Sunset at Temple of Light

Last night I scooted over to the Temple of Light at Ananda Village near my home to see if I could capture the colors of sunset with the Mavic Drone.  Bear in mind the sensor is really small.  I flew up and scouted a few possibilities.  The other challenge is location of trees to the east of the temple discourages a roaming drone so I carefully maneuvered Hawkeye (name of my Mavic Pro I) to see what I could get.  Took a few shots in Raw (DNG) and also some B roll video for future.

Sunsets are tricky timing especially when you are flying a drone with finite battery power.  I edited it a bit in Lightroom and photoshop including straightening the trees (Free Transform) because the wide angle lens distorts the edges.  adjusted the clarity, and levels.  The noise in silhouettes and shadows was due to high ISO needed.  I reduced a little in LR.

Here is finished shot.

sunset over temple 2019-01-05

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There’s Joy in the Heavens

Last spring when we first landed here at Ananda Village I had thoughts to fly the Mavic quadcopter over our village.  As it turned out the village manager asked me to shoot some footage which ended up in a presentation to the Nevada County planning commission and Board of Supervisors when we applied for the new village master plan permits.  Needless to say it was well received.

We held off making this public but now I set it to Swami Kriyananda’s song called “Joy in the Heavens” which seems appropriate.

I have shot more and will be posting more soon. Here is the link to the 3 minute video

Aerial Railfanning in South Puget Sound

Make sure you watch the video at the end of the blog.

Late June I took a little drive up to Portland and Seattle with a stop over in my old home area of Walla Walla.  Got a chance on the return trip to stop in Olympia to see my longtime model railroad buddy Jim.  Instead of running model trains we decided to go out to Steilacoom on puget sound just south of Tacoma, Washington and watch trains.  Maybe even get some aerial footage with my DJI Mavic quadcopter.

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Two old friends sitting in the shade watching trains

We parked near the Anderson Island ferry dock in Steilacoom and walked along the tracks to find a spot in the shade.  It was warm outside.

Anderson Island Ferry dock
Anderson Island Ferry dock

We saw a northbound Amtrak and a coal drag.  Listening to the scanner on the iphone we figured out which milepost detector was triggered when the train goes by and could mostly discern whether it was northbound or southbound.  I flew around about half mile out in the sound and shot some footage of the ferry’s and the trains.  Had to figure out which neutral density filter to use.  Think it was ND8 most of the time which allowed me to shoot at 1/50 shutter speed.

Then we moved up to Titlow beach just south of Tacoma Narrows bridge.  As we were driving along the sound I stuck my iPhone out the window to catch some video footage of a train going by.  (Don’t tell my spouse I did this!)

Railfan iPhone vid snapshot
Northbound frieght out my car window

At Titlow beach we did scout a potential takeoff point, however there was just too many people for my tastes.  We did catch a train go by with my iphone All this is in the video below.

Railfan iPhone vid snapshot-2
Big BNSF coal train northbound at Titlow Beach

As the sun began to get lower in the sky we headed south to Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 US open golf tournament.  Being a public links course we drove down to the driving range and decided we could launch from there.

Southbound container train
Southbound container train

We saw several trains and got one good long video as a northbound garbage train passed by just as i was running out of battery.  Was way out over sound about 3/4 mile away when it passed and was down to less than 20% battery by end.  Whew.

Aerial UP engines
Union Pacific Engines on northbound Garbage Train

Below is a link to the 10 minute video I created from footage.  Some of it was speeded up to get within the 10 minute limit I set but it was still a 1.5 GB size.  wow.

Oh yes,  I did also see the Southern Pacific tourist steam engine in Portland.  That’s in the beginning of the video below. Hope you can enjoy.

Afterwards we retired to a local pub for a bit of nourishment.

IMG_0155

 

Fly Away to the Crystal Hermitage

During the Tulip season here at Ananda Village, I spent some time flying my quadcopter, the DJI Mavic Pro around the Crystal Hermitage.  Still playing with the footage but I did create this short, simple 30 second video which I put on the Crystal Hermitage Facebook page.  All it took was to fly out into space from the side of the mountain on which the Hermitage resides.

here is the video

 

Isn’t that cool?