Aerial Views – A Gallery of Dronie Shots

Fargo, North Dakota.

It’s been over a year since I purchased the Mavic Air drone. For private pilots like myself, it is very easy to add the FAA license for Part 107 (commercial drone operations) to my rating, and the North Dakota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is one of the leaders in drone operations for CAP. I wanted to be involved but had never flown a drone before. Knowing that a drone would add to my camera collection and provide a fresh perspective to my photoshoots, I decided to buy my own for both training and photography purposes. I haven’t used it nearly as much as I expected, but some of that lack of use can be attributed to the pandemic. In any case, after a year’s operational experience, I thought it might be time to share (and reshare) some of the images captured both during training and on my travels. The opening photo was captured during a late afternoon practice flight. The long shadows and golden tones give away the late afternoon time frame. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 13 September 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Orchard Glen Park in south Fargo is my new favorite park. I finally got the opportunity to get some aerial views from this park of many apple trees. Finding a clear spot overhead would be a challenge, I thought. When I got there, I realized I’d forgotten that there is a paved road that loops around the majority of the apple trees. The road is wide enough to support a vertical ascent without having to worry about getting tangled in the trees. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 2 August 2020

Mapleton, North Dakota.

Sunflowers are a source of oil and food for people and birds. There are two different types grown typically with North Dakota products generally the variety for food rather than oil. The majority of sunflower fields are found in central and western North Dakota, but there are a couple of fields near Fargo. When I learned there is a field near Mapleton yesterday, I grabbed my camera and headed about 13 miles (21 km) to the field that is visible just off I-94 and southwest of the town. Since I wasn’t quite sure where it is located and I didn’t know if it would be photogenic, I thought I’d check it out before committing to a drone flight. Another factor for not using the drone is that it is a bit windy tonight. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 28 June 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of ours mentioned Orchard Glen Park in the extreme south of Fargo along the Red River. What we learned upon our first visit is that if we headed further south and then east to the Red River, we would find another park known as Forest River Park. The two parks are less than a mile apart and we’ve discovered they are a popular place for people to explore and bird watch. Situated at an “oxbow” in the river, Forest River Park is about 2000 ft (609 m) by 900 ft (274 m), with the main trail and several smaller trails wandering through the trees. If you look carefully toward the top center of the photo, you’ll see a large house with a red and white roof visible just below the edge of the trees. That house is on the other side of the Red River in Minnesota, the river marking the north, east, and south borders of the park. If your browser allows it, you may have to select the photo to enlarge it for a closer view of the house. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 29 March 2020

Buckeye, Arizona.

OK, so I took a break from my drone photography this winter. It’s been a busy season for me between Civil Air Patrol activities, nearby travel destinations, and even a Caribbean cruise (just before CoronaVirus, fortunately.) Part of my issue revolved around how to get to a photogenic place in the desert where I could set up the drone. The carrying case I had been using for the Mavic Air is a repurposed video projector bag that once belonged to a long-since broken projector. It wouldn’t be the best way to schlep the drone and accessories on a hike. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 24 November 2019

Howard, Colorado.

During this summer’s travels, we stopped on our way to Antonito, Colorado at Pleasant Valley Campground near the small town of Howard. The summer getaway place of our friends Fred and Ellen became a good place to show off the Mavic Air. We walked over to a part of the campground with open skies and launched. Located next to the Arkansas River, the view of an abandoned railroad track and gravel road made for a decent composition. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 20 October 2019

Moorhead, Minnesota.

The Red River forms the border between North Dakota and Minnesota and is one of the few rivers in the country to flow north, its headwaters begin at the confluence of the Ottertail and Bois de Sioux Rivers near the city of Breckenridge, Minnesota. From there it meanders northward separating the two states until it leaves the United States near the border crossing just north of Pembina, North Dakota. It finally terminates at Lake Winnipeg, the fifth largest lake in Canada. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 15 September 2019

Ogallala, Nebraska.

For an upcoming Travel Tuesday, we planned a visit to Lake McConaughy, a manmade lake and popular recreation area in western Nebraska. Today would be the first day I used photos from my airborne camera to add aerial images to my travel posts. I haven’t yet had any negative interactions with bystanders who are understandably curious when they hear that whine and spot the flashing lights on the small drone that I use. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Angles

Fargo, North Dakota.

This week Ann-Christine asks us to look at photography from different angles. As a landscape photographer, I often go to a “new-to-me” place and take oodles of images of the subjects at different angles. The goal of trying different compositions is that something in one of the angles captured adds a little extra something to make it a more interesting photograph. As her contribution to the challenge, she features a couple of fascinating sand sculptures captured from different angles. You can read her entire challenge post here. Continue reading