I attended the Third Annual NYC Drone Film Festival this year and I have to say I was beyond impressed with some of the work I saw. I expected a lot of cinematic, crazy drone filming type stuff, but I was glad to see that there were a bunch of categories for all kinds of different drone work that was submitted. From all this, I was inspired to keep going out there and creating the work I do and maybe even submitting something myself for next year. Here are the winners of each category, check them out and enjoy some of the work that went into all this filming!
The National Park Service in the United States is one of the few organizations to have made clear policies regarding the use of drones, or small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) on their property. Yet some people continue to ignore these rules, and it’s only going to make things harder for the rest of us if this trend continues.
I came across this video while just browsing around and it ended up being one of those videos that just took me back. I'm a huge nerd when it comes to drones, but also a huge fan of some good drone work for photography and videography. I expected this video to just be a narrative/documentary about a mountain biker, when suddenly it turned into much more. Flying through the trees, up to the mountains, into caves, and out to the snow and ice; this video takes you on one big journey with the mountain biker himself.
In late February an approaching storm sent the big wave surfing community into action when forecasts predicted good conditions for some monster swell near Nazaré, Portugal. Surfers and photographers alike drop everything when big wave conditions appear for the chance of winning one of the Big Wave Awards offered by various companies and organizations. On February 28, drone footage of several surfers was captured in a rescue attempt after one surfer wiped out towards the end of his ride. The resulting footage is an amazing example of how drones are bringing the size, danger, and pure intensity of big wave surfing to spectators and couch surfers at home.
A few weeks back, my business partner and I realized how sound can help pull a viewer further into a video. When we first began filming and making videos together, we never really understood the importance of audio and would just play videos to specific music. So one day, we set out to do a little test by filming parts of Asbury Park in New Jersey and then by throwing together a short edit with all sorts of sounds to create more of a moody video. While testing the audio, we were also testing some of the low-light capabilities of the DJI Inspire 2, X5S, 45mm Olympus lens and the Sony a7S II, which is known to be one of the best low-light cameras. By combining aerial clips, ground clips, and actual sounds of the locations, I think this video is much better than it would have been just to the sound of the music.
If you own a DJI drone and haven't yet taken advantage of the Intelligent Flight Modes, you're missing out on some seriously adept autonomous flight capabilities that can help you get smoother, more professional-looking shots. This helpful video will get you acquainted with each mode, what it's useful for, and what to be aware of when shooting.
After browsing through Vimeo a bit, I was mesmerized by one of the aerial videos I saw. Owning and flying a drone for quite some time myself, I look to create unique aerial photography and smooth aerial video. One thing I have realized is how important location can be, and while being stuck in New Jersey and not traveling too far away, I think I have been abe to capture some pretty cool things around me. After watching this video that Joshua Cowan created, I am absolutely blown away by the content he has created from his trip to Europe. It is videos like this that inspire me to keep flying and looking for new things to create.
As many people are aware, DJI pretty much owns the market in aerial drone photography for both personal and professional uses. Though the world of drone manufacturers is actually far more diverse than many might think, one brand, Yuneec, caught my eye and has become a favorite since I have been flying their Typhoon H. It's exciting to know they are releasing two new drones, the H920 and H520.
How did technology make "Planet Earth" so much more cinematic? If we go back to how it was done back in the day and compare it to the technology we have today, it's quite a leap. Back in the day 35mm was the broadcast standard. The 35mm cameras were bulky and heavy, they were perfect for studio and not for the shots that they needed. In the filming circles and the BBC insiders saw 16mm film as being for amateurs. But, thanks to David Attenborough first taking his 16mm camera out to shoot abroad and coming back with footage of animals never filmed before, it changed opinions. This made the program that later became one of the best wildlife documentaries of all time.
In case you missed it, the GoPro Karma was recalled last year due to sudden loss of power which would cause the drone to crash mid-flight. Not a good thing for a first drone from any company, let alone GoPro. The re-release for the Karma drones fixed the issue by adding latches to keep the battery secure during flight, but were there any changes to the Karma drone to improve it?
The third annual New York City Drone Film Festival will be held on March 17–19, 2017. The Festival will consist of aerial cinematography seminars, beginner/intermediate/master classes, Day of Drones at the Liberty Science Center, drone expos, flight demonstrations, drone building programs, FPV racing, and last but not least, a red carpet event and film screening.
Tonight, you may have witnessed one of the greatest Super Bowl matches in history between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. For the first time, we saw two teams take the epic battle into overtime and ultimately watched the Patriots take their fifth championship. We witnessed yet another incredible performance from Lady Gaga, in which she used 300 drones to coordinate a light show behind her during the game. This is how it was done.
After a devastating drop in sales of nearly 40 percent, GoPro is back in the spotlight with a release of the previously recalled Karma Drone. Less than four months after the recall, the Karma is back on the market with limited shipments. This comes at a time where GoPro is attempted to challenge DJI, maker of the Phantom and Inspire.