There's been a huge explosion in the drone community with the technology improving, costs dropping, and interest skyrocketing. I jumped on the bandwagon in late May of 2016 when I bought my first drone, a 3DR Solo. I spent a long time weighing the Solo against the Phantom 3...but that's a discussion for a different post. I purchased my drone just a week before flying to Sydney, Australia, to work for 3 months on Aladdin.
When I first got to Sydney, I took it out a few times to practice my piloting, just playing around. There was a park nearby to our hotel, Hyde Park, where I'd take the drone after load-in days for a few short flights. Since it was Australian winter, the sun set early, not giving me much daylight in which to fly my Solo. Whenever I was flying my drone, I'd leave the video recording, so as to catch any fleeting moments that might occur. Having no experience in either flying or videography, a lot of the footage isn't good enough, in my opinion, to share, but I was making progress.
One weekend, pretty far into my time in Sydney, a few of us decided to take advantage of some gorgeous weather and trek the Bondi-Coogee Coastal Trail, a 6km walk from, you guessed it, Bondi beach to Coogee beach along the coastline of Sydney. It was perfect weather: clear skies, warm shining sun, a bit of a breeze, and 75º. This is a winter I could get used to! Because it was such a beautiful day, I decided to pack my drone along. It's a large backpack, but not a heavy one. I had no doubt I could survive a 6km walk with it.
I asked the group if we could take a little break as we arrived at Bundock Park so that I could pull the drone out. No other spot had quite grabbed me, but this had rock, surf, vistas, and people - lots to look at. Now, because of a previous, ah, "incident", (my drone flew itself into a tree) I was able to control the GoPro and gimbal, but wasn't able to get the live video feed back to my controller, so even though I was able to point the camera in various directions, I had no way of seeing what the camera was seeing. I could only orchestrate the shots based on what I thought the GoPro was looking at. At times it was over 200' away from me...accurately framing a shot wasn't easy. Luckily, the lens is a nice wide-angle lens, so most of the time, I was capturing what I wanted to. I find the biggest draw-back to not being able to see what the camera was seeing is that a lot of the tilt up and down moves feel very sudden and fast, not smooth and cinematic.
A lot of my footage isn't worthy of sharing, but I was able to put together a minute-long sequence of clips that I thought worked well together and showed the beauty of the park. This part of the project became my first foray into editing video with Final Cut Pro X (thanks, Apple, for the 30-day free trial!) which, without bothering to try any tutorials or read any instructions, was a lot of trial-and-error. Mostly error. But I got there in the end! Even added some titles, did some color correction, and added in the music that I wrote in Logic for this short piece.
It's definitely a first stab at videography. There are a lot of things I wish were different, but that's why I'm doing this - to try, review, learn, and try again! I hope you enjoy!