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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Matt Kloskowski who’s a lead instructor at Photoshop World. You can take a class called Lights, Aerial Camera, Action! with Russell Brown at the conference.

Last week, I posted some thoughts about the quad copters/drones that have become really popular lately. I mostly posted about how I personally didn’t find them useful for landscape photography. This time, I wanted to post a few follow up thoughts.

Look for Patterns

Bill Fortney (amazing photographer, amazing guy, awesome friend of mine)shared something he learned while writing/photographing for his America from 500 Feet books. I remember talking to Bill about this and he mentioned that when he started the project, he envisioned shooting these large sweeping landscapes.

But when he got up in the air, and really got in to the project, he realized so much of it was about patterns. Patterns in nature and outdoors that you’d never seen while on the ground. And if you’v ever seen his books, you’ll know that his photos are stunning, but many of them are indeed patterns, rather than really wide sweeping landscapes from above. That brings me to another thought….

Lots of Options

Mike (blog reader) posted a really cool link in the comments to a video done with a drone. I gotta say, it makes me want to rethink my initial “I don’t think I’ll use it” thoughts I posted from last week. And it goes right along with what Bill mentioned about photographing from up above.

First, watch the video if you have a few minutes. And hit the pause button every once in a while to realize the possibilities with still photos.

The video is a perfect demonstration of what I mentioned on how these drones are game changers. I never questioned that point though. The video coming from these things is amazing, and it puts camera in places that were once impossible or too expensive for most to ever consider. Last week though, I was referring to photographers who are taking landscape photos with them and posting some, well, “blah” results (in my opinion anyway). But I picked up something else from the video (at Mikes urging in the comments from Monday). I paused the video on certain scenes, and it fits right in with what Bill Fortney said about patterns. There’s some amazing ariel landscape photos in these scenes – in just the patterns alone. Views that the person on the ground would never be able to get.

Anyway, just something to think about. I supposed the only problem now is scouting locations. It’s hard to see what the patterns on the ground are like while you’re still on the ground. But hey, maybe a little Google Earth will help out. I kinda want to get one now though… see, it’s like I said at the end of my last post. I may change my mind… or not… but maybe ;-)


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  1. […] An article about quadcopters and photography – Matt Kloskowski […]

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