At Blueberry Jam Sessions @ Weeks Bay Plantation in Fairhope, it was a brisk but awesome day. The grounds of the venue were quite often and I enjoyed what I heard of the acts that performed.
A hill on a lake forms a natural amphitheater, folks lounge on blankets as a frisbee is tossed around in the distance. The wind carries a faint whiff of weed across the small crowd while kids play on bouncy houses in the distance. Food trucks dispense tasty goods, vendors sell their wares.. The scene is almost surreal. Everyone is having a great time.
This guy caught my eye. Right in front of the stage, he stands with his easel, painting as the music plays around us. I don't know his story and honestly, I don't want to. I like the one I made up for him in my mind, much better. :)
The Blueberry Jam Sessions was really cool. Most of all I enjoyed the venue, Weeks Bay Plantation - a downright fantastic spot for a music festival or any festival for that matter.
I was at this event to capture some aerial footage for future promotions and while there I ran into another drone operator and kindred spirit in photography, Zane Isaac. Check out his work! Always fun meeting folks with similar interests!
This year I was invited by a friend to tag along and do some shooting at the Fairhope FIlm Festival. The goal was to put the drones to use for some off-eye-level shots that could be used for next year's promotional videos.
On that aspect, there wasn't a ton for me to shoot (movies are indoors, most of the time!) but I did have a great time and got to meet plenty of interesting film-makers and artists.
During the opening night party, at Regions Bank in Downtown Fairhope, they showed Roy2k's Lake of Dreams. It is a spectacular look at Burning Man, shot and compiled into some jaw-dropping visuals. Check it out below.
As an added bonus, I got to meet and talk w/ Roy2k for a good bit of time about his Burning Man experiences. I really need to put work on a back burner and get to this one of these days!
Check out Roy2k's site here: http://roy2k.com/
And finally, an aerial view of the opening night party, shot from the Inspire:
It was thought that the early forbearer of Halloween – Samhain – happened on the night that the Pleiades star cluster culminated at midnight.
While, the current midnight culmination of Pleiades isn't exactly on October 31st, I thought it would be interesting to capture this on October 31st during halloween festivities.
I was privileged to speak with Will Robinson-Smith w/ local FOX 10 today about today's announcement regarding Drone regulations.
Listening to the news cycle, it seems like there is a good bit of pre-over-reaction concerning the idea of a drone registry.
At any rate, today's announcement is like so many others regarding drones.
"Something is coming, we just don't know what, yet but we do know when: before Christmas." :)
Having a drone registry isn't a terrible idea, promoting responsibility amongst drone owner-operators is a good thing.
In an ideal world, drones would be no-more regulated than a hobbyist ultra-lite powered glider. If a Drone registry makes the folks in Washington feel better about the increasingly-crowded skies, then so be it, it certainly sounds better than a full-on-pilot's license and there is something to be said about how officially-recorded personal responsibility can encourage safe-and-responsible use.
The Challenges as I see them:
1) Tracking ownership of any purchase has proven a bit problematic to the Government. (Think: Gun registry). Do they really have the infrastructure in place to do this? The answer is, No, not yet. When you purchase a gun you fill out a transfer-form. But, there is no national database for those transfers and those transfers do not cover person-to-person sales. Same situation is ahead for drones.
2) Officials have had a tough time defining drones. They use weight, operating altitude, method-of-use to help define them but these aren't complete. Defining what separates a so-called drone from a typical model aircraft is important. Might I suggest range-capability, 1st-person view capability and flight controller features as a starting point.
3) Who actually enforces a drone registry? Doesn't seem on the face of it that this will be at all feasible. Who stops and asks me for my drone registration? Is that highway patrol? Seems like they are busy enough. FAA Regional offices? How much does that cost the tax payers? Perhaps the drone registration should have light fees to help offset this expense. Point-of-sale doesn't even begin to cover where to enforce a drone registry, since - you know - any 16 year old with youtube can find parts and build one.
At any rate, anything with the name drone grabs the attention and fears of an interested public. Hopefully the legislation that gets formalized will be smart and agile.
The Drone industry certainly is. :)
My memories of the fair are pretty fond. I really looked forward to meeting up with friends and riding rides, people watching and eating carnival food. My kids, being 9 and 6 get excited about the fair and my daughter looks forward to meeting up a friend who comes along with us. Since Jena doesn't share my appreciation for rides, I'm happy that her friend talks her into trying new rides each year.
This year, the new-to-us came in the form of a hang-glider ride at the bottom left of this photo. My daughter actually rode it a couple times, I did too - it was awesome fun!
After the rides and festivities and spending nearly 30 minutes watching the model train layout setup inside the coliseum, we got the kids settled in the car and was able to do a quick flyaround of the fairgrounds. Careful to keep the Inspire 1 over surrounding fields and not over people, I'm pretty happy with the resulting unedited video. The lights always make for an awesome aerial spectacle!
The link to the video fly around is here: https://youtu.be/iDuez6Z6VKw
I was watching Smurfs, (the cartoon) the other day, like most grown ups. :) I had forgotten how magical the word Smurf is. It is quite versatile as a noun, pronoun, verb or adjective. It described people, places, events and more. Pretty incredible!
Outside in my front yard, I got down at eye-level to ask the Smurfs that live there if they could explain to me the grammatical capabilities of Smurf. Cars passed by slowly, I can almost hear them ask, 'what's that fool doing laying on his belly in the yard looking at mushrooms?'
Have a smurf-er-ific weekend! :)
Here on the Gulf Coast, it isn't common to have such reasonable humidity and clarity in September. Great for Astrophotography and Astronomy in general! This is a 10 minute single exposure taken via a remote observatory in New Mexico.
This particular scope was a Takahashi FSQ-ED 106mm. I love everything about this scope! Probably my favorite 'rental'! I like it because it is equipped with the same SBIG STL-11000M 10 megapixel imager that I used for awhile on my telescope here at home but with the better optics that I can't really justify owning here on the hazy- humid Gulf Coast :)
This is probably the clearest single Luminance frame I've ever captured. Once I combine them for color it should be a good wall-hanger for my office! :)
I've been banking my observatory hours most of the summer and I've scheduled out most new-moon nights out through November. Should be some good astrophotography opportunities ahead!
Somewhere on a marker board, a phd is scribbling physics symbols that we laypeople could barely interpret into complex equations that are thought to symbolize the nature of the universe.
I don't really fully comprehend this but the way I understand it is apparently some of these PHD brainiacs theorize that our universe exists within a sea of other universes and more specifically that our universe may exist on the membrane of an extra-dimensional bubble afloat in a vast sea of other bubbles. Maybe the Big Bang was an event spurred from the collision of two such bubbles or some other interaction of cosmic objects in this extra-dimensional space.
Still, somewhere else in the world a couple of young guys are sitting around a campfire, smoking a joint and having a similar conversation:
"Whoa. Dude, What if... the whole universe.. is like.. in an enormous soap bubble. Just floating... "
"AH man, what if it popped! That would be loud man!"
"DUDE! That could totally have been the Big Bang!!"
As a culture, we'll treat the first guy with reverence and respect. We will fund his research even if it doesn't go anywhere. The second scenario, most of us would look down on him and maybe even suggest he quit smoking so much weed, perhaps get a haircut and a job.
The point is that good ideas can come from anywhere; the Harvard grad or the surfer drop-out. Even if the delivery is off or isn't polished, a good idea is still a good idea! Sometimes, I don't think we keep this in our own pea-brains when we hear new ideas from unexpected voices.
Having not grown up on the Gulf Coast - I didn't grow up swinging a cast net like many of our kids do. I'm still a little fascinated at this form of fishing. At any rate, this little fella was casting off the pier as I was snapping some photos, I'm happy to have caught one of his better tosses.
I haven't posted anything in a few weeks, I've had a couple of interesting projects that aren't really photography-related underway that I'm looking forward to sharing in the coming weeks! More on that, later..
Our kids head back to school tomorrow and everyone gets back into a routine.. Hope your week, ahead is great!
Even though I've been working with Drone and Aerial photography for a couple of years, I sometimes still get surprised by how certain things look from above.
Take the Fairhope Pier. It is probably one of the most oft-photographed features of the Gulf Coast. We all know it has lights and they create reflections on the water, yet before drone photography became a thing, I really didn't consider what the implications of the lights would be from 200 ft up. The repeating patterns and lines are pretty cool to see!
Have a great weekend!
The beaches were a bit more cluttered with leftover trash than usual and the northbound roads were a bear. I think this all means it was a good weekend for the businesses on the Gulf Coast this 4th of July Weekend.
I stopped by one of my favorite Taco joints, Bravo Tacos and saw they had sold out for the weekend! Hopefully that's awesome news for our Gulf Coastal vendors.
As the BBQ and Fireworks high for the weekend wears off, I hope you have safe travels to wherever you call home and a great week!
I wanted to paint the scene for you, when this photo was taken because parts of it are a little humorous. The plan for the outing was there were a couple of motion sequences I needed for a video project. Basically, I was looking for golden hour light with some low and fast passes along the surf and a pull up and away to reveal the Bayway in the distance, the Mobile Skyline if possible.
I parked at Bayfront and made the walk through the Village Point Park Preserve with the Inspire suitcase in tow. This thing really needs rollers.
I noticed some cars at the event haul near the main park but didn't think much of these until I got to the Village Point pier. A small wedding party was hanging around near the pier, getting their photos taken by a photographer person.
One thing that I know for sure about most women, is that flying robots have no place in their special day. Armed with this life truth, I walked a comfortable distance away from them, in fact I kept going until I could no longer see the white of the Bride's gown.
I made one of the eagle-scout-project benches my home.
Listening to tunes on my iPhone, in a few minutes I was able to get the Inspire deployed within a few minutes and began filming. It was hot, it was sticky, there are creatures biting. Typical southern Alabama coastal moments.
I was able to get a battery of filming done between crowds and passer bys. Eventually, though - the session was cut somewhat short by some curious wildlife.
Normally, I wouldn't take photos of the kids that stop and ask questions about Drones. But these two kids were cracking me up for a number of reasons.
The boy had no reservations whatsoever to get entirely too close to the quad, even when flying. Chasing it, trying to grab it out of the air - all seemed like a great idea in his little mind.
I didn't see their parents around, so I cut my session short.
The moral of this story is, beware of wildlife during your drone adventures. If a wild one gets clipped by a spinning propeller, it would certainly be my fault, parents or none. If you are flying a drone and feel the situation is no longer safe - stop.
There are always more sunsets out there to enjoy. :)