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      Guides — Drones

      Why Attitude Is A Scary Thing!

      Why Attitude Is A Scary Thing!

      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.


      Dave Estment - professional photographer

      Prepare for Your Drone Adventure with this Checklist

      Prepare for Your Drone Adventure with this Checklist

      By Wouter du Toit
      I recently got to shoot a bit in Elands Bay on the West Coast for the weekend. It's small town with a vast amount of space with potato farms, rooibos tea farms and a beautiful valley that feeds water for the farming of the land.

      I stayed at Vensterklip for a couple of days. The place is very equipped, although I was out shooting with my DJI Phantom most of the time. Every morning I started packing, with the same checklist in mind of what I needed to take along.

      On the Saturday I forgot the cable to connect the remote with my iPad because I use the same cable to charge my iPhone and had to drive all the way back to fetch it.

      This made me realise there’s a checklist to be made when you go out to fly around and get some aerial shots and videos. So I put together a checklist that I think you will find useful when going out. This way you’ll always have all the gear packed, ready for your flying time.

      I now have it with me on every adventure. 

      Drone Accessories you Must Have

      Drone Accessories you Must Have

      By Wouter du Toit

      If you are planning on getting your Phantom 3 drone, or just bought one, here are the items that will make your flying experience so much more enjoyable.

      An iOS or Android device

      This can be your smartphone, iPad, iPad mini or any android device that you can install the DJI Go app on. This will be the monitor that’ll show you what your camera is ‘seeing’ so you can get the video or photograph you want.

      DJI Phantom hood

      A Hood that blocks out the sun

      The screens on Tablets and Smartphones are very reflective. This makes it very difficult to see what’s on your screen, in other words, what it is you’re wanting to shoot. When flying a drone you’ll be outside most of the time, and standing in open areas with no trees to stand under. So, get yourself a Hood for your phone or Tablet

      DJI Phantom battery

      An extra battery

      When you start getting the grip of control and possibilities that now lie ahead with your drone, you’ll soon want to shoot longer than the 25 minutes you get out of a fully charged DJI Phantom battery. It’s the best to be able to shoot and being able to replace it right there and then. So, the more batteries you have, the better off you are.

      Hard cases or Backpack

      Your drone is going to be in transit for most of it’s life. It’s a highly engineered piece of equipment that needs the correct protection when not in use. Here you have three options.

      The DJI ABS Phantom Box
      It’s strong, durable and lockable and you can insert the Phantom 3 with it’s propellers on. This is convenient and saves a little bit of time when the moment is there and you need to get going. The only thing is that it’s not a backpack, so you can’t put it on your back and head out trekking to easily.

      DJI Phantom Aluminium Box
      It’s similar to the ABS Phantom Box, but made with Aluminium.

      The DJI Hardshell Backpack
      It’s made from composite and is very impact resistant and can surely take a hit. Everything straps in well and it’s a strong large zipper that will surely last. The difference to the Box is that you need to remove the propellers each time you package it although it’s really easy to do. It goes anywhere and everywhere you go, it’s a backpack.


      Propeller Guards

      Although the Phantom Phantom 3 range has GPS and all the added technologies that make it such a please to fly, there is always a chance of it hitting a tree, wall or person. These Propeller Guards are a must if you’re just starting out.

      With these accessories you’ll have the best start in flying your Phantom 3 drone.

      How to do Long Exposure Drone Shots At Night

      How to do Long Exposure Drone Shots At Night

      Written by Wouter Du Toit

      I’ve recently gone out to shoot some shot’s at night and wanted to see if I can get my Phantom to keep as still as possible while shooting cars passing by. I’ve always liked these shots, it gives it an energy of light streaks, but also of people getting around, in motion.

      What I’ve learnt on my first night out is that you basically need three things to do get reasonably good shots that you’ll most certainly enjoy.


      It’s not going to work if you’ve got the drone battling it out to maintain it’s gps coordinates. It will give you a drag on the moving lights and you’ll get an out of focus shot. So make sure it’s literally dead-still outside.


      The red light can add extra colour to the shot, and is mostly unwanted. Here are the steps to do this:

      1. You do this by turning on the remote and the drone, going into the DJI Go App until you’re in camera mode.

      2. When you can see what your camera sees, you’ll find a button at the top-right of your screen. It has a three-line list menu button.

      3. When the menu shows up, on the left you can choose the ‘drone’ menu, top-left

      4. You’ll now have a menu containing Advanced Settings. Go into that and turn off ‘Turn on arm’s LED light. The red light should be off now.


      Here are the steps to do this:
      1. On the right of your screen you choose the Camera Settings button.

      2. And you toggle the camera from Auto to Manual.

      3. You can then set shutter speed. The numbers are seconds. So you can keep your shutter open for up to 8 seconds. You can also set a higher ISO, but this opens up to the risk of noise in your shot.

      Although you can go up to 8 seconds which is more than enough time, I suggest 4 or 5 seconds does the job pretty well and you have less chance of a breeze causing a shake leaving you with a blur. I left the ISO on 100.

      Finally, if you don’t have a license and you want to take these type of shots in SA it’s important to know that you’re not allowed to fly within 50m of people, cars or streets. Getting the license is the correct way to do it. If you would like to get your drone licence contact