Travelling light with the DJI Mavic

The DJI Mavic is a beauty in terms of capabilities and design but the craziest thing is that it squeezes down into a small form-factor, so small it fits into a bag that is the size of a D-Slr camera. I am quite excited at the prospects of where I can take this quadcopter. Carry on luggage here we come. 

It is one of the reasons why I chose to buy it rather than another Phantom. I can grab it on the way out of the house and off we go exploring the local countryside of Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Dorset which are the most accessible places for us. 

I’m planning to take it to Wales and Corfu later this year. Wales is no more than a month off from now and I’m already envisaging aerial shots of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and lifeboat stations with the camera sweeping around them to reveal a jaw-dropping landscape just behind the main subject. 

I have to admit I get quite excited every time I see a drone shot on the TV and find myself trying to work out how the pilot gets such smooth shots. 

I am editing 3 videos at the moment to share in subsequent posts and then after that I will start a series of articles on some of our favourite locations around our part of the world. 

This blog originally started off as being a site about photography and finally I feel like I’m getting it back on track. 

Here are a few shots of what the Mavic drone looks like….

Drone Code

One or two of my readers were curious to know what the rules are for flying drones, especially over urban or built up areas. Here is the most recent document that has been issued by the CAA, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

I carry a copy of this with me in my bag, so if anyone asks me whilst I am out flying, I can inform them of the rules. I have been fortunate so far not to have had a single problem with the public other than just curiosity.

One question I had was regarding can you fly over built up areas? Well, sort of and my interpretation is that over property or people, you should observe a distance of 50m all around, to the sides and up above. Then over built up areas you can fly a certain distance away but not over the top.

I also found this article quite useful: http://www.aerialdroneimages.co.uk/caa-update-drone-code/Dronecode-page-001.jpg

Dronecode-page-002.jpg

Aerial Photography

I have recently bought a new drone, the third I’ve owned in fact and this time I have gone for DJI’s Mavic Pro and wow what a fabulous piece of technology it is. It has now been for 3 flights and I am blown away by it. So many capabilities and lots os features to try out and thank goodness for another long weekend coming up!

It shoots fantastic video at 4k and below but the camera is a 12MP affair which captures great stills too. Here are two that I took, albeit not from any great height just yet but I was getting used to the controls and it’s characteristics.

The location in the first photo is Frensham and in the distance you can see the “Little Pond” which is actually not that small.

DJI_0001.JPG

I was also drawn to this old ghostly looking tree…

DJI_0002.JPG

I guess you could call it a “petrified” tree? It may have been struck by lightning or fallen victim to one of the heathland fires that has occured at this location.

Frensham is quite popular for film making. It wasn’t all that long ago, I walked into a film set and began to wonder why I hadn’t been ushered away by security but they were in fact packing up and didn’t mind me in the slightest. The Hollywood stars had left the day before for California no doubt. The film was “The Huntsman”, so quite a big blockbuster. I heard the other day they are filming the latest Jurassic Park just outside Farnborough right now…. shan’t risk flying the drone over that, I may regret doing so!!

April 25th 2017


Nearly the end of April and so much has been going on that I thought it would be good to write a diary entry style post. The picture above was taken from where I’m sitting. It’s a cool day but very sunny and pleasant nonetheless. Listening to a Chiffchaff singing in a nearby tree and the wind rustling reeds. I could be sat in the middle of Surrey. I am but I’m in the grounds of Exxon’s UK Headquarters just a mile or so away from Leatherhead. The company I work for share office space with Exxon and my contract has been extended till end of July. They have massive grounds and their own nature reserve. Quite often see woodpeckers and Heron here. 

Preview: Farnborough Guide & Mapugo

 

Here is a sneak preview of one of my current projects. In fact this screen layout will feature in two of our forthcoming apps, Farnborough Guide and Mapugo. They are both similar in some respects. FG as you can perhaps tell by it’s name is a local guidebook for our home town with a social and interactive twist. We will be getting local businesses onboard whom can promote their services courtesy of a premium account tariff. Pricing is a little bit secret right now, we are still fine tuning those details. It will be sensible though. We know that there are easily a couple of thousand businesses in the area. 

Mapugo on the other hand will cover anywhere and everywhere via crowdsourcing to help us all find great places to explore. 

The UI above has a number of features:

  • Opening hours, so that you can see whether a place is open right now or whether it is due to open later etc
  • A map that shows you the location
  • A button that connects with your native mapping app which automatically givers you directions to the place
  • An Instagram powered gallery which shows the customers latest business activities

We’ve got a decent amount of interest in the FG app from around the area, we hope to move it closer to App Store release in May/June.