“I really didn’t think they were such a great idea until I had them on and I was flying,” remembered Romeo Durscher about the first time he tried flying a drone with the Moverio BT-200 glasses. “It completely changed my perception of the possibilities.”
He and his DJI partner in crime, Mark Johnson, had used other FPV (first-person view) solutions before, but none offered transparency. “Once you put on any other kind of glasses, you forget everything around you. While that’s really cool, it’s not very safe when you’re flying a drone,” explained Romeo. “Moverio gives you the option to see what’s happening around you, and you can quickly focus on the screen to see what the camera sees.”
Romeo finds that the Moverio’s dark shades help him shoot better when it’s really bright outside, especially compared to a tablet or smartphone, where the glare from the sun hinders the view of the screen. They allow him to fly more confidently while lining up better shots.
Shooting photographs using a drone can make terrestrial-bound photographers green with envy. Romeo recalls his trip to Big Sur at the winter solstice, where for just 10 days the setting sun shines through a rocky archway just offshore. “Literally hundreds of photographers travel from all over the world to see this,” said Romeo. “Your position on the beach becomes extremely important. Once the time was right, I flew the drone over the beach and grabbed a shot that none of them could hope to capture. It was truly a unique perspective.”
Romeo shared his top four techniques for shooting panoramas with a drone:
- God’s eye view: “If you just want to take a single image, go for the god’s eye view. With the Phantom Vision+, you can look straight down on any sort of tower or tall object. You get a perspective that looks very surreal because it’s rare we ever see it.”
- Panorama–horizontal: Using the drone’s camera and some good flying skills, photographers can take a number of stills along the horizon to “stitch” together in Photoshop to create this common form of panorama.
- Panorama–vertical: “Few people do this because it’s not very intuitive,” Romeo explained. Start from the god’s eye view and then begin tilting the camera up until it reaches the horizon. “Once the panorama is stitched together, it really screws with your brain. It realizes that something isn’t right—you can’t look straight down and at the horizon at the same time.”
- Tiny planet: “You take a panorama and work it in Photoshop so that the edges match each other and you wrap it around. Essentially, you make a little planet out of it.”
Photos Courtesy: Romeo Durscher
|Note: This is the second in a series of four posts inspired by a pre-show workshop arranged by Adobe’s Russell Brown for Photoshop World 2014. Checkout the first and third posts called Drones on a Plain and A Stitch of Nine in No Time.|