Thursday, 14 March 2019

Snowdonia Drone Tour Feb 11 th 2019

Today I am going to tour around various locations around Snowdonia , and fly as many as I can with the Phantom 4 pro drone.   The weather for once is looking very good and there is still a small amount of snow on the mountain tops.
Starting off near Capel Curig on the A4086 to Beddgelert , one of the finest roads in Snowdonia.    The view towards the Snowdon Horseshoe is fabulous, I have stopped in one of the many laybys alongside the twin lakes of Llynnau  Mymbyr  to make my first short flight to show this fabulous road that leads towards Snowdon.

           A five frame Vertorama , Plenty of snow still on Snowdon and Crib Goch by looks of it.
I have four batteries for the drone, so I have to make the most of them, this first flight lasted 5 minutes , I shot the five individual frames at a height of 380 ft.

I have now driven further down the road, almost to the Pen-y-Pass turn off actually.  parked up and I have walked over the road and up towards the waterfalls that come from a small lake up behind the Pen-y-pass hostel called Llyn Cwmffynnon .   The light is looking fabulous as I take the drone up , I have approximately 80% left on this first battery so need to get the images while the light is good.   the cloud is moving fairly quickly so the first couple of images I have shot look the best.

Crib Goch with Snowdon summit just visible behind to the left clearly visible in this Vertorama image, the cloud really makes the image.

                                                           A full nine frame panorama.

After a 15 minute flight I bring the drone back, that's the first battery finished but managed some great images.    Now I will continue down past the Snowdon viewpoint where I took some images from last trip and will go down to Llyn Gwynant , hopefully the surface will be calm enough for some reflection images.
Parked up next to the water I take a short 5 minute flight, just long enough to shoot a couple of Vertorama sets, the main area for reflections is rippled so I just leave it for now with just these 2 images, both 5 frames merged in Lightroom.

Looking down the lake towards Y-Aran I think it is, the Watkin path and its fabulous waterfalls are not far away, but I don't think I will go up there today.

                                                Looking back up towards Pen-y-pass
                                      My Tutorial on Making/editing Vertorama images is HERE

Now, where to go next?    the Watkin path does look inviting as I drive past but I think I will go down towards Beddgelert forest area for a change, as Mollster is with me we can go for a walk around the woods.
First I stop just off the turning by the railway track, a phone shot first...………

Now another quick 4 minute flight on the second battery  to take a couple of Panorama setts , the light is still really good.

                 Just 177 ft high for this  9 frame panorama, its getting quite windy unfortunately.

                                         The snow is visible on Snowdon in the distance.

              Walking Mollster now while looking for another location to take some more images.

             There is a lot of deforestation taking place around here, and its extremely wet underfoot.

I have found a small clearing in the trees to fly from,   so another short 6 minute flight again on the 2nd battery , almost straight up through the trees to 380 ft.

                                                          6 frames merged for this one.

This Vertorama I have shot from just 80 ft 

                                                         21 frame 180 dgree Panorama

That's the second battery finished , a good walk around the forest and soaking wet feet also!

Now time to head down the a4085 towards Rhyd Ddu , I will either walk around Llyn Dywarchen or maybe climb up towards Mynydd Mawr.     As I reach the turn off towards Nantile valley I have decided to walk around the lake and climb up Clogwynygarreg instead to get some images, going up towards Mynydd it will be way too windy to fly !

                    That's the rock I am going to climb!  maybe get a drone selfi from the top .

                                                                  View towards Snowdon

Now I have climbed/scrambled  up to the top, glorious views across Nantile valley with Mynydd Mawr on the right side.  its very windy so will be very careful and not fly very high .

Here I start a 14 minute flight, as its windy and gusting quite strong 66 ft is the highest I take the drone up,  but that is more than enough for these images , Drone selfi first .
I shot these 2 using the automated shooting mode selecting 5 seconds between each frame .

                    Fabulous late afternoon light looking over Llyn Dywarchen now .
A 4 frame vertorama , I always shoot 5 or 6 individual frame for these images,  adjusting the exposure manually for each frame as the camera pans down.  for this finished image I discarded the 5th frame as the bottom sloped away and looked distorted in the 5 frame stitch.

                           looking down the valley towards Llyn Nantile Uchaf  in the distance.

                                                                    A 9 frame Panorama.

That's the 3rd battery down to 60% , time to get back down now. its too windy to fly any more here.
I think heading back to the Twin Lakes is a good idea just in case there might be a good sunset .

  last phone picture before leaving.   I am driving back the way I came , as I drive up past Snowdon viewpoint the summit is completely covered in cloud and its building up significantly all around over the Mountains, I guess no sunset tonight.

Parking up at the large layby in the middle of the Llynnau Mymbyr I will use my last battery to get some images over the lake looking up towards Capil Cureg.

                                                                    A 4 frame merge.

4 frame Vertorama,  I had shot 6 frames but the bottom 2 were distorted too much to use in the final image when stitched together.

           Topdown over the trees, the low light really brings the images to life illuminating the tops .

That's the end of a superb and varied day in Snowdonia .

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Miners Tack Snowdon 4 th Feb 2019

Its early on a Monday morning,   I have driven down to Snowdonia again to take a walk along the Snowdon Miners track.  Driving up towards Pen-y-pass the light is looking very good with blue sky and thick cloud over the top of Snowdons peak, so a quick drive down to the view point carpark for a short drone flight.
It seems quite windy even this low , so I make this a very short 8 minute flight to get a couple of panorama images.

                                                  Looking into the Snowdon Horseshoe.

                                                                            a phone shot

                                                                  9 frame drone panorama

                Now to drive up to the Pen-y-pass car park, and pay the extortionate £10 to park!
Taking the Miners track out of the car park ,which is a nice easy walk along to the Llyn Lydaw lakes which is the location I want to fly today, there is a nice ruined building which should look good from the air, But  as I walk along this path the wind is increasing substantially and could well ruin my plan!

                                           There is not much snow left unfortunately.

                                   I have reached the lake ,   it is blowing a gale up here now.

The edge of the right hand lake is frozen over with some snow cover , so I shoot this image with the canon 5dsr

As I walk around the lake there is a large waterfall coming down from below Crib Goch, and more importantly it is sheltered from the worst of the wind so I can get the drone up for a few images.

                                                                            Llyn Lydaw

Now for the waterfall, I have put a nd16 filter on to block light entering the camera to slow the shutter speed down, so I can experiment with longer exposures to blur the water

                        This is a 5 frame Vertorama  shot at f8  and 1/6 th second exposure.

                                                            crop from above image

The wind is too strong to fly out over the lake to get shots of the ruins today unfortunately, so I will carry on walking a bit further to see what its like round the corner heading towards Glaslyn.

                                         This rock face is covered in a thick layer of ice!

 Much more snow on the path as I get higher,  the cloud is closing in over the summit so I wont carry on any further today.

                             Back down at the lake, a shot of the ruins , best I can do  today.

Walking back round the lake and crossing the causeway between the lakes I have stopped to look back up at Crib Goch, the sun has broken through the clouds and illuminating the ground in front of me.    so a couple of quick handheld dslr images.

Time to head back to the car , The cloud base has lowered considerably over the summit and is heading this way.

But ahead of me, the sun is lighting up the landscape and as I have come around the corner the wind is not so bad, so I will risk a short flight to get an image or two.

                                                            This is a four image merge.

And as I walk back to the car park the sun is illuminating Capel Curig in the distance ,   using the 100-400mm L lens I managed this image.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Drone flying Lake District Jan 28 th 2019

Today we are all going up to the Lake district, heading to Glenridding . there is a bit of snow on the tops but not sure if we will get high enough for that.
After getting stuck on the motorway for ages after traffic was stopped to allow the Air Ambulance to land after a bad crash, we have eventually arrived at Glenridding  at 11.20  am!    a bit late   Arghhhh.

We stopped off on the way to get this phone shot near Troutbeck park  .  What a lovely day its looking like going to be .

      We are taking the Mires Beck path up towards the hole in the wall on the way up Helvellyn. I was in two minds whether to take the other route directly towards Kepple Cove and then Red Tarn.
Its quite warm down here but will be colder as we climb higher.    I have the drone so hopefully will get some good images today.

                                                The steep path up following the stream.

Jan is struggling already ,its going to take ages to get any height.   I don't think we will get to Red Tarn which was my plan unfortunately, and its so late already it would be getting dark before we would get back.

As we get up higher there is increasing amounts of snow and ice , here the path is treacherous with ice and Mollster is trying to eat it   haha

We have found a really nice area to fly from,  but first the Terrible Twosome are posing for a picture.  makes a change to get Chester to do this!!!!

                                                Time to get the Drone up in the air.
              A beautiful view across Glenridding and Ullswater , but I will photograph that later.

Looking upwards towards the hole in the wall, I can fly up the mountain to view the Helvellyn range while still keeping at the legal maximum 400ft above ground level.  

A 5 frame Vertorama, looking down on the path we are on heading up to Bleaberry Crag and Catstye cam left side in front of Helvellyn just in the corner .

Here is a 9 frame panorama, shot in the auto panorama mode on the phantom 4 pro., merged in lightroom.    showing l-r     Helvellyn, Catstye Cam, Whiteside,  Raise and Stybarrow Dodd.

5 frame Vertorama , shot manually adjusting exposure for each frame as the camera is tilted downwards to balance the light exposure.

                                                                    Drone flyer Panorama

One last panorama on this battery before changing and looking at the beautiful views across to Ullswater,      Flying behind me a little further away to show the side of Grisedale Brow and Nethermost Cove on the far left.

                                                                        Rest time   haha

Having changed the battery I will take a look towards Ullswater , the low sun is really bringing out the detail in the landscape , and the wall makes a superb lead in line for a superb composition.

                 What a stunning view , the light is fabulous now , pity about the clear blue sky!

            A full 9 frame panorama , the snow topped High street is clearly visible in the distance .
The wall is a perfect lead in line through the image, taking the eye straight towards the lake and then around to the mountains.

This view is perfect for a Vertorama image, Composed to following the wall towards Glenridding and Ullswater.

            That's a perfect way to end this Lake district trip.   Jan doesn't want to go any further, its gone 2 pm so will be dark in less that 2 hours so time to make our way back down to the car.