A Bad Day With A Camera

Airborne Event

This morning’s conditions were mild outside with no wind. That’s good drone weather so I figured I’d launch the beast to see what I could see even if the sky did seem prepossessingly grey. The first thing you learn as a drone owner is that what you see from below is not what there is to be seen.

The crack of dawn, 100m above Thornbriar Green, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-11

My timing was perfect as I caught the sun just peeking over the horizon in the tiny gap permitted it by this morning’s cloud cover. I’d love to be able to say I meant to do that, but in photography as with life, so much comes down to plain old, dumb-ass luck. I swung the drone’s camera around to the west to see what was going on there, and it was not a lot.

There’s no harm in looking back, 100m above Thornbriar Green, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-11

Neither image is spectacular, but they are authentic and show the reality of life in winter in a small town on the Alberta prairies. I did get some colour back by dropping the exposure value by -1 EV in Photoshop. Nudging the vibrance slider popped the colour that was there, but well hidden.

This is mission control, you are cleared for launch, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-11
High-flying selfie, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-11
Kit and caboodle, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-11

The drone I’m using for my aerial shots is the DJI Mini 2. I purchased it two years ago back when the Mini 3 was being released and shops were clearing out the Mini 2 at respectable prices. It has a 12 MP sensor and it’s very pleasant to fly and photograph with. I had considered upgrading to the Mini 4 Pro this year because it has a 40+ MP camera, but the truth is I am getting images I love from the Mini 2 that are perfectly acceptable when enlarged to a 30×40 inch print. What I have works and it’s paid for so I’m sticking with it.

I do appreciate having the ability to shoot from an elevated perspective because the sunset worked from above when it would not have worked at all from below. I remember my gran advising me to always take the high road, but I don’t think this is what she had in mind.

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© 2024 Sean D. McCormick

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