Last week I talked about the new NParks rules in place to allow drone flying in most parks. Many people may have wondered, then, why I didn’t show much of the greenery and flowers/trees that I mentioned in that post.
That being said, I hope this post more than makes up for that as I’ve spent an entire session flying exclusively in this natural reserve in the center of the city.
Obviously, last week’s flight was super close to the changing of the rules, so I kind of improvised and chose one of my favourite locations in Singapore, but overall, I would recommend this approach for choosing where to fly & what to capture on Video.
Check for possible to places to fly.
This may differ based on your country, but in Singapore, we’re lucky enough to have a great database of places where you’re allowed to fly drones, and where not. I rely on Flywhere.sg to tell me where I can safely launch my drone.
I’ve experienced many people who were interested in me flying my drone these days, so just to be sure, I also carry a printout of the most important information (e.g. this page to show that it’s ok to fly in NParks). If this applies to your country, I advise you to do the same for peace of mind.
Prepare a possible time/date for flying.
Now, this may depend a lot on your overall weather situation, but I try to plan a specific day (tip: if necessary go ahead and block this time in your main calendar) to go and fly my drone. Your timing for drone flying may depend on your work assignments/days off/etc., but I like to go towards the end of the week as a way to unwind and relax from the regular schedule. One interesting time that I haven’t explored much may be to schedule some time flying around sun-rise to capture the beautiful contrasts/lighting of the golden hour.
Prepare your way to get to where you want to fly.
Some months ago I went flying in Japan around Lake Ashi, and my main concern was getting there and getting back to my hotel. Basically, this revolved around taking 4 different trains, interchanging/buying tickets etc., but I got some awesome flight time in.
If you’re just flying around your home (lucky you who’s not living in a no-fly-zone), or around your place of work, this step may not be as much effort, but consider it nonetheless. E.g. it might also be relaxing and inspiring to walk to your take off point and get some good ideas for what you may want to look at from the air.
Choose an appropriate launch pad.
I find that with DJI’s Spark, I tend to get the message that compass calibration is required whenever I place my little helicopter on the ground next to some park bench that may have steel legs, or maybe on top of some riverside fortification that may be made out of reinforced concrete. In terms of starting, the DJI Go 4 app will tell me it’s impossible to launch, and sometimes forces me to launch from my hand (which I’ve spent some time perfecting in an hour-long session in my parking garage). If you have the chance, spot an open area where GPS reception is possible, away from any large metal structures, and obviously away from large crowds or people that may be startled when they hear the whine of your rotors.
This may be the most important. Whether you fly your drone with only your thumbs or thumbs & forefingers (apparently the jury is still out on which is best), your drone video will be much easier editing and viewing if you are comfortable with where you’re flying. After having done all of the above steps, you should have the time, place and confidence to fly and enjoy the scenery, both while you’re in the air, as well as when you’re in post-processing.
This can’t be stressed enough. Edit your videos. Depending on the time you hit the Record button on your remote control, about half a minute may pass between video start and lift-off. Nobody is interested in you doing your pre-flight checks (which you should) – most people just want to watch the scenery and be immersed in your beautiful video shot from above (maybe not quite where the air is rarefied… but you get my point).
Choose the most beautiful scenes from your video, keep it short and simple, and try to match the tone of the video to the music (but more on that in a different post).
And that is – more or less – it.
Have a look at this week’s video & let me know your comments below and/or on Vimeo.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
As always, thanks for reading/watching & subscribing to my blog!
See you next time!