low at Scammonden this morning – I went hoping to shoot some minimalist long exposures with the Fuji and found the rocks I’d intended using as foreground interest stranded 150 yards from the water!

Last time I was here I got wet feet getting close enough to them in order to compose with the 12mm lens.  Today was a dismal day light-wise but undeterred I felt I should try to make something of the opportunity.  I hoped that there would still be some interesting images to be found from the air.

Unlike the last few trips out I only used the Mavic today. I carried the Fujis but they stayed in the bag so I have no video footage from the Fuji nor stills to supplement the short (3 minute) video I put together this evening. So, the whole episode has been created using a drone and a computer.

I bought the drone partly to try my hand at aerial abstracts and was really pleased that I finally got a chance today to put into practice what I’ve been thinking about for some months now. I will post a selection shortly but in the meantime here’s a flavour of the morning.

All drone footage and stills created using a DJI Mavic Pro by myself.  Music: “Ascending the Vale” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Back in the old backyard

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.

© Dave Whenham
Fisheye Poppies

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.

 

All images and videos are ©Dave Whenham 2016 and 2017

Music: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Pre-flight Nerves

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?

© Dave Whenham
West Vale from the air

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.