It all started when the muse and I moved to a rural area in Northern Virginia. We had lived most of our lives in New York City and this was the wide open spaces. The back of our house faces west and we were ready for some great sunsets. Unfortunately, our view was blocked by a lot of very tall trees and by a mountain range that rose about 1300 feet. You can see lots of trees and the mountain in the picture above.
So we started looking for an answer. Our first thought was to build a tower behind the house, perhaps 100 feet tall. This would let us see beyond the trees, but the mountain is still in the way. (As a side effect, the mountain gives a sunset about twenty minutes early.)
The tower, however, proved to be impractical. Another dream dies aborning. And that was it, until I saw the earliest mentions of hobbyist drones that could carry a camera. Hmm… Maybe there was an answer after all.
But I had to wait. The earliest hobby drones were primitive and difficult to fly, and their cameras had low resolution.
So I waited some more. I had expected the future of these aircraft to come from Silicon Valley, but instead they were designed and built in China. Finally, towards the end of 2016, DJI announced the Mavic. It was ultra-sophisticated in what it could do, but still easy for a beginner like me to fly. Sort of an aerial Volkswagen. And it has a pretty good camera, as you'll be seeing shortly.
So I bought one about four months ago. Even though it was the dead of winter (January), I started flying on any day the weather would permit. Since then, I've made over 150 flights, the furthest to about three miles distant. And to a height of over 1600 feet. I've seen well past the mountain.
This has been a voyage of discovery. I've found many new subjects and explored new ways of creating pictures. There have been lots of technical challenges and unforeseen problems. But this only adds to the fun.
At this point, I feel that I am slowly becoming one with the aircraft as a flying tripod and with the camera, shooting both stills and video. In following posts, I'll pass along some pictures that I created, some discoveries that I've made, and a little bit of what it's like to see the world from a different viewpoint.
Copyright 1958-2017 Tony & Marilyn Karp