All posts by Guest Post

How to get a perfect drone photo during the Golden Hour

The following is a guest post by photographer Max Therry.

Golden Hour is that magical time of day just after sunrise of just before sunset. During Golden Hour, it seems that the entire world is dipped in a beautiful golden glow.

The clouds are lifted. The sky is clear. And the sun rises or sets in a way that your images appear soft and ethereal.

It’s famously known to be incredible for portraits, landscape shots and also — aerial photography.

What Is Golden Hour?

Golden Hour (often called Magic Hour) is the quality of light that comes during the first and last hour of the day’s sunlight. During this twice-a-day event, there’s a soft warmth to the sky that yields incredible images for photographers of all kinds.

If you’re curious about when exactly Golden Hour happens in your city day, you can visit the Golden Hour calculator website. This information is also available on smartphone apps such as Lumy. Continue reading How to get a perfect drone photo during the Golden Hour

17 low-cost holiday gift ideas for the drone fan in your life

The following guest post was submitted by my friends over at AirVuz.

Do you have a friend or loved one who’s looking for a drone or some drone accessories under the Christmas tree this year, or stuffed into their stocking?

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), more than 2.5 million drones are in our skies today, with an estimated 7 million drones in the air by 2020. Clearly, whether for fun or for commercial use, drones are becoming a regular fixture in our day-to-day lives.

So, if you’re looking for gift ideas for the drone enthusiast in your life, AirVūz, the world’s largest online community for drone videos and photography, has created the ultimate holiday gift ideas list. From small items to entry-level drones, the list offers a wide range of gift ideas to fit just about any budget.

dji mavic pro review drone girlStocking Stuffers ($5-$10 + small items)

●      Spare drone props (DJI Phantom 4DJI Mavic), $8 – for a pilot who already has a Phantom or Mavic drone but could always use some extra props.

●      Battery straps for FPV racing drone, – the perfect gift for the first-person view (FPV) pilot who loves drone racing.

Drone Gift Ideas Under $25

●      AirVuz shirts and hats, $20-$25 – with more than 1.25 million content creators and fans, AirVūz is the world’s most popular online community for drone enthusiasts. Time to join the fun.

●      1-year subscription (6 issues) to Rotor Drone Magazine, $19.99 – for those who want to read up on the latest drone products and news.

●      The flying Santa Claus drone, $24.99 – the perfect gift for people of all ages who love Santa and drones.

Drone Gift Ideas Under $50 Continue reading 17 low-cost holiday gift ideas for the drone fan in your life

How AEB can help your drone photography

The following blog post is a guest piece from Chris Anderson, the creator of the site The Drone Trainer.

Modern drones often come with the possibility to capture mind-boggling images at several different exposures, and create stunning HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos. But with that comes an onslaught of HDR photos that are far overdone — and basically burn your eyes.

Here’s your guide on how to create natural looking HDR photos with your drone, using AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing).

What is AEB?

When shooting in AEB mode, your drone’s camera will automatically take three or five shots, each at a different exposure level. On their own, these individual photos are going to be under- and over-exposed. That’s okay though; once you merge them together, you’re going to have a thing of beauty!

Let’s work through this AEB example:

These photos were captured by setting my DJI Phantom 4 Pro to shoot in AEB 5 mode. To adjust this, simply go into your camera settings (right side of your screen below the shutter button), and in photo mode select AEB. You’ll be able to choose 3 or 5 once in AEB mode, depending on the scene that you’re looking to shoot. I find that for scenes that are well lit, AEB 5 works well as all 5 of the photos will capture sharp detail. Continue reading How AEB can help your drone photography

Drone mapping: what’s the difference between drone spatial resolution vs. accuracy?

“We can get 1cm with our drone!”

Have you heard someone in the drone industry say something similar to this?  For drone mapping professional Jon Ellinger, the creator of TLT Photography, which specializes in aerial surveys, geospatial data processing and fine photography, he gets it a lot.

So much so, that Ellinger wrote up a great guide to what spatial resolution really means, as well as understanding the difference between spatial resolution vs. accuracy. Here goes:

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With affordable drones such as the GoPro Karma, and DJI Mavic and Spark becoming accessible to people of all educational backgrounds it makes sense that there is sometimes confusion about what the specifications of the drone really mean.  Unless you have a geography background, are an avid photographer, or someone who works with geospatial data regularly you may not realize what a vague statement that is.  Grab a coffee and let me explain… Continue reading Drone mapping: what’s the difference between drone spatial resolution vs. accuracy?

What is FPV freestyle, and how is it different than drone racing?

The following piece is a guest post by FPV drone pilot BMac. Check out his YouTube Channel BMac FPV or his website FPV Drone Pro.

FPV drone racing is blazing a path to becoming the next big E-sport of the world.

While drone racing has been happening for years, some say drone racing became an official sport in 2016 when the Drone Racing League pitted the world’s best drone pilots against each other in high speed obstacle courses and hosted a Drone Nationals event. DRL recently received sponsorship from Allianz insurance to solidify a new 6 race series in major venues across the globe called “The Allianz World Championships.”

But before flying through extravagant obstacle courses, the people who are now professional drone racing pilots started out doing tricks and maneuvers in places they thought looked cool or offered challenging architecture.  This is the heart and soul of FPV Freestyle.

What is FPV Freestyle?

While drone racing simply involves completing an obstacle race course in the fastest possible time, FPV freestyle involves navigating tight corners, under trees, around obstacles and through small openings all while doing tricks. Pilots must do all that while having an understanding of their spatial positioning to avoid hitting the ground while doing a power loop or clip a race gate.

Below is a list of the suggested trick difficulties from the drone national championships official rules.  Each trick is awarded points based on difficulty. Continue reading What is FPV freestyle, and how is it different than drone racing?

The complete starter’s guide to FPV flying

The following is a guest post by David over at SkilledFlyer.com. He’s got tons of drone news, tutorials and reviews. Check out his site!

FPV flying — you may have seen it at a MakerFaire, at a drone conference, or perhaps even on ESPN.

FPV stands for “First Person Flying,” which is when you see what your drone’s camera sees in real time. Imagine it like a first-person video game, except you’re interacting with the real world.

What Are the Benefits to FPV Flying?

Traditionally, people would fly drones by line-of-sight. But this has some drawbacks. First, you’re limited to flying within a relatively short distance. When you fly via FPV, you can fly very far away (sometimes up to several miles). With a model like the Syma X8C, you can only fly as far as your eyes will let you.

A post shared by Zoe FPV (@zoefpv) on

Secondly, FPV flying is much more immersive. It’s a great feeling being able to see what your drone’s camera sees as you fly. For maximum impressiveness, it’s recommended that you go with FPV goggles over a standard FPV transmitter display. Trust me- it’s way better. Continue reading The complete starter’s guide to FPV flying

Drones will now keep your home safe

The following guest post was submitted by Chris Schneider of Awesome-Drones.com. Check out his site here.

At January’s Consumer Electronics Show, interactive home security company “Alarm” announced it is working on a smart drone that monitors your house. No, it’s not something straight out of the movie flubber where that little yellow flying drone called “ weebo “ flies around and monitors the house.

The idea behind this smart drone is that if an indoor motion sensor picks up movement while the homeowner is sleeping, the drone takes off and flies to that location, while you stay in bed and monitor the whole thing from your smartphone.

Alarm is not alone in using drones for home security. Other startups including Sunflower Labs, Secom Co and Eighty Nine Robotics from Chicago are starting to develop these automated security drones, though none of those are able to function indoors.

Alarm’s system is tailored to both indoors and outdoors, according to Dan Kerzner which is the Chief Product Officer. The drone is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight platform.  The drone also doesn’t fly around the property 24/7 (as that would be costly and potentially dangerous and annoying), but instead is only enabled to fly after the hours the user designates.

Once triggered, it flies to the location and starts recording and live streaming back to your phone. Of course, the sight of a loud, flying object coming closer might be enough to scare off intruders.

The following guest post was submitted by Chris Schneider of Awesome-Drones.com.

Building the future (literally) with drone construction teams

The following guest post was submitted by Andrew Armstrong.

Photo courtesy of Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich
Photo courtesy of Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

Drones and drone technology are being employed to help with not just inspecting construction sites, but also doing the construction themselves.

ETH Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control in Zurich, Switzerland is using drones to build walkable rope bridges. Referred to as “flying construction robots,” the drones assist designers with constructing walking bridges that can support the weight of an average-sized adult, according to ETH Zurich.

The marriage of emerging drone technology with 3D printing capabilities would result in unlimited possibilities for designers to envision the creation of structures that would otherwise be inaccessible by means of traditional construction methods. A designer could create design, such as a human pathway between two natural occurring cliffs, and use drones that possess 3D printing capabilities to weave a spatial structure that could accommodate the design and natural contours of the cliffs and space between them. Continue reading Building the future (literally) with drone construction teams