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View Full Version : Aerial Photography (AP)


TommyH
10-07-2013, 11:48 AM
Does anybody have any hands on with this here? I am looking to get into it and I know there are several ways.

Poles - cheap and can get you up in the air quickly. Just afraid of sway in the wind, if my camera falls to ground etc. I know I can pick up a cheap Sony NEX that would do the job and be lighter then my DSLR rig.

kites - can be even cheaper then the pole but you have to have wind.

Drones - I am leaning more towards this. I have flown rc helis in the past, have a small quad copter I am learning on right now. It is much more expensive, but allows you to go higher under 400 ft. Biggest issue is the FAA says you cannot use this for commercial use right now, only for personal use. Should be a law coming into effect but may not be ready till 2015 for commercial use. Learning now and having equipment can put some ahead of the group for this and may become lucrative for photographers/video if you have the experience. Much cheaper though to chartering a helicpoter for aerial shots of propertys.

Let's discuss, ideas, tips, other methods, open to all


TommyH
10-10-2013, 04:11 PM
So I picked up a small quadcopter/drone. There is nothing automated about it I have to fly it and be in control of it at all times. I have been flying in my backyard so I can get a feel for things and be ready for something larger.

As I learn to fly this thing I start digging up more info about drones on the internet. I can see this is something I (and others if they decide to do) will need to follow along with. There is of course all the people afraid of privacy and drones buzzing their neighborhoods and houses. I see their concern and there will be people who abuse the technology just like everything else.

However, anyone can go to google maps or earth and zoom in on your house. It might be outdated a little but it gives them an idea of the layout and things like that. You can be walking down the street and people taking photos or videos of you from their phones. Heck you can buy a pair of glasses or buttons that have cameras in them. No one owns the airspace, just regulated by the FAA

Privacy is pretty much already gone, except for in your home. So I can see the concern there. However the police have been using infrared and FLIR technology from helicopters as well as video in the day. As with anything new there will be resistance to it.

Yes I do have concern for military drones, but for photographers who want an elevated shot of a residence or maybe aerial shot of the mountain range for a new perspective. Or up and coming film builds who want to copy the animal planet style planet earth (they used cable cams and drones for some shots). This is are only option except for high dollar plane charters.

I can only imagine the regulations, possible license, insurance, etc. that you will need to operate them commericially. I have clients that I miss out on due to them need elevated shots for acreage. And I cannot compete with pilots who offer this for dirt cheap. I know there will be insurance to carry and pay as if you crash and damage property or a person, then you need to be covered.

Starting to wonder if this will really be worth it...

lorah
10-10-2013, 10:58 PM
That is really interesting Tommy. I have absolutely no experience or ideas for you. I do love the idea though. Real Estate agents use aerial photography a lot out here. Mostly when selling farms with 40 acres or more. There used to be a guy who would go door to door asking if you wanted an aerial shot of your property. He did it all from a plane. My husband has his pilots license, although I am sure he would need some additional flight hours to do this, but I could never do it. It would scare the beejeezus outta me. I would love to have an aerial shot of our place though. I think it would be amazing to see how our 7 acres are laid out.


AndrewW
10-10-2013, 11:42 PM
Yeah, I think the big thing with this is whatever regulations, licensing and such that end up being put in place for commercial drone use.

Have thought about drones for this use before, and it could sure work well for that. One will just to wait and see what hurdles are put in place.

TommyH
10-12-2013, 06:11 PM
Ya Lorah it would be much cheaper to use one of these drones/quadcopters for use like this and much cheaper. Even with a pilot license your husband will still have to charter or rent the plane plus gas for the flight. He would not have the expense of having to hire a pilot at an hourly wage. All that can really ad up though. You have lots of land would be really nice practice area.

Agreed Andrew I am sure there will be a lot of hurdles to jump through to do it commercially. I am going to follow things closely and try to be on the forefront of this. I think it could be a great business venture and to start getting word out of the possibility for this. Generate buzz so once it becomes legal people are ready to hire. Or have the skills in hand for local video production as well as maybe bigger things.

Even without using it for commercial I know movies are using them as safer alternatives to helicopters for some shots. But b/c it's illegal there has been a slow down/halt to using them for film production.

I just think it would be really interesting to say for a home thats for sale. Lets say its a few blocks from the beach. Well you can put that in the description or how much better to market that home with a video. The video starts about eye level facing the house, then you rise up about 75 ft or so and pan around showing the ocean 3 blocks away, plus maybe a nearby park or school. You then start to bring it down and fade to black, then with a handheld stabilized rig you fade into walking through the door. Followed by a fly through tour of the home.

Sure for less expensive homes it wont be used as much but even a 2 story high home benefits from elevated photographs.

AndrewW
10-12-2013, 09:02 PM
Sure for less expensive homes it wont be used as much but even a 2 story high home benefits from elevated photographs.


I would say even single stories can if you want to show the neighborhood, good way to show the houses relation to others. Though one could typically just use Google Maps for this.

lorah
10-12-2013, 11:10 PM
It really sounds like you're onto something Tommy! Keep us posted. I am interested to see how this will unfold!

TommyH
10-14-2013, 08:36 PM
I would say even single stories can if you want to show the neighborhood, good way to show the houses relation to others. Though one could typically just use Google Maps for this.

Yes I think single stories will show well in video especially if they are close to something like a park, great school, or maybe like a shopping center with restaurants and shops within walking or biking distance.

The only downfall I see with using Google Maps, would be it's only an overhead shot or streetview. I think maybe a horizon pan at about 50-75ft up would be an interesting and untapped view.

It might just happen that once it does become legal people that have been flying for fun might make the jump and try to make a business model out of it.

This is what I am using right now to sharpen my flying skills. I have a small low quality camera I might try to attach this weekend to get some video. I have ordered some things to build my larger one as well. I hope to get it up and running by first of the year. It is very addicting I run at least 2 batteries every day through this thing.

BLADE BLADE mQX BNF (BLH7580) | Horizon Hobby - Radio Control R/C Planes, RC Airplanes, RC Helis and Helicopters, RC Cars, RC Trucks, RC Truggys, RC Boats, RC Radios, RC Engines, parts, hop-ups, and accessories (http://www.horizonhobby.com/products/blade-mqx-bnf-BLH7580)

AndrewW
10-14-2013, 09:21 PM
This is what I am using right now to sharpen my flying skills. I have a small low quality camera I might try to attach this weekend to get some video. I have ordered some things to build my larger one as well. I hope to get it up and running by first of the year. It is very addicting I run at least 2 batteries every day through this thing.

Having fun is good.

let us know how things go.

AndrewW
10-20-2013, 10:49 AM
Thought this might be relevant:

Drones! Learn how you too can be shut down by the federal government (http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/84050)

CdnPhotog
10-22-2013, 04:36 AM
I've seen many, many video fly-bys on real estate websites for luxury or estate homes. I think it's actually quite common, especially in places like California where luxury is the norm. ;) The obvious question here is, if they can do it, why can't you? Is it just because they haven't gotten caught yet? Or does money talk, and the homeowners smooth the way for them because they want that epic footage?

AndrewW
10-22-2013, 08:27 AM
I've seen many, many video fly-bys on real estate websites for luxury or estate homes. I think it's actually quite common, especially in places like California where luxury is the norm. ;) The obvious question here is, if they can do it, why can't you? Is it just because they haven't gotten caught yet? Or does money talk, and the homeowners smooth the way for them because they want that epic footage?

It's legal, just using drones to do it for commercial purposes isn't.

CdnPhotog
10-22-2013, 09:18 AM
It's legal, just using drones to do it for commercial purposes isn't.

That's my question, though. These people are using drones. How are they getting away with it if it's illegal?

AndrewW
10-22-2013, 12:18 PM
That's my question, though. These people are using drones. How are they getting away with it if it's illegal?

Nobody has caught up to them yet.

Still a pretty new area, even if they do know about this use not sure any of the agencies involved would really do much at this point.

CdnPhotog
10-22-2013, 12:30 PM
Ah, that explains it then. :)

TommyH
10-22-2013, 08:32 PM
Ya, there are a lot of photographers/videographers who still do it even though it is illegal (for commercial purposes). You can do it for a hobby as long as there is no pay involved.

There is a big grey area on what will happen if you do get caught. Some people who are safe about their flying habits have less to worry about as they might not get reported. However, if they do get caught there is no real answer to what will happen. It can be as little as being told to stop by the FAA, it could mean a suspension when it does become legal, or more problems for them to try to become legal. It is such a really grey area. I can only imagine if you are doing it for commercial and you damage property or a person. I am sure they will throw the book at you to make an example.

The other loophole is they might be doing it for "free" right now to build a base and experience. I really don't think they are offering it for free though (maybe un-reported payments).

The biggest thing I think with this is unsafe procedures. You are taking a big risk as a hobby or professional use.

As a hobby, if you are not flying at a field with insurance (I have flown planes before) and you crash. Think of a 4 lb aircraft with a 3 lb camera (yes you can go lighter with a smaller rig and gopro and get great results), what kind of damage it will do falling from 15+ feet off the ground (anything lower would be best to use a pole). Not only will you lose the aircraft and camera, but if you hit a car that could be a few grand in damages. If the car is driving down the road and wrecks into another car b/c of your aircraft falling and hitting them it gets bigger. Now you have no insurance so it goes against the car owner and then they sue you.

Most use LiPo batteries which can go up in flames when damaged, a whole new level of excitement. Imagine it hitting someone as it fell if over a populated area. You can get sued and no insurance will really hurt you. Without insurance, safe practices, preflight checklists, etc. you are under a big risk.

Now make it a commercial endeavor. You better have insurance, one crash can lead to the loss of your business, especially if it's an illegal act. Hurt some one b/c you were negligent with your craft and you might end up with worse.

Until the FAA makes their decision on this over the next year, these people who do it now are taking a huge risk in my opinion. If you want to practice take it to a field where if you have a failure you only lose the aircraft. Or even an area with no people or property to damage. I think once the law comes into effect that more insurances will have to become available for this type of activity.

AndrewW
11-08-2013, 03:24 AM
Could be getting closer:

FAA takes initial steps to introduce private drones U.S. skies - CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/07/us/faa-drones-over-us/index.html)

TommyH
11-09-2013, 07:58 PM
I saw that as well. It's getting closer to a reality. I just love the comments, I'm going to shoot it down. Really you will unload your rifle into the air with no regards to what might happen to attempt to shoot down an rc item. I understand the concern for privacy, but those that are doing it to invade someone's privacy will just do it as a hobby, which by the way is legal currently. Or to deliver some sort of flamming bag of poop. Those that are looking to do it for commercial purposes are not going to take those risks.

I can only imagine as these things get bigger and allowed over the US, what companies like UPS or Fedex will do. I mean with some programming you can have them follow way points, take off and land themselves.

TommyH
11-09-2013, 08:00 PM
I have also noticed a lot of tv shows starting to use these drones. Which makes me question how they get approval or are they just doing it without right now. I know it's commercial work as that's the point of a tv show to make money off the commercials.

AndrewW
11-09-2013, 09:14 PM
Already been some companies considering delivery using drones, likely to be more as time goes on.

TommyH
11-10-2013, 11:35 AM
It's going to be a big thing not just for aerial photography/videography. Those that are in the service with training on these things can have a nice career when they get out.

I can't wait till Jan to start building my rig.

AndrewW
11-15-2013, 05:57 PM
Get Above It All

Aerial imaging using consumer-level “drones” is now within reach of any photographer. In this first in a series of articles, we embark on the steps to get started.

Get Above It All | OutdoorPhotographer.com (http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/how-to/shooting/get-above-it-all.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=OPeNewsNov_111513)

TommyH
11-20-2013, 11:16 AM
The 1st FAA Prosecution of a Civilian Drone UAV - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV0HEzQM_Uw&feature=youtu.be)

TommyH
12-02-2013, 06:56 PM
Amazon's drone delivery: How would it work? - CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/02/tech/innovation/amazon-drones-questions/)

AndrewW
01-11-2014, 02:24 PM
Professional Drone Shooter

I, Photographer: Professional Drone Shooter | Popular Photography (http://www.popphoto.com/Cheng?cmpid=enews010914&spPodID=020&spMailingID=5997309&spUserID=MTE1NzU4NTI4MDAS1&spJobID=360677367&spReportId=MzYwNjc3MzY3S0)

AndrewW
03-07-2014, 03:59 AM
Drone pilot wins case against FAA

Drone pilot wins case against FAA | National News - Home (http://m.kspr.com/nationalnews/Drone-pilot-wins-case-against-FAA/21053270_24851746)

TommyH
03-10-2014, 03:16 PM
hmm I typed up a response to this but it never posted.

This is both great and potentially bad news. The great side is people like me who want to pursue this can without the fear. Then once regulations do come into play we can abide by them but at least we would have built up our clients and this side of the business.

The down side is now, everyone will be wanting to do it. I am ok with competition but more afraid that people will do it thinking it's easy, especially since prices are dropping rapidly in this technology. That means more accidents will happen due to no regulations. That could end up looking bad on the industry and set the ones who are flying and working safely behind.

AndrewW
06-11-2014, 11:57 AM
Getting closer:

"Important step": FAA OKs first commercial drone flights over land - CBS News (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/faa-approves-first-commercial-drone-flights-over-land/)

TommyH
07-05-2014, 07:47 AM
And two steps back. It's a real shame, for those of us who want to fly legally and safe. If the FAA would just make the regulations and laws so we know what we need to follow and do to be legal with our operations. It appears though they are going after Realtors now maybe in hopes they don't follow the law as closely to get them to stop using pilots like myself. Since they failed in court to bring down a pilot with the fine.

FAA Subpoenas Practitioners Using Drones | Realtor Magazine (http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/07/01/faa-subpoenas-practitioners-using-drones#sf3520737)

TommyH
07-05-2014, 06:56 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeuKQ63w5lk#t=127

alexparker55
09-04-2014, 03:12 AM
So I picked up a small quadcopter/drone. There is nothing automated about it I have to fly it and be in control of it at all times. I have been flying in my backyard so I can get a feel for things and be ready for something larger.

As I learn to fly this thing I start digging up more info about drones on the internet. I can see this is something I (and others if they decide to do) will need to follow along with. There is of course all the people afraid of privacy and drones buzzing their neighborhoods and houses. I see their concern and there will be people who abuse the technology just like everything else.

However, anyone can go to google maps or earth and zoom in on your house. It might be outdated a little but it gives them an idea of the layout and things like that. You can be walking down the street and people taking photos or videos of you from their phones. Heck you can buy a pair of glasses or buttons that have cameras in them. No one owns the airspace, just regulated by the FAA

Privacy is pretty much already gone, except for in your home. So I can see the concern there. However the police have been using infrared and FLIR technology from helicopters as well as video in the day. As with anything new there will be resistance to it.

Yes I do have concern for military drones, but for photographers who want an elevated shot of a residence or maybe aerial shot of the mountain range for a new perspective. Or up and coming film builds who want to copy the animal planet style planet earth (they used cable cams and drones for some shots). This is are only option except for high dollar plane charters.

I can only imagine the regulations, possible license, insurance, etc. that you will need to operate them commericially. I have clients that I miss out on due to them need elevated shots for acreage. And I cannot compete with pilots who offer this for dirt cheap. I know there will be insurance to carry and pay as if you crash and damage property or a person, then you need to be covered.

Starting to wonder if this will really be worth it...

which quadcopter drone you purchased? and in how much price
Please tell me i also want to buy and want to get enjoyed

Thanks

TommyH
10-09-2014, 06:25 PM
I started with a blade mqx which they no longer make. There is a newer one that Blade has and there are several other brands out now for smaller sized ones.



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