Dronie Sunday – 19 April 2020

Buckeye, Arizona.

On an early March day, we hit the trail with my Mavic Air drone in the backpack. Our goal, in case you missed it from my last Dronie Sunday, was to hike into the Verrado Trails area toward the Petroglyphs and capture some aerial views of the White Tank Mountains. There aren’t a lot of flat spaces in the desert that are accessible from a given trail, so we hiked along the Petroglyph Trail about a mile before we found a suitable space for launching the Air.

About the photo: The image above was captured looking northeast. It consists of two images merged into a single panoramic view of the large wash that during the summer monsoon season carries large amounts of water into the valley. In the extreme lower right corner, you can view what looks like a tiny trail. That is the trail we came in on. Just above it there appears to be another trail that wraps through the image. That is part of the wash that over the years has carried the occasional Jeep or other 4-wheel drive vehicle or ATV. It’s hard to see in this image, but between the road and the trail is a dropoff that runs roughly along the bottom of the photo. The road is probably 30 feet (9 m) below the trail we hiked in upon. This photo was captured in the upper half of the 400-ft (120 m) maximum allowable altitude. The dots of yellow throughout the image are brittlebush plants in full bloom.

I have graduated from Automatic Exposure mode when shooting with the drone. It’s basically down to one adjustment as the lens is fixed at f/2.8. I always use a low ISO, in most cases ISO-100, and that only gives me one adjustment to make. In this case, I set the shutter speed to 1/2000 sec. Viewing the image on my iPad controller, it’s easy to see what the exposure looks like and a simple slider allows me to select the desired shutter speed. The pano was created in Adobe Lightroom Version 6 using the Photo Merge tool, then loaded into Luminar Flex for final processing. To get a closer look at the image, click on it. Most browsers will show you a higher resolution image.

John Steiner

2 thoughts on “Dronie Sunday – 19 April 2020

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