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Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily f...
  
 
wsalopek
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


EDIT (July 25, 2017):

Welcome to the official drone photography IMAGE thread.

For drone DISCUSSION, please go here:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1501189

Thanks...

-------------------------------

Howdy fellow FM-ers...

I have been a general aviation pilot for a few decades, and have very much enjoyed the view from up there. But taking pictures thru the usually scratched windows didn't work well.

On commercial aviation flights, I typically have a camera nearby and my nose sometimes pressed up against the window. Yeah, I'm a lost cause.

Anyway...

When "drones" came along a few years ago, I saw a way for my flying and photography passions to merge, without having to hire a helicopter for $1000 an hour. My love of flying and photography could come together beautifully in one fairly small package that can be put in a backpack and taken pretty much anywhere.

So...

I decided to start this "Official Drone Photography" thread. I'll post a couple images here right now, and invite others to do the same.

Rules? Well, let just say it should be a shot that practically speaking, couldn't be taken with anything other than a drone. But let's just have fun with this. Try to give fellow FM-ers who have seen those "buzzy toys" flying around, a taste of what they can do photographically, in the spirit of FM.

The drones I use are a home-made hexacopter (6 blades), as well as a DJI Phantom 3 Professional, as well as a 3DR Solo. The Hexacopter and the Solo use a GoPro, which in my case, is a Hero 4 Silver.

As decent as these small sensors can be sometimes, esp for posting to the web, and while of course subject/lighting/composition are king, I'd like to start flying with a larger sensor at some point...an RX100, GM1/5, or even better, a Ricoh GR2...those cameras chosen for a combination of image quality vs size/weight, so I don't have to build or buy a larger drone, which wouldn't be nearly as easy to travel with as the Phantom and Solo.

With that said:








  FC300X    4mm    f/2.8    1/1400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  FC300X    4mm    f/2.8    1/1900s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  



Edited on Jul 27, 2017 at 10:05 PM · View previous versions



Nov 28, 2016 at 01:22 AM
mikethevilla
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


Rad images and great idea for a thread!

I'm stoked for the new DJI offerings. The Mavic (likely the one I'll get) is obviously great for the unrivaled portability it brings to the table. I'm hoping it will be the new "standard" form factor for consumer drones from here on out. The Phantom 4 Pro looks pretty awesome too, as it now will use a 1" sensor. Can't wait to see what that does.

Here are a few from my Autel X-Star. I don't take it out as often as I'd like due to how large it is (can't just throw it in a camera bag), but still fun to play around with!



























Nov 28, 2016 at 01:53 AM
PhotoMaximum
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


I do a little real estate photography on the side and looked into getting a drone for areal shots.

This is a major rabbit hole and I caution anyone looking into this to look at the big picture. There are a lot of rules, licensing and insurance issues to get on top of before even attempting to fly one of these things.

The other day I was taking my two dogs for a walk and came across a young guy operating a drone above a house that just went on the market. I asked him about his kit and and the costs and he said he just invested around $1200. I then watched him as he nervously tried to avoid all the poles and power lines while trying to get Puget Sound in the background for his his photos. It looked nerve racking. I asked him if he had a license? He came back with "what license?" OK...

Obviously a major concern is not crashing so has to protect your investment in the equipment. But a MUCH more important issue is doing this legally, especially if you are going to make money off this. I would not touch doing this without $500,000 insurance coverage...



Nov 28, 2016 at 02:19 AM
Mathieu18
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


Cool thread, I want to use mine more and hope to contribute.

Check out Verifly, great insurance option if you're not high volume.



Nov 28, 2016 at 02:44 AM
genji
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


"A major rabbit hole" indeed! I spend too much time in the GAS and LBA holes I've dug for myself to even think about digging into drone photography. But the images that wsalopek and mikethevilla posted are fascinating and I'll continue to follow this thread with interest.


Nov 28, 2016 at 02:49 AM
mikethevilla
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


PhotoMaximum wrote:
I do a little real estate photography on the side and looked into getting a drone for areal shots.

This is a major rabbit hole and I caution anyone looking into this to look at the big picture. There are a lot of rules, licensing and insurance issues to get on top of before even attempting to fly one of these things.

The other day I was taking my two dogs for a walk and came across a young guy operating a drone above a house that just went on the market. I asked him about his kit and and the costs
...Show more

Very good warning.

A few things that are important to note though:

-You are REQUIRED to register your drone with the FAA no matter what type of usage it's for. This takes all of $5 and 5 minutes on a website.
-You don't need any sort of insurance or license if you're just flying for fun/non-commercial purposes. It is important to take notes of the laws and rules (in the USA, most importantly: No higher than 400 ft above nearest structure, at least 5 miles from an airport, not over private property, and no flying in National Parks).
-You're only required to get a license and insurance policy (which run $700-1000/year) if you're flying for commercial purposes.



Nov 28, 2016 at 03:30 AM
PhotoMaximum
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


I guess you have to look at the dramatic increase in drones for real estate photography as a confusing "gray area". This is commercial work and should require a license and insurance. If flying over private property is against the law then most of these guys are in violation? In more dense urban areas your drone will be hovering over other people's property to get that attractive view of the client's house.

This is a new arena. But folks are becoming concerned over privacy and the impact that a crash could have on people on the ground and property. $1000 per year for insurance is pretty cheap, a very doable cost of business. A few dramatic lawsuits with major financial verdicts could change all this dramatically though.

I am still interested, it appeals to my inner geek. I have done quite a bit of aerial photography in rented helicopters which is a totally different ball game...



Nov 28, 2016 at 03:47 AM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


http://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/


Nov 28, 2016 at 12:38 PM
wsalopek
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


PhotoMaximum wrote:
I would not touch doing this without $500,000 insurance coverage...


"On demand" insurance:

https://verifly.com/

Flying commercially. Yes, there are a few hoops to jump thru, but it's not too bad:

http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/for-business-users/

--

Bill





Nov 28, 2016 at 04:17 PM
wsalopek
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


genji wrote:
"A major rabbit hole" indeed! I spend too much time in the GAS and LBA holes I've dug for myself to even think about digging into drone photography. But the images that wsalopek and mikethevilla posted are fascinating and I'll continue to follow this thread with interest.


Genji,

$400 or so can get something to get your feet wet, and is actually completely capable of the two images I posted at the top of this thread:

http://store.dji.com/product/phantom-3-standard?from=menu_products

Just putting it out there. (I have no affiliation.)

--

Bill



Nov 28, 2016 at 04:23 PM
 

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jbregar
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)



-You are REQUIRED to register your drone with the FAA no matter what type of usage it's for. This takes all of $5 and 5 minutes on a website.


Correct. Though the registration is on the pilot, not the drone for hobby use. For commercial use, you have to register each airframe individually. Confusingly it there are two ways to do the latter... one gets you an N-number like a full scale aircraft, the other one uses the same system as the hobby registration.


-You don't need any sort of insurance or license if you're just flying for fun/non-commercial purposes. It is important to take notes of the laws and rules (in the USA, most importantly: No higher than 400 ft above nearest structure, at least 5 miles from an airport, not over private property, and no flying in National Parks).


There is no rule forbidding flying over private property. There are privacy laws, however, so you need to be careful you're not running afoul of those.

There's also no rule about height AGL if you're flying for recreation. The 400' thing is a guideline for Part 101 (hobby,non-FPV) and a rule for Part 107 (anything that doesn't qualify for 101).

Also no rule about not flying within 5 miles of an airport. For 101 you just have to notify the tower (NOT get permission). For 107 you just have to get approval to fly in other than Class G. If it's G it doesn't matter how close to an airport you are.


-You're only required to get a license and insurance policy (which run $700-1000/year) if you're flying for commercial purposes.


While you do need a remote pilot airman certificate to do commercial work with a drone, there is no requirement for insurance coverage. It is a good idea but it's not compulsory.

Hope that clears up some misinformation.



Nov 29, 2016 at 07:25 AM
jbregar
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


And yeah, Verifly is awesome for occasional use. Even for hobby ops to avoid a homeowners claim or supplement homeowners liability limits.


Nov 29, 2016 at 07:29 AM
genji
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


wsalopek wrote:
Genji,

$400 or so can get something to get your feet wet, and is actually completely capable of the two images I posted at the top of this thread:

http://store.dji.com/product/phantom-3-standard?from=menu_products

Just putting it out there. (I have no affiliation.)

Bill


Bill, the link to the Phantom 3 Standard page shows (based on my IP address, no doubt) a price of AUD859.00 which xe.com converts to ~USD641. No doubt it's a great product (and it seems the AUD price includes shipping) but I think I'd rather spend those dollars on vintage lenses.



Nov 29, 2016 at 09:53 AM
JWilsonphoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


Good Morning Bill!

Thanks for giving me a heads up on your great new thread! As you probably already know I do a considerable amount of air to air and air to ground photography/videography. Been hanging out of various aircraft for over 35 years and have thousands of hours on assignments that involve being in the sky, I love it!

About three years ago my son surprised me with a Phantom II Pro kit for my birthday. He spent well over 3K for the set up so I didn't want to appear ungrateful, but I really wish he had discussed it with me before he made that move. Apparently it could have been much worse, because he was about to order me a $14,000 Octo from Movi but his Mom convinced him to think that through a bit. Still $3,600 sitting in a Tundra case in my closet bothers me quite a bit.

Here's my take on all of this, and some outside influences are causing me to review my position and do some more research. The Phantom II was an unreliable nightmare, every time I launched it all I could see was liability. Combine that with the fact that it had a propensity to take off in it's own direction and you can begin to see why my interest in drones fell off precipitously. Three years ago you had to be Speilberg to use one to generate revenue and there were no indications that was going to change anytime soon, another factor in my loss of interest.

Fast forward three years and add a couple of very good clients who are urging me to have drone capability, and you find me looking into the whole thing again. I charter helicopters hundreds of hours annually and I don't think that is likely to change. My still gear is Canon 1DXII/Canon 5DSR, my cinema tools are all 4K Sony, Z150, FS/7 with an F55 on the way, so quality is of utmost importance to me. That being said, buying a drone capable of hauling that kind of gear aloft is a considerable investment, then hanging another 10 to 40 grand underneath it and sending it off into the sky, kind of makes me a little nauseous. So, where I am at the moment is, researching the reliability and capabilities of equipment like the Inspire 2 Pro, going ahead with certification (I've been a pilot for almost 50 years so that part is pretty simple), and I'm talking with companies who specialize in training commercial drone operators. The Inspire 2 Pro won't even be available until early next year so I have a little time to dig into this to see just how much I want to do it.

I'm in a bit of a unique situation because budget really doesn't enter into my decision. My client base is largely interested in what I can do and maintaining/surpassing their quality expectations. I don't mean to sound flippant, but the truth is, at his level of imaging, they don't care what it costs, they just want to continue to be wowed, and I want to continue to do that on all levels. Maybe in a year I'll be sending sixty grand off into the sky, who knows, but I can't imagine it at this point. Liability is a huge issue for me, and I think people take it too lightly. Yes, one can obtain insurance, and at a reasonable rate, but the liability limits are such that, should something significant occur, the plaintiffs will be coming after assets over and above the policy limits. A million $$$ in liability is really nowhere near enough to give one comfort in today's litigious environment. You can set up a shell LLC, you can put it in another name, there are all kinds of maneuvers that folks think will protect them from a judgment, but there are few of those that really do. Sure, if you plan to fly above deserted coastlines/forests, your liability is going to be nominal, but if you plan on really putting it to work, you will often be in the thick of it and a million in coverage is a drop in the bucket. Two years ago I had a great client beg me to fly a drone in their manufacturing facility so we could get unique perspectives on the massive machinery that produces their products. The assignment would have generated thousands of dollars to me, over and over I would guess, but I respectfully declined. The chances of injuring an employee, the thought of disabling a manufacturing sequence because there's a bunch of plastic, propellers, and circuit boards that decided to take a header into the equipment, just didn't outweigh the potential cool images and income generation. I'm still biased to that perspective, we'll see what my research does to moderate those fears.



Nov 29, 2016 at 04:49 PM
wsalopek
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


Jim,

Yes...all good thoughts...and like you said, you are what I would call at the "extreme" end of the spectrum as you want to fly thousands of dollars of (relatively) heavy photographic equipment around, and not only that, but typically near/above people and property.

Each of us will have to decide, like we do with any of our photographic tools, which tool is best used in a given scenario to get the shots the audience/client desires, given the limitations of equipment, physical ability, cost, etc.

IMHO, what you will need is a drone that will have the very best chance of remaining safely in the air even if something goes wrong. Many drones now have automatic obstacle avoidance, and some can keep flying even when 1 or 2 motors/propellers stop functioning. In other words, they do as much as is possible to keep flying safely, and can approach near 100% reliability, the same as commercial helicopters/aircraft.

But of course nothing is going to be foolproof, as even FAA-certified aircraft have their risks.

One of the key uses for a drone will be where it creates LESS risk vs a "real" aircraft, and/or will be able to get a shot that the "real" aircraft just can't get, like inside a factory, or in places where the noise/wind/size of a helicopter would be an issue. Or, for a lot of folks, where the cost of a helicopter or even a fixed-wing aircraft is simply not in the cards.

Anyway, like choosing a camera/lens for a shot, choosing a drone vs a helicopter, or drone A vs drone B, will always be part of the equation..

Glad to have you in this thread...your experience level and talent is beyond reproach.

--

Bill




Nov 29, 2016 at 05:37 PM
JWilsonphoto
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


Thanks Bill, and right you are on all points. Maybe I'll end up loving an Inspire 2 Pro and having a lot of fun to boot, we'll see. Santa Fe, now that would be a great spot to fly a drone! I'll keep you posted on my drone journey. Super idea here, I think your thread is destined for greatness!





Nov 29, 2016 at 10:43 PM
LightShow
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


Back to the pictures please.


Nov 30, 2016 at 11:23 PM
wsalopek
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


Another image. I edited this on my phone, plus, the truth is I am somewhat "color deficient" (red/green).

Anyway, this was taken off the coast near Hazard Canyon in Montano De Oro State Park, just south of Morro Bay, CA. That's Morro Rock in the distance at the left side of the image.




  FC300X    4mm  



Edited on Dec 13, 2016 at 06:53 AM · View previous versions



Dec 04, 2016 at 08:22 PM
genji
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


wsalopek wrote:
Another image. I edited this on my phone, plus, the truth is I am somewhat "color deficient" (red/green).

Anyway, this was taken off the coast near Hazard Canyon in Montano De Oro State Park, just south of Morro Bay, CA. That's Morro Rock in the distance at the left side of the image.


Great shot! And the color looks fine. Google Maps gave me a rough idea of your location when you took the picture. I'm curious, though, about how far from the shoreline the drone was at that time.



Dec 05, 2016 at 03:10 AM
wsalopek
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Official drone photography IMAGE thread. (Not primarily for discussion, see post #1)


Genji,

I took a series of photos on a couple different flights. I wanna say 300-400 meters.

Bill



Dec 05, 2016 at 03:22 AM
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