I’ve always wanted to be a pilot. As a kid I can remember sitting behind a small adjustable-speed fan in the hallway, pretending to taxi down the runway and take off. After high school, I applied and was accepted at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University but couldn’t come up with the capital required for flight school. Since then, setting aside the time and money to obtain my private pilots license still hasn’t materialized but I may have found something almost as fulfilling.
In 2013 I picked up my very first drone, a DJI Phantom (v1). It only flew for about six minutes and took shitty, unstabilized pictures and video using a GoPro Hero strapped underneath. Frustrated by the results, I managed to hack together a Sony RX100 mount for its belly, which drastically shortened the flight time to a little less than four minutes but took much nicer still images… the good old days.
Fast forward five years… drones are everywhere. Consumer models routinely shoot stabilized 4K video and beyond, carrying 20+ megapixel cameras with thermal and zoom capabilities. I now own a squadron of drones and have officially obtained my Remote Pilot Airman Certificate with a Small UAS Rating from the FAA.
It is absolutely insane to consider the advances this technology has achieved in such a short amount of time. What was cutting edge and super-expensive just a year or two ago is now cheaper than dirt, and getting cheaper (and more advanced) by the day.
Drones have allowed me to capture new views of old haunts from a unique perspective, and (as far as I can tell) will be something I’ll be involved with for the rest of my natural life. So much fun. So much potential.
View some of my Aerial Photography.