I thought I was immune to that common pathology that befalls many photogs: Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Meeting up last week with my old friend and long-time photog Marc Dease in Point Edward led me into the perilous calculations assessing if I could rationalize buying a flying photography platform.
This is Marc’s DJI Phantom 3 Advanced aircraft…
and this is Marc. Out behind him is Lake Huron at the source of the St. Clair River. In this neck of the woods, Marc and my Dad shot thousands of photos of passing lake freighters over several decades. Back then, one of their favourite angles was high up from the middle of the Bluewater Bridge, which connects Point Edward to Michigan. Now, with a camera that flies, Marc is capturing great shots of upbound freighters pushing a bow wave with the bridge in the background for scale, plying the deep blue water I remember so well.
Click through for a few more pics…
A familiar backdrop if you’ve been to The Point.
This is a surprisingly simple platform from the user’s point of view. The bulk of this rig is a massive battery tucked under the rotors giving a flight time of around 20 minutes.
It’s been interesting to follow the quad-copter evolution over the last eight years or so. Emerging from the DIY RC-flight maker community to a point now where…
the packaging is as slick as the iPad Mini (above) that offers a first-person view from the aircraft itself. You click a button to snap stills and video capture is equally easy with all files being dumped to an on-board microSD card.
Here’s one of Marc’s photos of the Sarnia Bay Marina (one of my long-ago summer employers).
This baby can fly itself home via GPS and sports a vibration-isolated gyro-stabilized camera, which sometimes…
shoots back. Meta! This perspective of photographing from on high is particularly interesting to me. I explored this in my Looking Down series back in 2012 with a 20’ pole-cam and it’s something I’m definitely going to come back to.
This rig will set you back about $1200 with an extra battery and you’ll need to bring your own screen to see what you’re photographing.
One more from Marc: here’s the Sarnia Yacht Club (paradoxically in Point Edward) at dawn.
Very tempting to take up this toolset. And now I’m more curious than ever to connect with some flying-photography friends back in Waterloo Region. Thanks for the demo, Marc.
At the edge of the province, this is Point Edward.