Music & Art

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!

Fun at the 2015 Fairhope Film Festival

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:

And finally, an aerial view of the opening night party, shot from the Inspire:

Drones and Regulations

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. :)

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: