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Three Tips For Amazing Drone Photos: Drone Adventurer Shares Secrets from his Masterclass

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Johan Vandenhecke is a professional drone photographer based out of Belgium. He’s traveled the world for the perfect shot – and now, he’s developed the Drone Adventurer Masterclass to share his skills with drone enthusiasts and pros who want to up their game. Here, Johan shares his top three tips for amazing drone photos.
“It takes more than these 3 tips to take amazing drone shots,” says Johan. “You need to learn about settings, filters, composition, subjects, story telling, editing in Lightroom, and selling yourself to partners/brands.
However, these are 3 easy strategies that anyone can apply today to improve their images.”
1) Shoot during golden hour
“This one might seem cliche, but I can’t stress the golden hour enough,” says Johan. “I still see so many drone shots taken during the day with harsh sunlight.”
“Golden hour happens during the first hour of sunlight in the morning or the last hour in the evening,” Johan explains. “The big advantage is that you’ll have soft yellow-orange light and long shadows which will add a touch of magic to your photo. Of course, shooting during golden hour takes a bit more planning, but I assure you the result will be so much better!”
three tips for amazing drone photos2) Use AEB photo mode
“I discovered this one quite early on in my drone career, but I don’t have the impression it’s widely used among drone photographers,” says Johan. “AEB stands for “Auto Exposure Bracketing,” and it basically means you’ll take 5 photos at the same time, instead of just 1,” he explains. “Each photo will have a slightly different exposure, so you capture all the highlights and all the details in the shadows. Afterwards you can merge them into 1 HDR photo, which will have so much more dynamic range to work with.”
“A good example is a drone photo that includes a subject with some shadow bits and a beautiful sky in the background. If you don’t want your sky to be blown out and still have those nice clouds, that’s where AEB comes in handy.”
3) Don’t be afraid to fly (legally, of course.)
“I know it’s an expensive piece of equipment and yes, it can crash,” says Johan. “But that doesn’t mean you should treat it like your grandma’s porcelain dishes! Your drone is definitely smarter than you. It will stay in the air and even come back when you lose the connection.” (Johan uses a Mavic 2 Pro.)
“So, practice a lot, push it to its limits, fly out even when its windy, fly over water, behind trees or rocks … because that’s where you’ll take your best photos.”
three tips for amazing drone photosJohan Vandenhecke is a professional drone photographer from Belgium. For the last 2 years, Johan has traveled all over the world to take the most beautiful and creative drone shots with his Mavic 2 Pro.
Over the last 6 months, Johan has developed the first ever Drone Adventurer Masterclass, where he teaches you exactly how to take those amazing drone shots and cinematic videos. “I take you from drone pilot to confident Drone Adventurer, just like me!,” says Johan. Follow Johan at his website, www.johandroneadventures.com or on Instagram.

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The government blacklisted DJI drones, but some drone companies are more confused than worried

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‘In the short term, we don’t see a big problem here’

Last week, the US Department of Commerce put Chinese drone maker DJI on its Entity List, limiting how it can work with US companies. The news startled DJI’s huge American user base, including companies that rely on DJI for entire fleets of commercial drones. But it’s likely less onerous than it initially sounded — even if, like many Trump administration decisions, it comes with a dose of uncertainty.

The Trump administration has repeatedly used sanctions to crack down on Chinese tech giants, sometimes on nebulous or disputed grounds. It banned US companies from dealing with Huawei and ZTE, and it’s pursued confusing, legally ambiguous bans on the Chinese social apps WeChat and TikTok. While the Entity List is primarily meant for restricting companies that threaten national security, DJI is being censured for enabling “wide-scale human rights abuses within China,” following reports that it provided surveillance drones for Chinese detention camps.
“Banning DJI would devastate the US drone industry — but that’s seemingly not happening”

Completely banning DJI drones would be a catastrophic blow to the industry — but early indications suggest that’s not happening. DJI dominates hobbyist and commercial small drone sales, thanks to its comparatively low prices, sophisticated designs, and early entry to the market. “It’s the equivalent of taking Apple out of the smartphone game,” says Daniel Windham, a geographic information system (GIS) specialist who works with DJI drones.

After the announcement, however, DJI asserted that Americans could still buy its products. “DJI is disappointed in the US Department of Commerce’s decision. Customers in America can continue to buy and use DJI products normally,” the company said in a statement.

That tallies with other companies’ interpretation of the order. “The challenge with the order has been just figuring it out,” says Mike Winn, CEO of drone data analysis company DroneDeploy. “Our understanding, after talking to lots of experts and lawyers, is that US companies are restricted from exporting US technologies.” Companies can get around this by applying for a license — something that has allowed Intel, for instance, to continue working with Huawei. “I think in the short term, we don’t see a big problem here.”
““At this point, we simply don’t have enough data.””

Limiting engagement with DJI could still cause trouble for companies that sell components to the company, and it could force DJI to adapt its supply chain. But for people buying, using, and reselling the drones, it would be less of a problem. “Often, this type of order restricts a foreign company from purchasing US products. If that is the case, there would be zero impact,” says Kerry Garrison, general manager of drone vendor Multicopter Warehouse. Garrison notes that the federal government had already placed restrictions on buying the Chinese-made drones, although it could cause larger problems if the government bans using federal grants to buy them. “At this time, we simply don’t have enough data yet to really know for sure what this will all amount to.”

The Trump administration announced its ban just a month before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office, and it’s unclear what tack Biden will take toward the drone maker. But Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, believes there’s not much political appetite for loosening restrictions on China. “Any of these actions that they would reverse would have a political cost,” Chorzempa says. And since DJI isn’t accused of violating a concrete sanctions rule or creating a specific technical vulnerability, there’s not a simple fix for getting taken off the list.

Even if the ban stands, though, DJI’s business may be unusually well-structured to withstand cutoffs. “While I’m sure there’s going to be some changes for DJI, they are a very highly vertically integrated company and they produce a lot of their own hardware,” says Winn. DJI’s drones benefit immensely from US-made software applications, but these are built on top of DJI’s own software development kit. It’s not tied to an American-made operating system the way that phone maker Huawei depended on Google — a dependence that has locked phone buyers out of popular Android apps.
“Rivals have still called to “think twice” about using DJI”

Some competitors have nonetheless hailed the DJI ban as an opportunity. The decision “sends an unmistakable signal to the marketplace: companies should think twice about doing business with a known violator of human rights,” said Brendan Groves, the policy head at rival drone company Skydio. Similarly, open-source drone platform Auterion argued that the blacklisting would make “every transaction” with DJI a legal risk, pushing businesses toward US-made alternatives.

But Winn doesn’t think DJI will be supplanted anytime soon. “We think it’s very exciting that there are more options. But the reality is that DJI has about 75 percent market share.” If it were truly shut out of the American market, it would leave a “big, big hole” to fill. “We don’t yet know of a company that could do that,” he says.

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Drones for Organ Transplants: MissionGO and AlarisPro Transport First Human Pancreas via UAV

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Game changing technology for a critical mission in healthcare: drones for organ transplants are proving their worth.  “MissionGO, a leader in unmanned aircraft solutions that is transforming logistics; LifeSource, the organ procurement organization (OPO) serving the upper Midwest; and Mercy Hospital, part of the Allina Health system, today announced the first-ever test flight carrying a human pancreas via […]

The post Drones for Organ Transplants: MissionGO and AlarisPro Transport First Human Pancreas via UAV appeared first on DRONELIFE.

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FAA Admin Steve Dickson Announces New ARC for BVLOS Flight

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At last week’s UAS Symposium, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson delivered a keynote address outlining the progress that the FAA has made in delivering drone rules: Ops Over People, Ops Over Moving Vehicles, Remote ID.  Dickson also had very good news about the next big step in drone regulation, announcing a new ARC for BVLOS flight. […]

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FAA UAS Symposium: Rep. Rick Larson and “Perspectives from Capitol Hill” on Drone Integration

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Last week’s virtual FAA UAS Symposium, a joint event sponsored by AUVSI and the FAA, featured a wide range of speakers from the regulatory and drone communities.  In “Perspectives from Capitol Hill”, Rep. Rick Larson, Chair of the House Aviation Sub Committee, explained how law makers approach the complex issues of drone integration into the […]

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Joby Aviation Inks Major Deal to Snag Parking Spots for Urban Air Taxis

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Visions of autonomous, passenger drones flitting across futuristic cityscapes are still riding a fine line between reality and sci-fi. However, with companies such as EHang and Sikorsky leading the charge, that future may be closer than we think; but the first, aerial baby steps towards a real-world, air taxi service will likely take the form […]

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Heavy Lift Tethered Drone Flies for a Week: Zenith AeroTech Celebrates 108 Hours of Uninterrupted Flight

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Zenith AeroTech has flown it’s heavy lift tethered drone, the Quad 8 multi-rotor, for more than 108 hours of continuous flight. Zenith AeroTech is a leading developer of heavy-lift tethered aerial vehicles, known as TAVs. Tethered drones are ideal for persistent surveillance applications, where both flight endurance and the ability to hover in one place are […]

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Measure and Parrot Integration: Measure Ground Control and Parrot ANAFI Drones

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The new Measure and Parrot integration: Ground Control with ANAFI drone platforms enables a simplified end-to-end solution, which the companies say will help enterprise drone fleets scale rapidly. Measure has seen some big changes: the company was recently acquired by AgEagle™ Aerial Systems Inc. (NYSE American: UAVS) (“AgEagle” or the “Company”), and Measure’s Brandon Declet Torres […]

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Urban Air Mobility in Latin America: a Mobility Revolution

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Urban Air Mobility in Latin America is taking off – and with it comes the opportunity to revolutionize transportation and leapfrog traditional cost per mile transportation infrastructure. By: Dawn Zoldi When most people talk about Urban Air Mobility (AAM), they focus on the aircraft. At last count, the Vertical Flight Society’s electric vertical take off […]

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The World’s Smallest microLiDAR Could Give Drones the Eyes They Need to See Obstacles

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USA based LightWare LiDAR has announced the world’s smallest, lightest microLiDAR: the new SF45.  Lightware says that the SF45 microLiDAR could provide drones with the “eyes” they need to see obstacles and navigate safely beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS.) LightWare LiDAR “is taking autonomous machines to a whole new level by making them as invincible […]

The post The World’s Smallest microLiDAR Could Give Drones the Eyes They Need to See Obstacles appeared first on DRONELIFE.

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