Balboa Island Ferry

I promise, the next installment of Drone Girl Video is coming soon! But for now, here’s one final teaser photo preview. Yesterday, I had you guess where it is, but I’ll let you in on a secret, it’s Balboa Island! The sign in the bottom left corner of this photo gives it away. Frozen bananas, anyone?New Image

Meetup with other SoCal dronies!

Screen shot 2013-08-03 at 7.41.27 PMToday I met the fine folks of the LA/OC Drone User Group!

Let me tell you, this is a brilliant, passionate group of people. They fly drones for different reasons; some like to build, and others like to gather unique video. If you are in the area and interested in drones, this is the place to be! I came for fly day, where I met tons of people who have built their own stuff from scratch, used kits, and really know all about gear.

And then there’s people like me (ok, really just me) who have no idea about gear and just want to learn. Everyone is groovy and helpful, and I learned a ton! We flew around a big dirt field, and my Phantom held up against all the other spiffy gear these guys have. Drone people are great!

Video: Fire fuels prairie revival

More videos are coming soon, but to old you over, here is an uncovered relic from Drone Girl’s past:

I didn’t always fly under Drone Girl moniker. When I first got into drones, it was as photographer for the Missouri School of Journalism’s drone journalism program, the first of its kind in the nation, where footage captured from the drone was used for NPR-member station KBIA.

This footage is shot by my former colleague Brendan Gibbons, and produced and edited by yours truly. It goes to show the scope of images that a drone can capture. Imagine a fire that starts too quickly for a helicopter to deploy, or that is too hot or dangerous to send a helicopter over. In order to capture video of the fire, a drone is a relatively easy and cheap alternative, allowing us to see the direction of the fire and its size from a safe, aerial vantage point. Continue reading Video: Fire fuels prairie revival

Find Drone Girl elsewhere on the web


Can’t get enough of Drone Girl? Eh, I’m willing to bet you can. But if you absolutely, positively can’t, then find me on Twitter and Instagram!

Check out my Twitter account, @TheDroneGirl, to get links to some of my top blog posts, as well as links to other relevant drone stories in the news, and the most up-to-date information on where Drone Girl is flying next.

For photos posted here (as well as some bonus, never-before-seen images) in vintage, vignetted, sepia-toned glory, then check out my Instagram account. It’s my personal account, so you’ll have to put up with lots of sans-drone photos, including many from my kitchen documenting my obsessive cooking habit. But you’ll also get an occasional drone picture thrown in there!

I’m always looking for suggestions, so let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or through my contact page!

First EVER video: flying over O’Neill Park

I’m so excited to announce the release of my first video! It’s pretty basic (Drone Girl is pretty lo-tech, operating off a beater 2010 MacBook with a broken keyboard and made using iMovie). But I’m proud to have put together something, especially since that was one of my goals, as stated in my latest Flight Diary.

This video was shot entirely using my GoPro and Drone, and I basically just flew around the park, trying to get a variety of shots. Please comment with your thoughts and suggestions!

Video shot, produced and edited by Sally French, with music provided through Free Music Archive by Podington Bear.

Eyes over O’Neill Park

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O’Neill Park is one of my favorite places in the world! It’s a large park, pretty long and narrow extending past where I grew up. It’s 4,000 acres of chaparral beauty, and few chances of running into civilization.

As a kid, we’d catch frogs in the creek, and as an older person, I like to hike through it! If you’re really in for a workout, try climbing to the top of Saddleback Mountain! If you don’t feel like hiking to the top of Saddleback, then hopefully these drone images will satisfy your desire for an aerial view of the park!

But real talk, nothing beats the in-person, super-high view you get from the top of Saddleback. The drone’s image is merely the penultimate view of the park.

Flight diaries: Catching up with Drone Girl

Screen shot 2013-07-18 at 8.58.58 PMAnother week has flown by (no pun intended), and the drone is still going strong. But where is Drone Girl headed next? That’s up in the air.

With another week of flying under my belt, I’ve definitely been thinking more visually now, rather than just using a fancy technology. There should be a purpose for using a technology, and I think drones can put a lot of things in perspective via an aerial view. I’m recently most proud of my golf course photo, which I think accomplishes that. The photo shows the viewer how close the tees are to each other, what surrounds each hole, how large each hole is, etc. That’s something that your standard golf match photo can’t show. I studied photojournalism in college, so now that I’m better at flying, I want to think about good photography practices — visually appealing images (ie the good ole’ rule of thirds, leading lines, etc) that don’t just rely on the novelty factory of an aerial angle.

I’m considering doing video. It’ll take more time and effort, but in the next few weeks, I’m going to experiment with short videos. Stay tuned, and thanks for keeping up with Drone Girl!