Missed out

Much fanfare around the revealing of the  Dronestagram Top 20 Drone Photos Of 2017:

It has become a must-attend event for this period of the year. The Dronestagram drone imaging platform unveils today its top 20 of the most beautiful and amazing, even stunning drons [sic] photos published on the site during 2017.

Admission: I’d not even heard of Dronestagram before this. Sorry.

I’ve checked and it appears that I have missed out once again on being given any sort of award here. Which, given that I only heard of their existence last night, is hardly surprising really.

What follows is going to sound a bit like sour grapes, but it’s really not. It’s just that… I’m not very impressed with the Top 20. I’m not saying that I could do any better. I’m just saying that as a Top 20 (or Top 22 if you follow the link through), they’re actually a bit disappointing. Is this really the crème de la crème of the drone photography world?

There’s nothing specifically wrong with them. They’re all very nice. But as an example of the best you can do with a drone? Meh. There seems to be a lack of inventiveness; a lot of point and shoot. This one, for example:

just shows that merely having an interesting subject (which this undoubtedly is) isn’t enough to make a great photograph.

And I don’t think I’m being too harsh when I say that this image, of a woman harvesting water lilies in a pond in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is the only one that shows any real creativity for me:

Drones give the opportunity for people to get a completely different perspective on an otherwise ordinary scene. But this opportunity won’t last forever. Familiarity breeds contempt. With more and more (and more) drones around, there is a need to do something more to make your drone photography special. These sort of allegedly prestigious awards should be leading this kind of thinking, but I’m sorry to say that I don’t see any evidence of that happening here.

OK, the polar bear one is pretty good too.

I have high hopes of my mediocre efforts being recognised in next year’s awards. I guess I’ll have to sort out a Dronestagram account to get them to notice me. Don’t watch this space.

Popular photo

There will always be new uploads for you to view on my Flickr page. Some are more popular than others. The addition of a drone to my camera armoury has been a big boon to my paltry stats (not that I got it for that).

Two of my most viewed shots this year were taken with the Mavic. And the winner(?) with 1,300 views on the site was this one:

Suiderstand, Rasperpunt and along the coast towards the Southernmost tip of Africa from 100m up.

I don’t think it was my best shot, but since life seems to be just one big popularity contest these days, maybe by some metric or other, it actually was.

Viewz for dayz

Everyone is busy at this time of year. I am also busy.
Who am I to buck a trend like that?

We’ve just got the boy back from an exciting, fulfilling, but exhausting Scout Camp, and there are a million tales of derring do which need to be told. I’m ready to listen. We’ve missed him.

Quota photo time then. And another one from the DuToitskloof Pass on Monday:

That’s the Paarl Valley there in front of us, with the Paarl Mountain in front of us and beyond that – under a wisp of white cloud in the distance – Table Mountain, some 65km away. Looking out west was equally breathtaking (although decidedly less busy), but I haven’t edited any more photos, so you’ll just have to imagine what it was like.

(Spoiler: It was equally breathtaking, but decidedly less busy, like I told you.)

Over the mountain

I dropped the boy off at his first ever Scout camp this morning, just on the far side of the Huguenot Tunnel. The road through the Du Toitskloof valley is one of my favourites in SA, and (I think) massively underrated. Having left him and his scouting chums somewhere near Rawsonville, we headed back, but this time, took the R101 road over the mountain, rather than going straight through it.

It was rather windy, but I still managed to get the Mavic up for a few minutes and got a couple of shots, including a selfie featuring me and my daughter, sheltering from the wind behind the car.

The du Toitskloof pass isn’t the most spectacular or dramatic road I’ve ever driven, but it has its moments, and some of the views are superb. There are more photos, but despite being on holiday, I’m a little pressed for time today, so they’ll have to wait.

More driving tomorrow, as we test out other roads like the R316 and R319 to the South.

BestNine

My #2017BestNine Instagram pictures include:

Four drone shots, three beagle shots, one drone and beagle shot, one of that storm and one of that sunset.

Go here to follow me on Instagram (although presumably, this means that I’m not going to post anything remarkable for the rest of the year (at least)) and go here to find your #2017bestnine.