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Wednesday, 20 January 2021


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Brought the DJI Mavic Pro 2, love it. Have not flown it to much. I have this lucky thing, that when i get to where I am going to fly the wind picks up.

I had a drone 5 years ago, but sold it as the image quality for still images was not up to the quality I wanted. I had a DJI Phantom 2 with a GoPro camera. The price of getting a drone to carry a DSLR in the air did not tempt me, that is way too much money flying up in the air waiting for a crash. :-)

The image quality is improving every year on the drones, so I might get another drone again sometime.

Hare are some of images I took 5-6 years ago: drone photographs

There are plenty videos of drone “fails” aside from random malfunctions the most common case is the lag between what the camera sees and where the drone actually is. You try to get close to something and don’t realize the drone is closer than you think, crashing when you thought you still had clearance. I enjoy very much getting unusual vantage points.

I'll play and take pictures with one if someone gives it as a present. But to pay for one, I'm with you that its far down in my list of potential purchases.

Some friends of mine drone (which is an unfortunate sounding verb, isn't it). What strikes me about them is that they seem to be easy to fly, when I always thought that flying helicopters was difficult.

Hi Mike. I use one regularly in my photography and video. I must admit I feel anxious every time I fly it. Imagine buying a very expensive camera and then throwing it up into the air and hoping it doesn’t crash. I love the results but I’m not relaxed during the actual experience during the flight.

I recommend Reuben Wu’s photographic projects. His use of drones has created a whole new type of “landscape “ photography. Simple stunning work! https://reubenwu.com/home

I got one for filming, but lately, I've been using it to shoot stills. It sure beats a long stick.

... It sounded like a giant swarm of angry but distant bees...

I remember being in the woods and hearing that sound and was concerned that it was a swarm of bees. But it moved on and I realized it must have been a drone. Whew! I would not have wanted to encounter that many bees!


Probably DJI Mavic mini. Chinese DJI has 70% market share in civilian drones. They also own part of Hasselblad.

They've caught my interest for a couple of years but the latest one DJI Mini 2 (and its predecessor) is very advanced despite its 249g weight.

I have been using it to explore different viewpoints and have taken some photographs that I really like.

If you stack a set of photos together you can mitigate noise of the small sensor.


Drone footage of offshore sailboat racing is sort of a game changer. It's really impressive how well they perform in windy conditions, they are able to keep up with racing sailboats and the footage is spectacular and would be otherwise impossible (the boats are so far offshore it would be close to impossible to get a helicopter near them much of the time.

The current race is the Vendee Globe. Solo around the world, no stops. The sailors can send their own drones up and photo their own boats and then send the footage by satellite. Pretty amazing.


Here's some from the Volvo Ocean Race


I don't own a drone, but my grandson is in the Army operatiing spy drones-one of his main strengths he says was time with video games-the only one I ever played was pong. They say
Old is a state of mind, but I think this may prove that erroneous

I find crashed drones now and then when I’m walking in the woods. I brought these two home to see if they were still functional (they weren’t). One was in a snow bank and the other partially submerged at the edge of a stream. https://flic.kr/p/2kuk3HV

"resentful rednecks with shotguns—possibly apocryphal;"
I believe I read somewhere that it is a Federal crime to shoot down a drone flying over your airspace or anywhere else for that matter, but what do rednecks care about that?

"The FAA considers unmanned aircraft of any size to be covered under Title 18 of the United States Code 32, which describes “sabotage to include destruction of any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.” Violation of this code carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. In other words, it’s illegal to shoot down any aircraft in the U.S., including a drone, according to federal law."


As far as I understand, you’re not allowed to use one close to an airport, like five miles. Here in suburban New York, that rules out most of my area. Good thing I’m not interested anyway...

You went for a walk without a camera?

My son gave me a DJI Spark drone for Christmas a few years ago. I've had some fun with it, taking photos above our yard and also on some travels. I'm just a stills photographer so haven't tried videos, which seem to be the main point of a lot of drone photography.

The magic of a drone is the ability to shoot from a different perspective. Vertical shots straight down below the drone can give very interesting almost abstract shots of the terrain below, making otherwise familiar subjects fresh. The ability to easily elevate the camera can transform your landscape photography. You can also get in amongst your surroundings, up in trees for example. And there is simply so much to see from the air that is not visible from the ground.

I've found the downside to be the degree of preparation required and the complexity of operation. Battery life is short so you need to be sure to have several and that they are charged. You have the drone itself and then the controller, which is often tethered to a cell phone, all of which must communicate with each other. You have to keep up with an increasingly complex regulatory environment. And you have the complexity of both flying the drone and taking photos remotely.

I've also struggled with where to do this. I'm comfortable flying over my own home in a semi-rural area and in rural areas with no one around, like an otherwise vacant campground or recreation area with no authorities around. But many areas now restrict or prohibit drone use and it's hard to predict how others nearby might react. And it just feels intrusive so I'm only comfortable doing this where I'm almost certain not to bother anyone else. The same reasons I've never really been comfortable with street photography that involves sticking a camera in someone's face.

So now the drone mostly just sits, with me occasionally thinking "I need to get that out and use it." When I do that in a way that addresses the concerns above it can be great fun.

What?! Took a walk without a camera. Doesn't that violate some sort of rule?

I keep fighting the urge to purchase one. I don’t know how much longer I can hold off. They do seem fun. 10 year old me would beat up current age me for not having one considering how relatively inexpensive they are.

Adam Gibbs, a British-Canadian-British Columbian photographer I follow on YouTube uses his drone for photography in addition to video. This movie has some great examples - https://youtu.be/57O79Tfo2m8

I picked up a little red 100g thing labeled HJHRC https://www.ebay.com/c/15016651129 (this one?), with 20-minute battery and HD camera. For occasional use nothing more would be of use.

I haven't found an 8yo child to supervise me yet, but I would like to do a few swoop videos of my moderately extensive yard some day soon.
Hm, winds are weak right now..

Like many things visual, drone photography would only interest me if it were expertly done and for some good purpose; that does not include flying over other peoples' houses, and even less, photographing their lives and loves.

Personally, I have no desire for such devices. As a child, I did make the odd model aircraft powered by elastic bands. In retrospect, how pointless it all was. I think I probably suspected as much at the time.

Robert Roaldi said:

What strikes me about them is that they seem to be easy to fly, when I always thought that flying helicopters was difficult.

Well, helicopters are difficult to fly. Drones aren’t because they basically fly themselves – you just tell them where to go, and their onboard computer handles the complex low-level business of managing the rotors etc.

I’ve had a DJI Mavic 2 Pro for a couple of years now. I use is regularly and often fly it from my boat, launching and retrieving from the hand. It is incredibly easy to fly and amazingly capable and I love it. The new viewpoint is so refreshing and it is great for viewing the reef and large reef critters. One thing I decided early on was that I had to regard it as expendable and feel relaxed about that. Flying it over water as I do a crash would be disastrous but so far I haven’t had any problems (touch wood!). Love the 20 meg stills and the video from the camera. I mostly take HDR panorama pics with up to 27 pics (3x3 pic panorama with three exposure bracketing for each). Lightroom usually makes a great job of merging them all automatically. A great way of documenting the marine biological surveys that we do as well as lots of fun.

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