PTW Episode 8: Lee Crashes Mavic Drone Into Italian Mountain

In today's behind-the-scenes episode of “Photographing the World,” Elia and the Fstoppers team continue to photograph the ancient city of Matera, Italy. Lee gets abducted by an old man, Elia scouts the city for the best camera location, and I walk for hours in search of food. After a successful production day, we then face one of the most disastrous moments in all of our “Photographing the World” journeys.

“Photographing the World” is a photography educational series that follows landscape photographer Elia Locardi around the world as he teaches all of his photography and post-processing techniques. In “Photographing the World 3,” we continue our exploration of Italy as we leave the mountains of Pietrapertosa and head to the ancient and historic city of Matera. 

Matera is one of the coolest cities I have ever had the privilege of visiting in Italy. Compared to the coastal cities of Positano and Atrani on the Amalfi Coast, Matera feels like an old labyrinth town out of an “Indiana Jones” movie. The streets are paved with cobblestones, the house city homes feel like ancient jail cells, and the old architecture reminds you of a past so many of us have either never experienced or have forgotten about altogether. It's quiet the magical little down, and if you ever get the chance to visit Italy I would definitely recommend putting Matera on your list of stops.

The main photograph Elia took of this town focused on the old city of Matera. For this lesson he wanted to show how important the concept of parallax can be when composing an image with strong background and foreground elements. Since this town is still relatively untapped from a traveling photography perspective, Elia was able to scout the entire city and produce an image that is pretty unique. You can see the resulting photograph below.

After a few days of scouting and photographing the old city of Matera, we wanted to hike across the neighboring canyon and try something a little less orthodox. The outskirts of the town are lined with some ancient caves that could offer a unique perspective on this historic city built into this unbelievable cliff side. The hike was steep, slow, and required over an hour of hiking just to get to the final caves overlooking the town. However, this hike took us even long after Lee crashed our DJI Mavic drone directly into the rock face. Unbelievably, the drone it self was hardly scratched despite the forceful impact. However, as you will see in the next episode of “Photographing the World,” crashing this drone into the mountain would allow for the most expensive production mistake in Fstoppers history.

For more information on the entire “Photographing the World 3” tutorial, check out the video below or head over to the website.

To follow along with this entire “Photographing the World 3” behind the scenes, subscribe to our YouTube Channel or check out the full video playlist

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Alex Cooke's picture

What a kind person that old man was.

Patrick Hall's picture

It wound up being that he was kind...but while Lee was away I had other thoughts crossing my mind #hostel

David Crossley's picture

Good on ya Lee (classy with the nice man)!