Last year at the end of December I purchased a drone. This is my second one — Maria got me a “starter” drone for my birthday a year ago, which I didn’t crash, but caused to quit working due to a software malfunction that I could not fix. It was a cool present, but it didn’t have the camera I was looking for. I was glad to pick up a DJI Mavic Mini from Costco. It’s really easy to use, and small enough that you can easily put it into a backpack to take places. It connects to your smartphone, and uses a joystick control that I had already became familiar with on the first drone, and a previous toy helicopter I used to crash into the ceiling and floor a lot. The drone is great, because it allows me to take pretty high quality aerial photography and videos that I would never be able to get otherwise. Drones are like ATV’s — they are annoying to people who do not have them, but are incredibly useful. Everyone is imagining that they are being surveilled, with highly detailed photos captured of them, but you have to push the shutter button to take a picture, or to record a video. This particular drone does not have a zoom lens, so seeing who is in the photographs is actually difficult, unless I fly the drone up really, really close. I use it mostly to take pictures of people’s cabins in McCarthy (with their permission) and to get cool shots from angles impossible to get otherwise.
I had a great time at my friend Bob Cook’s cabin when he invited a group of people over on a hot day for a swimming party in his pond. The shots from the air turned out really neat, and I had a good time chasing kids around the pond.
The DJI Mavic Mini has a pretty short range — about 200 meters. I think it would be a lot cooler to get one that can go a bit farther. My next drone will definitely have a longer range, but for now I am having a blast getting aerial shots with the one I have. I took a bunch of pics of Arctic Valley Ski Area, which I am going to reference while creating a new trail map of the mountain.
I had always wanted to get into flying drones, and I love flying this one. I’m sure it is just one of many I will own in the future. A drone is a great tool for an artist to have in his/her quiver of image-gathering devices. Cheers to flying remotely! I hope you enjoy the pics and videos I made with my flying camera.