We at OV&P continue to experiment and learn new skills as often as we can. This is the only way to stay ahead of the game, as in any hi-tech business. Our drone work is becoming a big player in our offering to a variety of clients and industries, none more so than large factories and warehouses. This is AERIAL indoor videography and photography in a whole new league. A classic example is the recent shoot we did of the new Steelcor Power production line for one of their products. Being a leader in customized substations for the last 35 years, Steelcor specializes in building products to their customer’s specific technical requirements, and it’s our privilege to assist them in showcasing their dynamic business.
Why do we say that aerial indoor photography and videography is in a whole new league? Because flying indoors takes away the silver bullet of drone technology, GPS reception! This changes the game for any would be drone operator that has not learned the hard skills to be able to fly in what is known as fully manual ATTITUDE MODE, as opposed to GPS based P MODE, or positioning mode. ATTITUDE IS A SCARY THING, and one must have your wits about you in no uncertain terms when flying indoors.
Flying a drone in ATTITUDE MODE can be compared to flying a remote control helicopter, probably one of the more challenging skills to master in the remote control world of flying. Flying indoors adds a major element of risk and danger, because there is no room for error due to the limitations of length, breadth and height of the space you are manoeuvring in, and there is no such thing as releasing the controls and the drone going into hover mode like when you are flying in P mode, simply because there is no GPS signal indoors.
In P MODE the GPS positioning system simply, or not so simply, controls the speed of the props to essentially lock the position of the drone in space, an incredibly useful and confidence inspiring bit of hi-tech that has been the reason for drones being so accessible to virtual amateurs, who can walk into a store, buy a drone and be flying at a very basic skill level in no time at all.
There are a couple of golden rules before even attempting to fly a drone indoors to shoot very specific and accurate sequences:
• Practice, practice, practice flying in ATTITUDE MODE, but outdoors, until your skill levels are such that you can accurately control the height, position, path and speed of the drone in any given circumstance, to the point where you can venture into a large, obstacle-free indoor environment to get used to the restrictions, accuracy and calm-headed approach required to do this without destroying your expensive toy or injuring anyone in the process.
• Always use an assistant to keep an eye on the position of the drone and to guide you while you set up shots and fly pre-planned paths in this daunting, confined space.
• Invest in starting to qualify for your RPL licence, which is becoming a requirement from the CAA. It teaches you all the theory and practical skills required to fly legally and safely.
This is not for the faint hearted, so please leave it to the professionals to capture the necessary footage or stills without causing havoc and possibly injuring some innocent person who may happen to be in the way of a spiralling, out of control drone. OV&P has cut its teeth from the early days of drones to a point where we have a significant number of loyal and happy clients who regularly use us to create awe-inspiring footage and photos of their premises, processes and people, adding another perspective and dimension to their marketing material, as well as their efforts to stay ahead of the game.
ATTITUDE IS A SCARY THING!
Dave Estment - professional photographer