A Great Fall Day Out – Combining Drone Flight Mode Tests and Motorbike Rides

Had another great ride with Andrey and Patrick. We spent the day Friday riding and doing some drone flight mode testing as well as capturing video and photography, and they helped me plan the upcoming drone video shoot for Ocean Grove NJ.

First Stop: Willow Brook Road Baseball Fields

We stopped to test out some flight modes, and Andrey and Patrick took turns doing flying practice with the Phantom4…

Using an alternative to the drone’s built in app (called DJI Go), we also tested out Autoflight Logic app. It offers a variety of flight modes that the DJI go app as no equivalent for. These modes can be used in video production to assist keeping a subject in focus automatically while flying the drone. After a few tries, we were able to get this to work pretty well, something that will come in useful for real estate or building projects where the flight path might require a lot of concentration.

Cruise Mode

The mode we played with the most is called “Cruise Mode”, and it allows me to fly the aircraft manually, while the Autoflight software maintains the focus on my subject, for example a house or pool feature as I perform a complex fly-by maneuver. Here is a video explaining some of the potential features of the cruise mode:

Next Stop: Battleview Orchards In Freehold NJ

It was such a perfect fall day out, and even though it was Friday, there were a fair amount of people apple picking at the orchards. Now, on fall weekends this place turns into pretty much a Zoo. We parked well out of the way, but wanted to do some video overflights at the orchards, which are just spectacular during this time of year.

Here is some video we shot during this stint:

Battleview Orchards Flight

Last Stop: Ocean Grove

We also scouted some location info in Ocean Grove for an upcoming shoot. We tried various flight modes to do a fly by down the central park leading up to the auditorium, and I included a brief clip at the end of the above video.

Initial Learnings

I am grateful to my companions in being spotters and helping me think through how to set up some of this planned work safely and effectively.  It was good to chat about planning the various clips, because overall I was not happy with the Ocean Grove footage. I think the higher drone angle of view shows too much detail of the building behind the park, when the view from street level is actually more attractive. So for me, the next things to try are to do a fly by with a much lower altitude, just below the roof line, and thus hiding the buildings behind the much more attractive victorian facades.

Up Next

Overall we came up with some good ideas for a shot list, so stay tuned for the next installment of our drone blog, where we will discuss how to plan and execute a commercial assignment.

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