Documentary Filmmaker Janssen Powers makes me want to go to the mountains immediately. The beautiful Pacific Northwest is on amazing display in "Muir Song," an ode to naturalist and conservationist John Muir. Fittingly released on what would have been his 178th birthday, Powers takes us on a beautiful journey through the mountains and sea. If after watching this video you haven't booked your tickets (or if you're lucky to live there and don't go outside immediately), there is truly something wrong with you.
I've been feeling pretty cool lately. I've been making some time-lapses and doing a lot of aerial work. It's hard not to feel cool when you're taking shots from 300 feet in the air. Then, NASA came along and made a time-lapse 250 miles up in space. I no longer feel cool.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and when you want to film incredibly smooth footage of fighter jets at over 300 knots and pulling 2.5G's, you can't exactly get an off the shelf gimbal for that. Aerial film company Blue Sky wanted to do exactly that so they commissioned Gyro-Stabilized Systems to built them a custom 5 axis gimbal capable of such feats. Boy did they deliver!
I recently purchased a drone, and I've caught the aerial bug. The new perspective afforded by it has been wildly addicting. However, I'm still very much an amateur in my newfound abilities. Films like Wild Scotland, in their beauty and seamless sense of evolving wonder, give me something to aspire toward.
Vincent Laforet is a name that has recently become synonymous with world-class aerial photography. His incredible images from above gives us a new artistic perspective of the cities we love and the world we live in. In this five-minute video from the B&H “Prospectives” series, Laforet gives us a great overview of his body of work shot from the sky as well as some practical takeaways from what he’s learned along the way.
It seems like at least once a week I find myself having a conversation with a filmmaker or photographer who is struggling to understand the current state of rules, with regard to the commercial use of drones. And who can blame them? Digging through the FAA's website to get clear information is a painful exercise, and things continue to change every few months. This video features Chris Newman, a professional drone pilot, to break the current policies down in a clear language, and he tells us what to expect next from the FAA.
I'll be the first to say it, smoke bombs are usually too Tumblr for my taste. Generally you see them with a moody girl looking off into the distance in some backyard forest. I never got the point of those images. But I found myself mesmerized by "Chromaticity"; the smoke bombs were alive, more like wayward spirits hovering above the big blue. I was so entranced it took me half of the video to realize they were attached to drones, and the drones were nowhere to be seen.
I'm not a landscape photographer, but I am a photographer. At the heart of all us 'togs is a deep-seated yearning to capture the rare and the beautiful. Another concept I find overly enticing about photography is that of being a nomad; a wandering explorer with only a camera as a companion. Or, in the case of this video, three cameras, a DJI Inspire 1, and presumably a helicopter. Whatever, stop watering down my poetic vision.
Reportage seems to be a genre where feminine qualities are seen as an obstacle rather then as an asset. I sat down with French photographer Audray Saulem who proved them wrong and listened to her experience shooting an epic race of 210 kilometers in the Sahara over 6 grueling days.
Every couple of years Red Bull hosts one of the coolest photo competitions in the world called the Red Bull Illume. If you aren't familiar with this photo contest, the Illume showcases some of the most unbelievable sports photographs in the world. Many of the photos are landscape in a nature which give them an almost fine art feel but there are plenty of edgy closeup shots to grab your attention as well. The deadline to contribute to this year's Image Quest has been extended by 12 hours to April 1st 12:00 (CET) which I believe to be 6:00 PM Eastern if my brain is working correctly.
Citing savings due to larger-scale production following an expansion into 22 countries and over 2,000 retail locations, 3D Robotics has dropped the price on its popular and well-designed Solo drone, as well as on the matching Solo gimbal. The Solo drone captured a wide audience with the help of a flashy launch video that introduced the product about a year ago, in addition to its fresh, modern design. Today, you can get the Solo for just $799 and/or add a gimbal to your kit for $199, down from yesterday's price of $999.95 and $399.95, respectively.
Over the last few years, there just haven't been that many massive updates to DJI's Phantom drone lineup. The biggest was perhaps the inclusion of its own camera when it ditched the need to add a GoPro to the bundle. But just looking at today's Phantom 4 design is enough to indicate the major steps DJI took to step into an entirely new generation of autonomy. Featuring class-leading obstacle avoidance and autonomous flying modes, the Phantom 4 is so good that people are afraid of the implications of never actually having to learn to pilot a drone.
Sometimes we all take for granted the sheer wonder of the tools at our disposal in this industry. Sometimes what it takes is transplanting those tools to a world a little further removed from technology, and sometimes seeing it through the joy and amazement of a childs reaction is exactly the perspective that is needed. That is exactly what Mark Brandon Smith did when he flew his drone for a group of school children in Uganda and their reaction to it will put a smile on your face.