Poor start

As I said, the plan was to be creative this long weekend, but it hasn’t started well. The fresh, open air of Agulhas is fantastic for flying the Mavic, but sadly, that fresh, open air is moving awfully fast right now (gusting to 60kph, nogal), and thus getting off the ground is a bit of a non-starter.

Equally, it’s even a bit breezy for long exposure photos. Not that the photons are getting blown around like the drone would be, but camera wobble is a problem. I was going to try somewhere a bit more sheltered last night, but the people renting the place next door decided that they needed to leave their outside light on all night because…  actually, I have no idea why. Anyway, those plans were also thwarted.

Flying is right off the menu. I might manage something on with the camera later, though. I’m not sure how right now, but I still have a few hours left to sort things out.

Watch (as ever) this space. It is, after all, the best space to watch.

No woman, no fly

The Mavic learning curve continues.

My wife was away this weekend, and I had big plans to take the kids out for a quick flight. However, the weather was weird on Sunday. Cloudy one minute, sunny the next; calm one minute, dangerously gusty immediately thereafter.

Not flying weather.

Still, that did give me the opportunity to use that title.
Silver linings, ne?

The purpose of the planned flight was to practice some videoing. The photography thing is coming along nicely, albeit slowly. But I look at other people’s Mavic videos and I want to be able to do that too. I did try a 4K video a couple of weeks ago, but my settings were all wrong and I ended up with a pretty much completely unuseable, 2 minute long, 1.8GB file.

Some reading up and a couple of helpful Youtube videos later, I adjusted the video settings and took the risk of popping Florence (for it is she) up to 50m or so to test them out.
Good news. The quality was excellent: clear and sharp. And “only” 150MB for a 30 second flight. So basically 5MB per second. I’m not sharing it here because it (the content, at least) is rubbish, but that’s not the point. Suddenly, there are a whole lot of opportunities open to me – the world is my whelk.

There will come a time (possibly) when videoing in 4K resolution is necessary/possible (the Mavic can do it, but my PC simply can’t handle it). In the meantime, 2.7K is far more manageable, and – to an amateur like me, at least – appears basically just as good [professional videographers fall to the floor in laughter].

Watch this space, because great* things are coming.

* terms and conditions apply. 

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

Ok. Photos.

It occurred to me that I could get seriously bogged down in photo and video editing. Especially that latter, since I have no experience in that (although I have taken advice from several Mavic Facebook groups and downloaded this free package). Great for beginners, but supremely powerful, apparently.

But enough of that – I’m getting seriously bogged down in telling you what I think I’ll get seriously bogged down in. Meta distraction.

The upshot is that I uploaded the photos from the weekend onto Flickr. Bear in mind that I’m still learning (and that there was Sport Mode to play with), so they’re no masterpieces. But when I look back at my original efforts with a DSLR and stuff like that, I can see how I have learned and improved, so hopefully this will follow the same pattern.

So – here they are. Be kind, be gentle. And please marvel at the gorgeous Cape Agulhas coastline, which really doesn’t need a fancy drone or a decent photographer to be stunning.

The videos? They – as I eluded to earlier – are going to take a bit longer. However, I have already applied to mobygratis.com for some accompanying chilled electronica, so that’s a start, right?

Droning on…

Saturday was rather windy, but Sunday dawned so calm that the only limiting factor was battery life. I soon got a rotation system going: one in use, one cooling, one charging and I flew for literally hours.

There are lots of photos – and even a few videos – but they need some editing (flying coming along nicely, camerawork not so much just yet) and I’m not in an edity mood this evening. Anyway, this was chiefly about continuing up the steep learning curve and having a bit of fun in the wide open spaces.

Actually, I was going to try some serious cinematography, but I thought I’d give Sport Mode a go first. 72kph and 5000 metres later, the whole shooting videos thing seemed a better thing to do another day, because there was some serious laws of physics and engineering which needed testing.

Thresholds and limits pushed, I eventually, reluctantly, parked up for the day. But every bit of promise was realised – this is what I got it for – and I can’t wait to play some more.