Crosspool view

Just because I stumbled across it on my Flickr and felt like posting it.

The light was awful, the editing is equally bad; it’s far, far from being a great photo. But I was struck by the fact that despite living here for 17 years, walking these same streets day in, day out, one quick flight with the Mavic and I saw a view of the place that I had never ever seen before.

I love that it gives the impression that the A57 is some near-Parisian tree-lined boulevard, and that my childhood suburb is perched on a cliff overlooking the City Centre. Neither of these things are true, of course, but looking at this here, they could be.

There are currently no plans for a return visit to Sheffield in the foreseeable future, so any vernal version of this shot will have to wait.

If you want to see more aerial views of suburbia (and more) from our visit last September, you can find them in my Sheffield 2017 Flickr album.

Fire Pano

One of the sadly inevitable consequences of the cape Town drought is the exacerbation of our fire season. With no recent rain, the local veld and fynbos is a veritable tinder box ready to go up at the slightest provocation. The Overberg FPA recently documented the huge number (40) of major wildfires they have had to deal with so far this year.

Yesterday afternoon, it was the turn of Cape Town once again, as firefighters, 3 helicopters and a spotter plane worked hard for several hours to contain a fire in Cecilia Forest. We couldn’t actually see the fire from our garden or our house, but I popped the Mavic up and suddenly, all became clear (Well, as clear as it could be with all the smoke drifting around). And so I did what any sensible fellow would have done, and banged the pano button. 21 separate photos, taken automatically by the drone and stitched in the app gave me this:

Those are Wynberg School fields in the foreground (Junior on the left, High School on the right), with the fire clearly visible on the on the mountain beyond, and smoke drifting everywhere, but mainly southwards on the light breeze through the Constantia Valley and down towards False Bay.

This is a great example of how the Mavic can give you a different point of view on things. I knew there was a fire somewhere close: I could smell it, and the air was hazy with smoke. But I literally couldn’t see anything from ground level. I’m in no way suggesting that this a great image (it’s not – shooting straight into the sun is never a good idea), but at least I could see what was going on, and could document it. (And without getting in the way of any helicopters.)
Last time I saw a wildfire, I had to drive to get there.

It would be nice, however, if there weren’t too many more wildfires to ‘tog in this way (or any other).

 

UPDATE: Sullivan Photography at Ground Zero

Editing with Thom and an Old Master

Determined not to leave it as long as last time – however long that was – I fired up the Adobe Lightroom editing whatchamacallit and looked through the photos that had been taken this weekend. Not all mine, I hasten to add. The Boy Wonder had his clicking fingers out and was snapping away and even Mrs 6000 got involved on occasion.

And that editing? Accompanied by a bubble or two of Oude Meester VSOB and the new Radiohead offering*. Magical.
But still, only about a 15% (if that) success rate on the photos.
Meh.

But that does mean that they are (mostly) the best 15% (yes, that’s how bad I am/we are). So you should go and enjoy them here.

You’ll find a huge leaning towards photos taken with the Mavic. And some repeats of photos previously taken with the Mavic. No apologies here, sweetcakes. I’m still blown away by what this little machine can do, each and every time I fly it. And I’m still learning how to get the best out of the camera (and the editing software, for that matter). Practice makes perfect.

Bear with me, and just know that I’m having so. much. fun. on the journey.

 

* Start at No Surprises and play through to the end of the new stuff. Arguably the best 14 track run in… forever.  

False Bay Flight Fun

A quick lunchtime trip to the False Bay Rugby Club with the newly-mended Mrs 6000 gave me a chance to chuck the Mavic around, much to the joy of the kids and dads playing on the rugby field.

This was all about having fun, not a photo or video expedition, so there’s not much to report other than the fact that it was nice to get some fresh air and some more but you can have a look at a different view of things here if you want.

School holidays are now upon us, so not only does that mean an extra hour in bed each morning, but I will also be using every opportunity to spend some time with the kids and – because I have a little bit of annual leave coming up – flying some new places too.

James Kingston has got a Mavic

You may remember James Kingston from this post. Some of the stuff he does is a bit nutty, so when I saw the title of his latest video: It Finally Happened, I guessed that he had thrown a seven. Climbing tall things may be thrilling and yield some amazing shots, but it’s also incredibly dangerous, and one day, the videos will just stop.

I wondered if It Finally Happened was the video that he had made, with instructions for friends and family to release it should gravity get one over on him.

But no… I think he is saying that he has finally got a DJI Mavic Pro (like many other Youtube “celebs”) and that this is his first video flying it.

If you want to see the droney bit, it’s about halfway through – you’ll need to start from somewhere around 8:35. Featuring an impressive hand launch, some frankly terrifying footage of him standing an awful long way up from what appears to be a very solid ground, and copious use of the Mavic’s Intelligent POI (Point Of Interest) Mode. (As I have tested previously here.)

Once again, I am reminded how good editing can make a difference to Mavic footage, and once again, I remind myself that my PC  simply won’t allow me to even start to learn this sort of thing and that one massive technological purchase a year is – sadly – probably enough.