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2014 Fireworks @ Baltimore's Inner Harbor

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by Dirty Bird, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Dirty Bird

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    I headed down to Baltimore's Inner Harbor tonight to capture some fireworks video for the 4th of July. I almost decided not to go but, at the last minute, decided I should because it would be a year before the opportunity arose again. The inner harbor was not my first choice. I would have much preferred Oregon Ridge as it is a better venue, they have choreographed music, and they have a much longer and elaborate display. Oregon Ridge would have been doubly cool because last night's show was cancelled, so they had two days worth of fireworks ready to launch. Had I a backpack for my Phantom, I probably would have headed to Oregon Ridge. With my GoProfessional hard case, I figured I would get a lot of scrutiny waltzing in with a case that looked like I was carrying a nuclear bomb.

    I initially hit the Rusty Scupper/Rash Field parking area, where it cost me $15 for the 15-20 minutes I was there. The place was packed with people, crawling with cops, and there were two helicopters and a light plane flying overhead. I spoke with a couple of cops about flying my Phantom. They both thought it was cool, but didn't think it was a good idea because of the huge crowd. So I packed up and drove a mile or so down the road behind Domino Sugar. There I found a huge & almost deserted parking lot that was perfectly suited to my low-key Phantom deployment.. Lots of space, few people, no cops, and the aircraft were no where near. On top of that, I was actually closer to the fireworks barge!

    I forgot my electrical tape to black out the front LEDs, but I am still pleased with how this turned out. Early on, I had to descend because a helicopter was heading in my direction. I wasn't sure where he was heading, and I didn't want to take any chances. I realized he was just doing a circular pattern over my prior location. Now, just so you know, I was expecting them to do TWO waves of fireworks like they did the last time I was here. On the second wave, I was planning on going INTO the heart of the bursts. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately...lol), they only did a single 15 minute display this year.

    2014 Fireworks @ Baltimore's Inner Harbor:

    [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31GjMXHdL4Q[/youtube]
     
  2. EMCSQUAR

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    Very cool.
     
  3. Brettly

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    Nice work! Loved where you started from. So calm then BOOM :cool:
     
  4. ethemtolga

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    Apparently it was a good choice to drive down the road. Good work.
     
  5. Double-D

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    Great video Dirty Bird and great flying as usual.
    It may have cost you $15 but it all worked out for the better.
    The music finale timed perfectly with the fireworks finale.

    Interesting the way the Vision+ camera handled the colours of the street lights. Red, pink and that blue.

    What video settings did you use?

    Thanks for sharing :)
     
  6. vortigern

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    Amazing well done. If you said you were standing on a very tall building nearby with a camera on a tripod anybody would have believed you. The stability of the Phantom is astounding. Among the most difficult things to capture fireworks for any camera the Phantom one did well. Of course over here in the UK we sit in doors and cry mourning our loss on the 4th of July ;)
     
  7. dannytroy

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    Nice job. I wondered why you had descended so soon after starting, but after seeing aircraft in the distance I knew why. Funny, you can also see the fireworks set off by people in the area if you look close. I also would like to know the settings. I'd imagine going up one notch on the ISO would work.

    I used my Phantom off my boat for the fireworks display on the lake I boat at, but only filmed while it was still light out.
    It's the one occasion that boats come out of the woodwork, and you see a sea (or lake in this case) of anchor lights. I should have waited till it was dark and got the fireworks. Oh well, next year.
     
  8. garrock

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    Perhaps the balance of city lights and evening sky created a better balance.
    Notice as the drone gets closer (or fireworks intensity get stronger), the background lighting gets a lot weaker.

    What time did the fireworks start ?

    -----------------------------------

    I sent my P2V+ up for a one minute peek at the local fireworks here in Columbus Ohio USA.
    Did not have as much background city lights to balance the video; started at 10pm EDT too.
     
  9. DronePilot

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    Awesome video DB! I am always impressed with your piloting skill and length of your missions.

    Probably a good thing you didn't fly into the bursts as it seems to have made news for some.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2014/07/04/video-shows-drone-flying-through-fireworks/

    To me it seems like you did the responsible things all along, you stayed away from the crowds, stayed low when there were other manned aircraft in the area, the only possibility of an issue would be someone running the fireworks show could have seen you and stopped the show if they had thought you were endangering people. If I was running the fireworks show I'd only be concerned about people being to close including manned aircraft. The unmanned ones, if they want to play in the fire, then have at it.
     
  10. Dirty Bird

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    Thank you everyone for the comments. The fireworks started precisely @ 9:30pm EST, and they lasted for about 15 minutes. My bird was sitting on the deck ready to go. When the first volley fired I launched immediately, so I only missed the first salvo. The Phantom was facing WNW so you could still see twilight on the horizon. I could not see that from the ground as the Domino Sugar plant buildings obstructed my view of the horizon. The camera was in 1080p full-auto. I should have locked it down, as this would have prevented those "fade to blue" scenes that occasionally pop up as the camera auto-adjusts to the changing light levels.

    I was nervous early on in the video because of the helicopters, and there was a light plane that flew over a few times with poor navigation lights rendering it difficult to see. A couple of people and their kids gathered around, and all of us together were scanning the skies keeping tabs on the air traffic. Where I wound up seemed to be a safe zone, and it was a great vantage point.

    I am glad I didn't fly into the flak field...at least not while my navigation LEDs were visible! ;)
     
  11. dannytroy

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    Funny, the safest place to be, in relation to the other aircraft in the area, is in the middle of the display. That video is one heck of a sales promotion for DJI. I always thought my Phantom was pretty much bulletproof, after suffering a few crashes and three landings on water, but I never thought it was flakproof. Let's hope as their sales grow, the price of replacement batteries will continue to drop.
     
  12. Dirty Bird

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    I was just watching the video and noticed that, all around, the entire background is sort of "alive" with bursts. Its pretty cool I hadn't noticed before.
     
  13. Yaw Master

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    Brilliant fireworks display. Nice long hover! Very cool indeed!
     
  14. Skynet1

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    It's really amazing what you will notice when reviewing a video after the fact. This was a really nice Fireworks display, as it appeared that no expense was spared putting on that 4th of July show.
    An outstanding job you've done keeping the bird at a hover throughout the show, DB. I'll be the first to admit, I've actually become quite concerned about hovering in one place for too long of a period of time, what with the reports of VRS occurring from time to time, as it would probably be even more difficult to notice the initial signs of VRS when flying at night.
    However, I was happy to see all went well, and the video reproduction turning out as well as it had. Bravo!
     
  15. RickF

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    Very, very nice. I thought of doing the same thing over here in Illinois but in the end I realized I lack the courage to do a night flight. Thank you for getting out there, recording some great video, and then sharing it with us!! Very much appreciated.
     
  16. srandall25

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    I feel this may be the last year one could potentially do a flight into the heart of a 'major' fireworks event and have an alibi. Leave it to the media to sensationalize how 'unsafe' it is for someone to hover a drone in the middle of fireworks over open water... yes, unsafe to the drone maybe... It wouldn't surprise me to see the major firework events next year making clear rules banning drones at the fireworks location.. I think it's obvious that the fireworks themselves pose more of a hazard to those on the ground than the drone as there is usually a safety zone area established within a large parameter of the fireworks... Just my opinion...
     
  17. PhilAnderson

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    Very nice, indeed! Curious about the soundtrack. It sounds just like something you might hear at a fireworks show. Did you record the sound, or.....?

    Great job, bet you're glad you didn't wait until next year. :D
     
  18. 8676309

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    Dirty Bird, thanks for the video. I got my Vision2+ day before yesterday and filmed fireworks yesterday as well. I'm curious about any other modifications you made to the "full auto" video capture. Any post-processing other than the music? The video looks great.
     
  19. Fplvert

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    Wow, that was...just wow! Very cool DB!
     
  20. Dirty Bird

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    Thanks. It was a nice display, but I notice it keeps getting a little shorter each year. At once time they did two 20 minute displays. So far I've never experienced issues hovering or with VRS. Hope it stays that way too! ;)