The View from Above

Shooting pictures and video with one of DJI’s Phantom quad copters is just plain fun.

The first one was made in September 2013 at a timber raising at Stono Ferry Plantation in South Carolina. The housing development includes a race track and John Paul Huguley, founder of Building Art, LLC was asked to design a pavilion. (One of my earliest projects, it exhibits a little less stability than the one below. This might have been due to higher winds that day or unbalanced props but these artifacts can be remedied with software — and I will do so and post a revised version).

This one was captured in October 2013 at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. Balanced props, less wind, better technique all contribute to a result that is much smoother.

When I started with the Phantom, I tended to “grab” stills from video clips. I erroneously assumed the quality would be as good as those specifically shot as stilled. It is a bad rookie mistake. Resolution of an image shot as a “still” is much higher than a frame extracted from a clip. The following were all still captures.

The first two shots below were taken in May at Fowler Park, north of Atlanta. The snow scenes were in my neighborhood last February.

(For a lot more information on the Phantom, what it takes to fly and how to optimize images may be found in this site’s “Gear” Section. The link is here.)