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.
Articles written by Ty Poland
As a U.S. citizen, I have to abide by the laws of my country; As a drone operator, I have to abide by the rules of the FAA, just like anybody else. Yesterday I was at a wedding in New York when I found out President Trump was venturing to his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey for a 17 day vacation. Along the way, he brought an amazing Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) that is stopping me and many other people from flying with in a 30 NM radius of his location.
Just recently, I was able to test out the Venus Optics 105mm f/2 STF lens. After having it and using it here and there for a few months, I came to the conclusion that it would not be a bad addition to my photo bag. There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this lens considering I've never really had a prime telephoto lens before.
I watched this video this morning thinking it was going to be something weird, and surely enough, it was just weird enough to catch my attention. Day after day, we all live in this crazy world where everything eventually just becomes so common — our commutes to work, our daily routines, the things we see and so much more. Watching this video made me smile and think, "What if we saw things differently for a day?" "Perspective" is a video that, in less than two minutes, really entertains the mind. While we already know none of this is possible, this video still allows us to envision the strange, false reality it creates.
Just recently after moving back home for the summer, I decided to begin a new aerial series. Up here in Bergen County, New Jersey, there is not much to shoot, or at least that is something I tell myself. One day after skimming Google Maps for spots to fly, I came upon a few islands on a lake, each with their own individual house. Intrigued by what I saw, I knew that I had to find a way to capture these homes in a way that makes them more interesting to me. So right here, my series began and I will explain why I think it is important to keep every photo consistent.
I'm sure a lot of us drone people have been here before, where in the middle of a flight when we are deep in focus or trying to pay attention to our drones as they hover in the sky, someone walks up to you and begins playing 20 questions. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me, but I can say that it has been one of the most distracting things when I'm flying. I am working on the best way to avoid this sort of problem and would love to share a few quick tips for anyone else who has a similar problem when they fly.
I'm a sucker for simple videos like this and can really appreciate what goes into making them. As I strive to jump more into video, it is interesting to stay tuned and watch what other people create to help give me ideas for future work. The coolest thing to me about a video or even a photo is the mood or feel it can convey. A lot of the video work I do, I focus on sharp focus, straight lines, clean shots, accurate color, cutting to music and a few other little things. I mainly shoot real estate videos, but it is nice to have the freedom to shoot whatever I want, however I want rather than following my standard rules for shooting real estate. I have been messing around more with video and hope to come out with something to show from it soon enough!
A lot of people own drones this day in age and a lot of us use them for different things. I use my drone for photography and videography, whereas other people use them for agriculture, inspections, FPV Racing and so on. This video is very interesting because it is a taste of behind the scenes for an FPV/Videography mix and is very well done.
I feel like I write a similar article every few months, but this whole theory I have about going and shooting is something that just continues to benefit me day after day. Of course it can be challenging to always go out and shoot or to always even just want to shoot. I know some of us are young, some of us have other jobs, some of us have families or some of us do photography as a hobby...
The past few weeks here in New Jersey and New York have been pretty rainy and not so nice. With that in mind, I came across a video that really caught my attention and had me confused for a good minute or so. For a while I thought I had been out of the loop, when suddenly I realized that this was just another sort of filming "trick" to fool the eye. Relating to my last article, this "video" takes it to another level showing a city we probably all know flooded by water. For me, it was not much of a pleasant sight and if this were to really happen, I can't imagine how much we would all be affected by it.
Living by the beach for the past five years or so, I have become more and more intrigued by the ocean and waves. I find myself by the beach a lot, either shooting or flying my drone and paying attention to waves. I'm always interested in bigger waves, cleaner waves, ones with some good color and all. A few months back, I stumbled upon the work of Ray Collins, and oceanscape photographer out in Australia. His photos are stunning and the waves he photographs look so wild compared to the waves out by me in New Jersey.
For just about the past year now, I have been working in real estate and aerial photography. I mainly work with the agents directly and the most important thing for me to do is be able to establish a good relationship with each and every agent I work with. These agents are my clients and I want to be able to keep them as clients so they continue to come back to me for any photo, video, or aerial work they need to market their properties. Within this short little year I have been working, I've dealt with so much and learned more than I ever could have imagined.
I used to always think that in order to take a good picture you needed a good camera. It never mattered how good these phone cameras were or how good they would get, I would always tell myself a photo from my camera is better. In the past few months, I've learned it's not and that the camera on my phone is the one that is always there when I need it. Though it may not be able to capture the photo exactly how I picture it, I am still able to use it to capture photos that are interesting to me without having to carry around an actual camera.
Just when you think you've seen it all, Skittles comes out with a new ad like this. Skittles has always done some weird commercials but this one is definitely on the top of the list, especially with mothers day right around the corner. I personally do not see how this is a way to advertise Skittles, but hey... who am I to talk? At least the audio is nice and crisp!
I saw the first minute of this video on Instagram and walked away from it thinking to myself, wow. The flying in this video was very good, the choice of lenses stood out, and it was filmed in some rather tough lighting conditions. I went back to the video on Instagram, found out who made it, and watched the full thing on Vimeo. While I was watching it again, I realized that this video was way different from what I had expected it to be. At first it began with straight forward camera movements along with flights through some tight spaces/buildings that would require a really good pilot. After a few clips of that, the movements began to get very unique and had me wondering what they were doing to achieve these looks.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been given the opportunity to try out one of the widest Micro 4/3 lenses out there, the Venus LAOWA 7.5mm f/2.0. After testing it for some time, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on how it performed and what I liked and didn't like about it.
The past few weeks I have been driving up the parkway here in New Jersey for work, my eye kept getting drawn towards this one specific railroad bridge between exit 136 and 137. Every time I passed by it, my eyes would follow it until I had to turn to see the road in front of me again. It was one of those things that I had to remember so I could go back and photograph it when the time came. Today was the day that I set out to photograph it, but before anything, I had to put a little bit of planning into it.
Ever since I was young, I was interested in photography and being able to create awesome things that I could appreciate. At first, gear wasn't something that really mattered to me, as long as I could take photos and video and somehow edit them to create what I envisioned. As time went on and I began to get more serious, I realized my gear was sort of important and I do think that having the best gear you need for the field you are in is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. I know not everyone is a huge gear head and may not want to invest in new gear, but I will share some of my reasons for upgrading my gear to benefit my work.
A few weeks back I attended the 3rd annual New York City Drone Film Festival. I did write an article about the winners of it, but at the time could not find this video anywhere! The Dronie is essentially a selfie with a drone and in this case a video where that is being taken to the next level. I thought this was one of the more "odd" categories but was glad to see it was one of the winners. Florian Fischer is currently undefeated in this category for the NYC Drone Film Festival but will anybody be able to top his dronie at the next Film Festival?
I never thought I would be in my car so much for work until I started doing photography as a job. As a real estate photographer in New Jersey, I am driving up to 300 miles a day from house to house and back home, shooting photos, videos, and aerials. Within the past six months, I have put just over 10,000 miles on my car and before that, I put 32,000 miles on a car that I was leasing for a year and a half. I was always told to track my miles so I could use that as a tax write off but I would never be sure exactly how far I traveled and I also thought that would be the most annoying thing ever...