Previously: Flying old-town Scottsdale
I woke up Sunday morning ready for my upcoming flight. I was not 100% sure where will it be, but I started to form a general idea and guideline for my upcoming videos: I want to stay within Scottsdale for now, challenging myself to make the most out of my city.
This time I made sure, during the night before, that everything is ready so I’m not getting nervous early morning before I got my coffee shot.
I prepared my cappuccino in a to-go cup and was ready to hit the road… going someplace… where? I don’t know yet, but it will be in Scottsdale, that’s for sure.
I loaded my stuff to the car, after I took the picture the coffee called “shotgun” so I took it with me to the front.
As I started the car, my gut decided for me on where to drive to.
I’ve been directed to go to the most north point of Scottsdale I know of, “The Boulders” at the edge of Scottsdale road.
As I was driving over, my mind was picturing the shots I wanted to take of the big boulders there.
As usual, plans are nice, but reality changes them every moment. It seems that the starting point I had in mind was not possible as it was just next to the security gate of the boulder’s resort.
Going back I found a good alternative starting point. Early on a Sunday morning, the little shopping area south of the boulder was deserted and was a perfect second option.
I parked my car, took a quick sip from my cappuccino and within less than 2 minutes my flying camera/toy was in mid air, fighting some unexpected wind. It was way more windy than I had hoped for, and my drone was jumpy, to say the least.
7 minutes later it landed safely and I continued thinking of my next point of view for the next battery run. I decided to go to the north side of the boulder and get a nice shot from that side.
I found a small road that goes behind the boulder with a good parking area next to the road.
This ended up being my best guess/decision of the day.
My starting point had a small boulder of its own and some typical desert habitat with a tall cacti and various other common desert plants.
In my mind I saw how I take a shot of flying really close to the small boulder, rapidly elevating to reveal the huge boulder a bit south of my current point. My surprise was much bigger when I got home and reviewed my footage. Actually I had three surprises, two bad and one good. On the bad side, the sun decided to kill my shots with these annoying dark scanning lines over my footage, and my drone was not pointing at the right direction to reveal the big boulder. But on the positive side, to my surprise I discovered an amazing golf course that was laying just behind the small boulder.
Since I had no idea what is the actual bird’s-eye view, while shooting, but as I knew of some golf courses of the resort in the area, I’ve decided to be brave and fly it far from me, the farthest I have ever allowed myself, where I could barely see the drone, and fly it around the entire area.
I covered some nice air-ground and as I felt the battery was nearing its end, I pulled it closer and decided to drain the battery closer to me and low enough so in case it dies, it doesn’t fall from too high. This led to one beautiful, and lucky, shot as I was flying just above the road at 15′ when a convertible with an open top drove just under my drone and the passengers were so excited, waving at it.
I did some additional flying over the local habitat and drained the battery completely into a safe and nice landing.
Next I looked for some long shots of the boulder, and yet again, parked at the side of the road, this time the Carefree hwy road, to get my desired view, not even close to be able to guess what will my camera catch once in higher altitude.
Although the angles of all my shots ended up amazing, and I got some great shots flying over the cars on the hwy just under the camera, the one thing that killed them all was these annoying lines over the picture, as most of these shots were facing the sun.
I need to figure out if there is a camera setting that will do a better job against these annoying lines. The main problem with them is not their existence as much the fact they are running over the picture in steady direction and therefore can’t be ignored when it is a video, although you can barely see them in a single frame snapshot…
Enjoy the short outcome…
- What you can’t see, can still hurt you, like wind, picture was really shaky
- Always expect surprises when shooting without a FPV feed
- Flying against the sun will produce annoying scan lines artifacts on the video