The perfect picture
A picture is worth a thousand words according to the famous proverb, but what is required to capture the perfect picture?
During my travels, I have built up a huge interest in film and photography. It has never been on D-SLR camera-nerd level, but closer to snapping pictures with the smartphone everywhere I go.
I would never for example stand hours in front of a camera, fixing lights and settings, trying to create that perfect picture. I would rather just remove my phone from my pocket, take a few pictures and put It back. Pictures can always be edited later, and it is more valuable for me to have 50 decent ones than just one perfect one.
I’m that guy that picks up the phone as soon as the food is served or when another camera-friendly moment reveals itself. This irritates my friends a lot, but I don’t care, because it is not only the picture I’m interested in, it is the moment. My phone is my diary, and with all the images that I have, I can relive all those moments without having written one single word.
However, a competitor to the mobile camera appeared a couple of years ago by the name of GoPro. This was not something that I was looking at straight after launch. I usually let my more technically hungry friend "The Monkey" throw his money at such things and then after a few tries I buy one myself if it’s something I like.
For me the GoPro became love at first sight, and a new era began. In addition to the excellent movie quality, the fisheye feature and the water-resistant shell, I found a setting that would change my pictures forever. The feature I'm talking about is of course "grab photo from a video".
I no longer needed to "capture" the picture but could simply film everything and then afterwards calmly choose the perfect moment when the wave just bent in the sunshine and download a high-resolution photo. Game changer! The disadvantage of this is that I still have a lot of material from previous trips that I have not yet had the time to watch through.
I have a GoPro Hero 4 and a Hero 6 to film my travel adventures. I use the Hero 4 during rough jobs where the risk of destroying / dropping / damaging it is the highest, and the Hero 6 when I want the sharpest video, and with a built-in stabilizer it can do things that the older one, unfortunately, cannot do.
The Hero 6 is also waterproof down to 10m without the dive housing that protects the older model. What I did not know was in fact that you could only dive down to 10m with it so when I took it down to 20m, the pressure became too big, and it didn’t work, but it did at least survive. 😊
As Instagram has grown more significant and the photo apps increased, thoughts began to emerge that it might still make sense to get a D-SLR camera. I mean you want to be able to create those photos you only see in catalogues and newspapers. But after much consideration, I realized that I would never carry around a big “look-at-me-I’m-a-tourist-sign”, just to create photos that you still can get pretty close to with today's best of breed smartphones.
Instead of an SLR camera, I went against my previous beliefs and guidelines and invested before "The Monkey" this time, in another type of thing that is worth carrying around. With this, you can take the kind of photos other cameras cannot. I'm speaking of my newest family member; The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum drone, GAME CHANGER AGAIN!
Do I even have to sell this to you?
Remote controlled, Check!
Can fly up to a hundred feet in the air and film, Check!
Can follow you by using a tracking function, Check!
Totally insane cool? CHECK!
So, since January this year, a new world has once again opened up to me, and I will be taking my photography and videography to a whole new level.
Sure, some rules must be followed, but most of them are common sense, stay away from airports for example or to only use your drone during the daytime when the drone is visible.
But bearing in mind that more and more of these drones are being sold, legislation will get harder in many parts of the world, and some countries have already banned them (Barbados for example).
When I visited L.A. this summer, I had to get a license from the FAA to use my drone, and it needed to have a registration number on it at all times. The United States has also banned drones in all of its nature reserves and stopped flying over 120m throughout the country.
It was tough to navigate in Los Angeles airspace where even helipads are classified as airports and are therefore off limits, especially in a place where helipads are as common as carparking spaces.
I simply have to drone as much as I can before it's too late :)