Whoops - no can do


Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye

I've been flying drones for over 4 years now. This was not the best of starts, as my first drone flew away on its second flight and I watched helplessly as my day-old investment vanished over the horizon never to be seen again. Fortunately, it was diagnosed as a software failure and I was given a replacement. But now I was too nervous to fly. So about a year later I undertook a formal drone training holiday and earned my PFCO which allows me to fly a drone as a commercial operation.

When you take a shot of an iconic scene and then do a search in any of a dozen image hosting sites, you will find that several hundred other people have stood on the same spot and captured it before you. So it's all down to quality and light. With drone photography, the world opens up with opportunities to capture images from completely new vantage points, where nobody has been before. Higher, lower, further, and to places where there is nowhere to stand, in the air. You get to view the world from places never before possible. Who wouldn't fall in love with that?

This is a very weather-dependent form of photography and offers up all sorts of new challenges, wind and rain being the most obvious. The camera is less sophisticated than my DSLRs but you still need to get your settings correct while simultaneously flying the drone. Then there's the movie shooting component with even more settings and complications. You also need to work out your scenes and film enough sequences to make up a reasonable movie at the end of it. This is multi-tasking on a grand scale. The key is to get so comfortable with the flying side of things that you can spend a lot more thought on the photography and video shoot aspects. You have to put in quite a few hours of flying time to reach that state of play. I like to think I am there now.