Drone photography

I’ve done a bit of it over the last 6 months, since I got my Florence. And, in all honesty, I think some of it is actually quite good. But obviously I’m still learning. This guy has got it sorted though:

This is the Ludwigskirche in Munich, and it’s an amazing photo, but there’s something rather puzzling about this building: that unbelievably ornate roof – why?

No-one (save for drone pilots – and I’m sure that architect Friedrich von Gärtner who built it from 1829 and 1844 wasn’t really considering them) is ever going to see it.
And then I learned that although the mosaic roof had always been in the original plans for the building, it was only installed between 2007 and 2009. I’m yet to work out firstly why the original plans were never followed, and then secondly why they were finally sorted 165 years later.

Of course, should you lean that way, you’ll understand that there is one pair of eyes that will gaze down from above and enjoy the beauty of the roof:

Look what beauty they have created to please me. I am pleased.

…and will surely reward those responsible with a fat golden handshake, or at least everlasting life in heaven above (where they too can then see the roof in all its glory).

Thankfully, with the advent of drones, you don’t have to be really good for your entire life and then pop your clogs to be able to see this amazing mosaic.

Flying things on flying things

I’m travelling again in a few weeks time. And it will be the first international flight I will have done since I got Florence, my little Mavic.

It’s been a wonderful few months together. I can’t imagine being without her, and so, obviously, she must come with us in September.

The rules for carrying drones on planes are pretty much universal. The danger here (such as it is) comes from the lithium ion batteries. Because of its compact size, the Mavic’s batteries are only 43.6Wh a piece. But you still need to follow the protocols, so you discharge them, you cover their terminals and you take them on in your cabin baggage.

Easy.

But we are (thankfully) flying Emirates. And their rules are slightly different.

Now, Emirates are the only airline I have heard of that have this policy. I don’t understand why they need to be different, but (and I am saying this in hushed tones) I’ve never really worked out how you were allowed to take a drone on a flight anyway, given that it could be easily used as a dangerous weapon (those propellers can get up to 8000rpm). Eina.

Still, having checked with other drone owners online, there are various anecdotes about getting through DXB and not getting through DXB with a drone in your cabin and/or hold luggage. And I’m not massively happy about Florence being gooied around in a suitcase. I’ll give the airline a shout.

One thing we won’t be taking with us is the beagle. Three reasons here:

1. A week apart is good for everyone concerned (most especially me).
2. The beagle is not a falcon.
3. We’re not going to certain destinations in Pakistan.

Wow.

Presumably, this isn’t just any falcon. You can’t just turn up with a falcon you snatched from your local National Park the previous day. Or with a beagle disguised as a falcon.

So majestic – see how it soars on the breeze! Such effortless grace!
[crashing sound, frantic barking, further crashing sounds]

I can’t believe you can take a falcon into the cabin, but not a Mavic.
It can even go in a cage if it needs to.

I’ll give the airline a shout.

Big Bang Theory

Actually, the “Theory” bit is wholly extraneous. When your country’s biggest ammunition dump (at Balakleya, Kharkov) catches fire*, there’s no theory involved. It’s all about the big bangs.

This one is good, watch especially for the explosion at 2:06, the Ukrainian expression of surprise at 2:07, the ensuing shockwave at 2:16 and the slightly more animated Ukrainian expression of surprise at 2:18.

Basically we’re looking at big, uncontrolled, massively dangerous fireworks here. And how cool is that?

Equally cool is that someone took to the skies remotely with their drone and recorded it all from above, adding some wholly inappropriate background music.

Look out for that same HUGE explosion about halfway through this one, forming what looks like a terrifying smoky jellyfish.

Epic.

 

* or is sabotaged by the Russians. 

A morning flight?

…I hope, anyway.

This post was written ahead of the weekend, precisely to leave ample time to (possibly) do some flying this morning.

I’m not sure exactly where yet – most of the peninsula having been comprehensively locked down by Table Mountain National Park – but 48 hours ahead of… well… now, the weather forecast is looking excellent for a quick trip up into the Cape Town skies (other regional atmospheric locations are available). And that makes a change, given that the infernal SouthEaster has been blowing annoyingly strongly and seemingly constantly for several years weeks now.

I’m sure you’ll be among the first to see some photos or footage assuming that I do manage to get up somewhere (ooer/careful now, etc etc).

Watch, as they say, this space.

Redmires

I was lucky enough to be dragged up brought up in Sheffield, located on the edge of the Peak District National Park. All the benefits of the city with the countryside right on your doorstep. Hashtag winning.
As kids, we used to cycle up to Redmires Dams (not actually in the National Park, but ever so close) and enjoy the fresh air and the views (and ride down the unused dam overflow conduits).

We never had quadcopters though. Whoever took this image has a quadcopter, and s/he has captured an amazing image of the three dams and the view down to Sheffield city centre.

This is high class dronery – the sort of thing I aspire to produce. I don’t know who took it (very happy to attribute and adulate if anyone knows), but it’s amazing.
Given the tools now at my disposal, the only obstacle I face is (the lack of) my own ability.

It’s a large obstacle, but it’s one I intend to be able to adequately fly over at some point*.

* please note: terms and conditions apply | no time scale has been set for this project | results may vary | it would help if this fecking wind stopped blowing | watch this space