Is buying a drone for your project or company a true cost saving measure. Yes….and no, well, it depends. You want to account for it correctly and weigh the options, then you will make an informed decision. We’ve heard you can end up throwing a lot of money in the sky if you are not careful!
Owner and Flight Commander Wendy Whittemore explains how costs can add up quickly with drone operations.
We got to have a little fun this past Saturday with our #DJIMavicPro. The East Nashville Tomato Art Fest is in it’s 15th year & for the past 5 years, a large tomato mural has been painted in the middle of 5 points. It originated with muralist Andee Rudloff and is now an ongoing project funded by the Nashville #ChamberEast and designed by street artist Troy Duff.
This year’s theme could be called “Attack of the Tomato”. The image of a large tomato looks like it fell from the sky and cracked the pavement around 5 points. And only the drone can show that perfect perspective! It was a dark start so we did a time-lapse first for the 4am painting party. At 5:33 we were cleared for drone flights. The ceilings were a little low but still gave us the clearance we needed to fly. By the time the 5K was to start at 7am, the art was done and selfies ensued. See the final result below and stay tuned for more footage from the mural.
Every picture tells a story…and sometimes the story behind the photo can be just as fascinating . We love to share the stories of how we got the images because that is our motivation. We love scouting out a location, figuring what the best time of day is and how to get the best angle. The image below has created a lot of buzz in our office so we thought we’d share the story behind the photo.
The client hired us to capture their newly expanded water treatment facility on the Cumberland River. The choice to shoot at twilight was made by our client and we suggested to shoot with a drone to capture the water, setting sun and the facility from an interesting perspective. The sky was ordered about 2 weeks ahead of time and came in just like we wanted….ok, that was a joke, we can’t order a beautiful sky. But in this image, we could not have asked for a better sunset.
The image was shot in 3 sections and then stitched together in Photoshop in order to show the facility and the river in one image. The exposure of 1/5 sec gave some smoothness to the water and by keeping the ISO under 500 we had a very clean image to work with. The gimbals on the camera attached to the drone made it possible to shoot at such a slow shutter speed and keep it sharp.
Let us know what you think about the image….we look forward to sharing more stories behind our photographs!
Our very sexy differentiating factor or value proposition is that we have “developed a thorough process that gives clients better service & products at an affordable cost.” How very sexy. To tell the truth, it actually is! In plain speak, we have a way of doing everything around here and we all do it the same way. This minimizes mistakes, increases effective communication and does save time and money in the end.
What does this mean for integrating our drone into our product line….which has been the focus of our series? It means we diligently developed new systems for working with the drone. From the time a client calls about a drone shoot, our team knows exactly how to handle the inquiry, the pricing, the set up, the shoot, the ingestion, final production and delivery to client.
While the drone imagery has been similar to process once we get it in the office, it’s the capture that has been all new to us. By communicating often pre-shoot and collaborating with our clients and operators, we have developed a step by step system that works best for us once we walk out the door with the drone.
My mantra to my photographers and operators is I don’t want you to think meaning every decision has been addressed ahead of time and the operators/photographers can focus on safe flying and quality imagery.
We’ve all seen the viral videos and epic shots made with ready to go out-of-the-box flying machines, aka drones or UASs. It looks and IS so easy to click BUY on Amazon, unpack and learn how to fly and shoot with a drone…. the 7yr old in me is already out the window and down the street…wheeeeeeee!
There are guidelines out there. Hobbyists have been following them for years. And I’ll guess they are mostly for not running into things like people, buildings and other aircraft. As of this writing, in order to fly for commercial purposes (and that is anything incidental to business, not just for pay) then you need to obtain a 333 waiver from the FAA and have a licensed pilot at the helm. Later this year, we are expecting Part 107 to come out with updated regulations that may loosen some of these requirements.
In brief, there are a few basics that apply to ALL operators.
Don’t fly over people, crowds, etc.
Don’t fly over highways or busy intersections
Don’t fly within 5 miles of an active airport without authorization
Always keep the drone in line of site
Always have a spotter on hand
Every project is different. Builders know that. And as photographers we look at each and every project like it’s new and different. Our first priority is to safely get you the imagery. Period. And if it means we can’t operate the drone, we have several other platforms to choose from. (and they also satisfy the 7yr old in me!) We’ll have more about safety in our next blog post…..stay tuned!
Flight Commander – Aerial Innovations of TN, Inc.
*Commercial purposes as defined by the FAA is not necessarily for the all mighty dollar but might also be for internal use in a business. How to stay compliant? For now, apply for a 333 exemption or hire a 333 exempt company. In time, the FAA will publish Part 107 rules for commercial UAV operation.