After many closes calls and inconclusive reports, a new incident involving a small hobby drone and two military Black Hawk helicopters might mark one the first drone to aircraft collision. Unlike many previous cases, this incident seemed to have left direct evidence. Army Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino, the spokesman for the 82nd Airborne, said that a civilian drone “struck on the left side of fuselage. There were no adverse impacts to the flight.” He added that “one blade was damaged [and] dented in two spots and requires replacement and there is a dented window.” Here is what we know.
As into the aerials as I am over here, Instagram has, believe it or not, changed the way I shoot. On my drone, it is only possible to capture landscape-oriented photos, which take up less space on a phone's display compared to a portrait-oriented image. It wasn't until yesterday that a buddy of mine showed me this little trick where I can spin the camera on my Mavic into portrait mode and shoot that way. How to do this, along with four other tips, is covered in this helpful video by iProDan.
I have been flying my drone for just about two years now and am always looking to push myself to find new things to shoot. A year ago when I was in Nevada, I shot the ground of the desert with my Phantom 3 and was intrigued by the look and texture in the photo. At the time, I hadn't seen many photos showing textures of the earth until a few months later when I stumbled upon Abstract Aerial Art. Every time I look at their photos, I can't help but to stare at them and try to understand what I am looking at.
This entire summer for me has been hectic. Doing photography full time at the age of 23 is certainly awesome, but there is so much stress and hard work that comes along with it. Between work and my personal life, it has been extremely difficult to balance out my time to create my own content, but in no way have I let that slow me down. This summer alone, I have been out to so many places creating new content and I think that this is honestly the most important thing we can do as creatives.
Back in 2015, the “Throw-And-Go” Lily Robotics drone was building steam and making waves. Its Kickstarter campaign centered around its ability to launch out of water and to be thrown off a cliff to immediately rescue itself and follow its adventurer as they traveled quickly over any terrain. The Lily drone had massive appeal and was slated to be an incredible way to capture and film outdoor enthusiasts and people who just wanted a durable drone to take with them on their adventures.
There’s been speculation for some time now, but the wait is over. Today in Berlin, DJI made three major and exciting announcements about their line of drones. Specifically, they've introduced the new Mavic Pro Platinum, the new Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian, and an update to DJI Spark.
In 2013, a small quadcopter flew close to German Chancellor Angela Merkel who was attending an outdoor political meeting. A year later an inebriated federal agent crashed his Phantom in the White House perimeter. Fortunately, the drone did not damage Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden, but following this event DJI implemented the no-fly zone feature on its entry-level drones. However, this measure is not completely effective to prevent rogue flights and authorities are looking for solutions to counter drones from flying in restricted areas. Let’s review the current anti-drone solutions and challenges associated with neutralizing a small UAVs.
Colin Smith of PhotoshopCAFE teamed up with Adobe Principle Creative Director, Russell Brown, and the Canon USA team to photograph the solar eclipse in Casper, Wyoming. In the nearly 16-minute behind-the-scenes video, we get to see some of the equipment Canon Explorer of Light Ken Sklute was using to capture the eclipse with the rest of the Canon USA team.
After eight months of work I finally finished this project: an aerial tilt-shift hyperlapse of Miami. The idea was to produce something different. Time-lapse videos are very common these days and most drone operators can make a decent hyperlapse with their drones. In this video I wanted to replicate the out-of-focus look normally associated with macro photography to give a miniature effect of the city of Miami. Here is how I filmed this video and what I learned during the process.
About a year ago I was drinking in a bar in Leicester, England. I got chatting to a gentleman who I sort of recognized from various events I'd attended in the past. After a few drinks, I discovered he owned a helicopter. At this stage, I was a bit worse for wear and thought it would be a grand idea to ask if he'd like to fly me above our hometown to take a sunset cityscape. We agreed, in our inebriated state, that this seemed like an excellent idea. So, just a few days later we met again (without beer) in a field; Me with my camera and a sickness in the pit of my stomach and him with his helicopter. We were all set for our flight.
After the release of the new DJI Spark and its ability to fly without a remote, it is believed that DJI has the technology for anybody to fly. Steve Kampff and I decided to put this concept to the test comparing DJI's Intelligent Flight Modes to the Manual Capabilities of the user. In this video, we see that flying can be pretty challenging, but DJI definitely steps up to the plate allowing users to achieve more complex shots with little to no skill or experience.
Amongst the drones available on the market in 2017, the DJI Spark is surely not amongst the top ones in terms of files quality. The sequences it creates are quite difficult to color grade in postproduction and thus it makes it hard for videographers to mix the clips with footage from another camera. However, there are ways to improve what you can get out of Spark’s videos. Casey Faris gives us one of the tricks he uses to maximize the dynamic range of the images.
The rumor mill is going strong with the potential release of the Phantom 5. Forum experts and unverifiable sources estimate that DJI will announce the new version of its best seller drone sometime in September of this year. Due to the lack of official information, we can only speculate at this point. However, we can analyze DJI's past strategy and actual technological development to estimate the possible specifications and features that may end up in the Phantom 5.
After about two years of doing aerial photography, I have decided that I will share one of my little secrets for finding a location to shoot. A lot of people tell me that my aerials are really cool, but not too many ask how I find these places. It is funny to answer and say I use Google Maps, but honestly that is the truth and it's the one and only thing I really use when looking for something new to photograph with my drone.
In a bit of a surprise, a blog posted today from Lensrentals explains the different options of drone systems now available for rent, including a short list of rules and tips for flying for both recreational and commercial use. While I've seen many requests online from people asking where they could rent a drone for a one-time shoot, most companies have stayed away. So is this a good idea or a bad idea?