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Droning on


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Droning on

3 Apr 2022 4:02PM   Views : 382 Unique : 218


It occurred to me, looking at the comments on my recent drone post, that I’ve written an article about drones – but that the little device itself didn’t figure (well – it was so much less interesting than what Steve does with one!)


So I’m setting the record straight with a few shots of mine (which is the same as the one Steve was flying the day I interviewed him, although most of his drone images were taken using a larger and older model.
The key factor is that it’s very light – at 249 grams, it’s light enough to be flown without a licence – although the licencing process isn’t as onerous, I think, as that for driving a car in the UK. There’s an amazing amount of technology packed into a small body, and the only thing that may be a significant debit is that it doesn’t keep watch all round for potential obstacles – I believe that more expensive models are able to avoid flying into trees.


The basic motto for flying any drone is to look, see and think about safety and annoyance value. There’s technological aid here: as soon as you link the drone and your mobile ‘phone, the satnav system identifies if you are in an area where drone use is restricted or prohibited: I found this out at a lovely location in Oxfordshire, quite close to RAF Brize Norton. A red warning came up that I should not fly without official clearance, so I put the kit away and reverted to a more conventional camera.


Anyway, here are some pictures showing how small and neat a drone can be: starting with a shot of the serendipitously-named Arizona Sky flying it, and continuing to a shot of the folded drone on a photographic magazine for size comparison, a shot of the ‘unfolded’ drone, and one of the shots Arizona took while flying it.


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dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2018 England
3 Apr 2022 4:07PM
Two flying controls: one of the small sticks adjusts altitude and rotates the drone: the other moves the drone forwards or backwards and side to side. A wheel under the mobile 'phone adjusts the angle of the camera, and a button on the opposite side provides shutter release.


The camera has a very effective and flexible gimbal which provides amazing degrees of stabilisation: in operation, the mobile screen shows the view from the drone. This is helpful if you temporarily lose sight of the device - it's a condition of drone use that the operator must keep line-of-sight contact with it. You can just see the image in this picture:

3 Apr 2022 5:43PM
But can it take out an MBT?
3 Apr 2022 7:07PM
Thanks for the information, John, Made Drone use more understandable Smile
3 Apr 2022 8:05PM
Hi John
I have upgraded my drone to a more sophisticated model with collision sensors on and a bigger sensor.
I still use my mini drone for roof surveys and still opted to take the mini with me to Finland a few weeks ago, although I wish I had taken the larger one with its extra flexibility with camera settings.
Glad you are venturing in to the dark arts of new tech, I wish a few more would give it a try.
If anyone would like a bit of help in the transition of drone purchase please feel free to message me with your questions or concerns and I will try and help.

Great article as always
your photo drone friend
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2018 England
3 Apr 2022 9:36PM
Alan - it would have trouble taking out a determined wasp.

Steve - that's a generous offer, and i'm sure it will be welcomed by anyone who's seriously considering dipping onto drone work for the first time. I can confirm, after interviewing you last year, that you know a great deal about the technology nad its application. For others - have a look at Steve's portfolio, and maybe at our interview HERE.

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