Week 17 – From the Air

For the first time since early last summer, I got my drone out and up. After about ten months of not using it, I had to update software, check to make sure the propellers were in good shape, etc. And then try to remember how to fly the thing.

The cover image is from about 100 feet in the air, looking west on Fulton Street towards downtown, about 15 minutes before sunset. The streets were quiet. Not quite eerily, but still.

Over the weekend, I took the drone to Riverside Park, just north of downtown Grand Rapids, for a flight. The drone seemed to drive a bit when I let go of the sticks. It should hover in place, even if there’s wind. So I may need to do a bit of recalibrating. But otherwise, the drone works fine.

I’m always reminded of the limits of the sensor on the Mavic Pro. My drone is from 2017, but the sensor seems more like about 2010, with the limited resolution and ability to handle a wide range of light and poor quality in low light (not ideal for sunrises and sunsets). That said, I’m not ready to invest $2000 in a Mavic Pro 2 plus accessories, even though I covet it. And it is just plain fun to play with the drone that I have, even with its limits.

Here are some of my favorite shots. The first set includes one black and white and looks south from the park, down the Grand River, towards downtown.

The second set, predictably but appropriately, looks north, up the Grand River, away from downtown. You see a lot of the park in these shots. If you look very carefully, you can see me. Find the boat launch ramp. I’m on a little spit of land on the edge of the river, just south of there.

Here’s the cover image again, along with another from nearby. The second one of a utility pole and lines is something I want to do more of. I did a series of images a few years ago of utility poles, and I’ve been thinking that doing them with a drone would be interesting. (Being careful not to fly into the lines, destroy my drone, and perhaps cause people to lose power.)

This summer I expect to do more with my drone. In addition to photography for fun, I’m planning to do some more re-photographing projects. Some of those will be shots from the air to replicate images taken from airplanes in the past.


Categories: Grand Rapids, Weekly ImageTags: , , , , , , ,

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