Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Flying Over Niagara Falls (a new video made with the Phantom 2 Vision+ drone)

When I first got my Phantom 2 Vision+ and took it for the first flight around my neighborhood, I could only imagine the cool places where I could shoot video and stills. At the time, I had no idea that I would create videos (since I am really a still shooter at heart) in cool places like Italy and San Francisco. And a couple of weeks ago, I was asked to attend meetings at Niagara Falls, and all I could think about was "I need to fly the drone over the falls!"

For a couple of evenings last week, I had a chance to take the drone over the falls and capture the beauty of this amazing location from the air. You can click the image below to see the video.

For those of you who follow my Facebook page, you know that I also brought my Canon 5D Mark III with the Canon 28-300mm lens. And even though I used the Canon along with the Phantom, I kept thinking that the DSLR shots were really nice but not unique enough. So many people take photos and video of the falls, that it is difficult to show Niagara in a unique way. While flying the drone over the falls, I was just blown away at what I saw on the display of my iPhone (which is used to see a realtime view of what the camera on the Phantom is seeing). I was literally shaking with excitement. And...yeah...I was also shaking with the thought of losing the drone in the falls. It is really easy to fly, and honestly did not feel too much trepidation about flying it over the falls. The people watching me fly it around were much more nervous about me losing the drone than I was.

For those of you wondering about legality of shooting over the falls, it was hard to determine if there were any hard fast restrictions. On the Canadian side of the falls, I was asked to bring the drone down, and told that it was not allowed. But on the US side, I never saw any rangers or security. In order to be safe and stay within the FAA restrictions, I kept the Phantom under 400 feet in altitude, kept it within sight at all times, and avoided flying over crowds. Really, the worst that could have happened is, I would have dumped it into the river and had a very short video of it tumbling off the edge for it's last flight ever.

Once I captured all of the video footage, I went through each clip to find the ones that were the most interesting. This amounted to an hour of footage. And then on my 5 hour flight home, I spent most of the flight pairing down the one hour of video (in iMovie) to 5 minutes. This was not easy!

After reviewing the video over and over again, I made minor adjustments to some of the clips and then needed to add the music track. I went to Audiojungle and listened to numerous audio files to find a suitable audio track. Once I found the one I liked, I purchased it and then added it to the video. Since the song was shorter than the video clip, I actually had to loop it twice.

And then it was complete and ready to share with all of you. I really hope that you have as much fun watching the video as I did capturing it!

If you want to try one of these yourself, here are the links to what I used.

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ (which includes the camera and gimbal)
2 extra batteries (each one lasting approximately 25 minutes)
HPRC Travel Case (with wheels)
3 of the Lexar 32GB 633x microSD cards (which come with a USB 3.0 reader)

You will have SO much fun!


If you are interested in purchasing any camera equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. I would really appreciate that.

And stay up-to-date with all my photos and videos on my Facebook page.


Denise said...

WOW! I am really taken with what you captured with the drone.
So lovely to see it from above.
Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This drone is a good way to watch for those pesky Canadians trying to cross the boarder into our country.

- The Guy You Never Pass To

Yaseen said...

Hi! Nice video! I am planning to film something from USA side this weekend. You wrote a couple of sentences about legality. Are there more pointers you can give about it? Do you think calling Niagara State Park authorities and asking them for permission would help? And if they did not like the fact that I am flying (without permission) what is the worse that could happen?

Just asking for your personal opinion on this since you have done it.

I will appreciate any pointer!

Thanks in advance.

Unknown said...

Nice sharing friend! I check your video about Niagara Fall that you share in this blog. It is very nice and looks like an amazing place all over the world. Professionally I’m tourist and like to visit in different and beautiful place around the world. I’m recently come back canada tour with my wife. He is a really nice place for visiting. It is the most famous tourist attraction all over the world.

Unknown said...

I have read this blog and this is a nice one:
The comdrone gimbal drone is something that has really become popular with the masses. The Phantom Parts Sale will be part of the agenda building process. The Real Estate Photography is ideally done by such drones because of the technological advancement. The drone survey is done in a really systematic fashion with the help of technicians and engineers who know their job well.

Unknown said...

Well, Niagara Falls is such a great destination for the traveling lovers. It is my favorite destination due to its stunning beauty and majestic views. I have been there during my niagara falls tours from nyc and had enough fun while amazing its attractions.