When I was younger I wanted to become an airline pilot but quit instruction after throwing up in the little Cessna 152 in which I trained. I tried getting over it and had a very patient instructor, but at the time (28 years ago) I found it was not for me.
I never lost that love for being up in the air. Well, once I did, with the help of some pretty bad turbulence on approach to Reno maybe 23 years ago. I swore off flying and stuck with it for maybe a year. It helped that I had no where to go at the time.
But then jobs forced me back into the air as I traveled for work to Utah, New York, California and elsewhere. I fell back in love with flying and lust for it to this very day.
This is partially why I own a small unmanned aerial vehicle (sUAV) or drone. I bought a DJI Phantom 4 back in September and passed my FAA commercial Part 107 certification in October. While the certification is not needed to simply fly, it does allow me to get paid to use the drone for aerial photos and video.
I don’t fly as much as I’d like, but I have been happy with the flights I’ve taken. There are new limits now as compared to when I last owned a drone in 2014, such as not being allowed higher than 400′ (with good reason), but that has not diminished the thrill for me. I love the point of view from up there.
More so, I love that a drone can get me into a position for a shot I would otherwise miss. This shot from Opaekaa Falls on Kauai, for instance.
From the parking lot the plunge pool is not visible. The falls disappear into the treeline. But from just 60′ up, it all becomes clear.
Or this residential shot, which was taken 20′ up and made as a multi-image panorama.
I’ve been employing the Phantom with some recent residential and commercial real estate shoots with positive results. Take a look here and let me know if you know anyone who needs real estate images for their property.
Otherwise, enjoy the slideshow below for some additional aerial images. More will surely follow!