Our Top 5 from 2017 – #5 Bridges

It’s my favorite time of the year, when I look back on all of the images and video we have taken over the past 12 months. Every year I am amazed at all of the great projects we get to be a part of. Some stand out for the great images we were able to capture and some stand out because of all of the gear we got to use (drones and cameras and go-pros!)

Over the next few weeks I would like to share some of our favorite projects, starting with two great bridge projects in Kentucky & Tennessee, the Ohio River Bridges Project and the Lake Barkley Bridge Replacement. We are sad to see the end of the ORB Downtown and East End spans completed by Walsh Group and Walsh-Vinci JV earlier this year. But I am sure Louisville travelers and residents enjoy the beauty and ease of these spans. We shot progress from 2 aircraft each month for the entirety of the project.

Over on another Kentucky/Tennessee Waterway, PCL Constructors is building a replacement bridge over Lake Barkley. Our coverage started with aerial progress and grew to including capturing key events with drone video and stills and ultimately creating a time-lapse video when they floated the span in place. Big Bridges, Big Results.

Click here to view more images from both projects

Click here to view the Time Lapse of Lake Barkley Bridge

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Fly through the Holidays

Don’t worry, this is not another BlackFriday-cyber-small-business-deal. We want you to enjoy your holiday, to relax and be stress free. How? By viewing our soothing creative aerial galleries and imagining yourself soaring above a peaceful world….

…Oh, never mind, we do have some things for sale. BUT we think you will enjoy them. They are soothing and relaxing, especially if you put them on your wall! Or your loved one’s wall, or maybe your boss’s wall to make those weekly meetings more bearable.

This season, we are highlighting the images we have on display at Lexus of Nashville. Every image will be available as a loose print (easy to take to grandma’s!) or a canvas print ready to mount right out of the box (impress your in-laws!).

Take some time to relax this holiday with a great view you can enjoy all year round!

 

Thankful for…

It’s that time of year when we take a minute (even if we don’t have one!) to reflect on all of the year’s successes. This year at Aerial Innovations of TN we did have quite a few  from growing our drone program to wonderful new clients with fantastic new projects and, as always, our fans and champion clients that keep us flying and shooting.

This year, I want to reflect and be thankful for our team that has come together over the past year and really helped to grow the Aerial Innovations Brand and Promise. Without the entire team, we could not continually deliver week after week. Of course we have our ups and downs like every team and muddle through when it’s busy. But this team has owned the work from day one and continually surprise me with their growth and dedication. Many thanks to the “A Team”!

Take some time to thank your team this year. And watch them soar!

It’s my birthday, too, yeah!

It’s birthday month around here…with five of us getting a year older, we thought it would be a good time to highlight some of the members of the flight team that make the magic happen.

All Systems Go! Tiffany is our production/photographer/wrangler on all things aerial and ground. She is the main contact with our clients and photographers and makes all of our images look great before sending them out. Here’s Tiffany on one of her many flights with Lynse in the back seat. Tiffany celebrated back in October with a low key party with her family.

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Now for the person behind the camera; Rick! The guy who flies, the man on the ground. Rick is all about the perfect shot, either in the air or on the ground, he will always get the shot whatever it takes. We sure have kept him busy over the last few months, hope he had time to celebrate his day earlier this month. Thanks for all you do Rick!

Photo by Anna Stout

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Ron’s birthday was earlier in October but he celebrates every day like it’s his birthday…or that he’s on a beach. We love the laid back demeanor of our go to videographer and editor. Ron has been cranking out some great clips of construction, Nashville landmarks and lots of drone footage. When he’s not chained to the Premiere Editing suite, he gets to play with Paul and the drone. Keep it laid back, Ron!! Here’s Ron & Paul on a recent shoot

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Perfect segway to say Happy Birthday to Paul…coming up this week! Paul is in his happy place when the drone is up and all signals are good. He has been operating for us over 2 years now (yay!) and can handle pretty much any situation we throw at him…over water and a big bridge, check, down a closed highway with equipment all around, check, cold of winter, hot of summer…bring it all on. We love your dedication, Paul, Happy Birthday

Did I say five birthdays? Who am I forgetting? oh…our office princess turns 3 this year! We love having Olivia Grace come visit us from time to time. Here she is asking the boss for a raise. To all of those celebrating Fall Birthdays, enjoy!

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Fall is the Best

Every season has its fans and things we love but at Aerial Innovations, we love fall best of all. For lots of reasons not including pumpkin spice (but that is one of them.)

We love it for early sunsets!! wait, what?? you hate getting out of work at 5 pm and it’s dark? Well, for us, it means skylines are lit up at twilight and make for beautiful images like the one below taken last fall. When it’s June, by the time the sunsets everyone is at home and the city is dark

Drone image of mid-town Nashville at twilight. Photo by Aerial Innovations of TN.

We love fall colors! Who doesn’t…except maybe those out raking leaves. When we get to fly over the Smokies or our own little Radnor Lake, the eye candy goes on and on and on. It’s these flights that make the hot summers, cold winters and bleak spring landscapes all worth it. 

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And we love the holidays! We are so thankful for the great projects we get to shoot for our faithful clients. Every year feels like it speeds up from January to December but now, in November, we take a breath and relax and just be Thankful. 

SkySupplies: A Creative Eye

Every photographer’s dream is to have the perfect light and situation to create stunning images. Since we can not control the sun…or the weather….or what time of day we shoot most of the times, it’s rare that we get to fully flex our creative passions. Oh, we use our creative eye on everything we do but it’s much different when we are hired to document an event as opposed to document and have access to creative tools like sunrises, fog and a set as interesting as one we had the other week.

Rick was asked to shoot for client, R.C. Mathews Contractors on their final concrete pour at Belmont University. Luckily for Rick, it was at sunrise. Also lucky for Rick, there was a gorgeous set, incoming fog from the sunrise and a willing client who loves it when we get our creative juices flowing. The results from this mix of freedom and circumstance are no less than our most artistic work.

The frame of the building creates lines that draw the viewer in, the fog and light create mystery and allow the viewer to imagine another world above the city, and finally, the choices that the photographer makes are his own based on years of experience and “seeing” how the camera can process the scene.

At Aerial Innovations of TN, one of our most important “SkySupplies” is our creative eye. In most of our past posts, we showed our photographers in action. In this post, we’ll look through Rick’s creative eye to see the spectacular images he created that morning. You can catch more of our creative work on our Instagram Account, which is curated by Rick Smith.

SkySupplies: What a Beautiful Day to Drone!

 

We know Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or UAVs/drones) are a lot more than toys. Still, they sure are a lot of fun. We’ve already done a series of posts about the common myths about drones, but there’s something we’d really like to drive home: successfully completing a drone shoot is not easy. This past weekend we were shooting a series of medical buildings with our DJI Inspire 2 Drone with Zenmuse X5s 20.8 mg camera.

On this particular shoot Paul was the Pilot (operating the “master” controller to the drone) and Ron was the cinematographer (operating the “slave” controller to the camera).

  It is important to avoid any interference from the outside world to ensure maximum communication and focus between the controllers. It is possible to do a one person set-up but the two person rig is safer, enables more eyes on the sky to make sure there is no interference and gives us more camera motions–definitely our preference!

During flight, Paul keeps his eyes on the sky while Ron is focused on the screen watching the video capture. Fortunately, the drone camera is crazy steady, so no matter the wind level or drone speed we are able to take high quality stabilized video. Included in our gear is also the Crystal Sky display 

which reduces glare on the screen. That is probably our most frustrating situation…not being able to see the iPad screen in bright sunlight. We also use an app called DJI Go which is our iPad operating system to calibrate, control and monitor the drone. It’s incredibly powerful and the possibilities are nearly endless.

There are a number of drone rules to keep in mind when shooting, and here are two key takeaways from this recent healthcare building drone shoot :

  1. You can’t fly a drone over high traffic thoroughfares — this is to prevent the possibility of drones falling from the sky and causing interstate havoc. Legally, we are only allowed to fly to 400’ and that is only if we are away from airports. The drone even has a “geo-fence” on it that alerts us when we are close to 400 ft as an extra failsafe.
  2. Keep an eye on battery life. Seriously. This will ruin your shoot if you don’t have an eye on it. It can depend on winds and how we are flying, but typically one battery will last around 10-12 minutes, with the Inspire 2, there are 2 batteries so we can get closer to 20 minutes of flight time.

Between regulations and technical specifications, drone photography and videography are not simplest tasks, but with advanced tools, talent and expertise it can be a blast. Plus, we get to deliver our clients exactly what they want.

Above it All…in Person!

You know Above It All as the name of our blog. Now, you can visit (in person) the Above It All photo exhibit! Our flight team revealed the exhibit last week at the Lexus of Nashville dealership. Over 30 images are hanging around (with some beautiful cars) through February 28, 2018.

The opening reception featured an artist talk with owner Wendy Whittemore and photography Rick Smith and was hosted by Nashville Arts Magazine’s Editor, Paul Polycarpou. A lover of photography himself, Paul eagerly asked about all things aerial including drones and HDR processing.

The exhibit will be open during business hours at Lexus. If you can’t make the show, we have some of the images in an online gallery. Below are some images from our opening reception…thanks to everyone who came out!

Wendy Whittemore – Owner Aerial Innovations of TN, Inc.