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Drones and wilderness considerations

Discussion in 'Photography and Film' started by janictyler, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. janictyler

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    Hi I am new here. I am reading about reviews on drones and so far I still need some other opinions if there are other considerations that I should look at. I would like to ask the people out there who have actually experienced flying drones. Like, if you have tried it in the city or the wilderness; because if I want to capture views of scenic places I am sure maybe the wind may be gusty or if it somehow got close to stone walls or high trees, or when it is near rivers or the sea. I have read about something from this site but all I get are technical stuff. Also tried reading from here but can’t really find anything about operating advice.
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Hi JT ... If you are wanting to capture views of scenic places a drone can get your camera to places you wouldn't have thought possible and give you great perspectives.
    Modern drones are very cleverly designed and deal with moderate winds easily.
    They are easy to fly and great fun.
    Here's an example of what's possible with a DJI Phantom 3 or 4
    [​IMG]
    There are lots more examples on my website
     
    JWH likes this.
  3. janictyler

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    That drone must be flying so high. And by the way the photo looks spectacular!
     
  4. BDOG

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    San Jose Ca and Lake Tahoe NV
    Yes I have flown in cities and wilderness with my Phantom 3 Advanced. Since you mentioned a concern about stone walls and high trees with high winds then you will want to focus your research on a DJI drone that has obstacle avoidance. Currently the Phantom 4 and the upcoming release of the Mavic Pro from DJI both have that feature. Essentially there are sensors on the front and in the case of the Mavic Pro on the side as well. Those sensors help prevent the drone from flying into any large objects like the ones you describe and actually reroute the drone or make it stop and hover before colliding.

    You can see an example of this with the Phantom 4 here

     
    #4 BDOG, Oct 6, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  5. WetDog

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    A couple of thoughts - in the US, Wilderness Areas typically prohibit aircraft and, according to the FAA, UAVs (drones) are aircraft. This may vary from Wilderness area to Wilderness area but is a pretty good bet. National Parks in the US forbid take off / landings from Park property. The vast tracts of National Forest are usually amenable to UAVs although there can be specific restrictions (ie, for forest fires or special events). In the West, vast tracts of land are 'managed' by the Bureau of Land MisManagement and are typically open to flying, but again, there can be specific restrictions. These are usually due to an archeological / palentological site.

    So there are vast areas where you are free to fly your drone, but also large swaths of land where you're not supposed to. Do your homework first.

    Also, it's an excellent idea to be mindful of others. You can hear a Phantom from a long ways away, especially in a quiet wilderness environment. It behooves everyone to try to not annoy the rest of the planet with your hobby.

    Since you are really new here, it would be a good idea to start at the Know Before You Fly site and get an idea of where you can and cannot fly safely. Get a small drone (the $100 kind like a Hubsan X4) and learn the basics of crashing it into walls, er, flying. That will make you feel much better about taking a thousand dollar craft in the air.

    Then work up slowly, gaining experience and confidence as you go along. Keep reading the forum, mostly about what you shouldn't be doing. Let somebody else make most of the mistakes, it's cheaper that way.

    Have fun.
     
  6. finlayson

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    Yes, in the US, "Wilderness" areas ban all 'mechanized' access. Although this was originally intended primarily to forbid motor vehicles, the term "mechanized" has been interpreted strictly - to include even mountain bikes. (And rangers are not even allowed to use chainsaws to clear downed trees off trails in "wilderness" areas!) So almost certainly drones would be banned from official wilderness areas in the US. The laws may be different in other countries, of course.
     
  7. Boothby Media

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    I've flown almost exclusively in the "wilderness" and have found that my drone (Phantom 3 4K) can handle winds of up to 10-15 mph, beyond that footage becomes shaky and it's difficult to get a reliable shot. The footage below was shot in 10mph winds along Puget Sound
    .


    In regards to legality, there are definitely major obstacles. I would always recommend using caution and mindfulness, but there is a line to be toed to get that great shot.