Static Art Studios

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Drone and new drone authorizations in Las Vegas

It’s been a few months since a post, and I keep saying that I need to continue to post more; but life itself has just continued to get busier and busier. There is some good news though. As we mentioned earlier in the year, we got authorization to fly drones at night nationwide in certain airspace. So, naturally we’ve done a few different jobs with night flying since then and they’ve come out beautifully. One of the more recent authorizations we received was one to fly down on the Las Vegas strip, only .91 miles away from the runway at McCarran Airport, which is in Class Bravo airspace. This is huge, because I don’t think anyone else had received the same authorization as of this posting. Expect to see some great things coming up for drone flights!

Don’t worry, the still photography and other ground production is still within our business plan, it’s just that the drone stuff has been blossoming even further and caused us to focus a little more on getting legal and safe aerial shots for our clients. We’ve also added a new drone to the fleet, almost half taking a step back considering our other stuff we have, but decided to get a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, and I love it.

Now, obviously there is tremendously better stuff we’ve already been flying for drones (Matrice 600 with Arri Mini or RED) or some of our other larger systems for major productions, but the Phantom 4 Pro, at least for small scale use has some incredible imagery. It has a 1 inch full frame sensor that just sucks in light, along with a 20 megapixel still camera that captures some beautiful shots, it really has a place with the rest of the drone fleet for specific shoots.

For drone productions in Las Vegas and around the world, we’ll always choose the right drone to carry the camera or the capability you need. I’ll leave you now with this shot I took with the Phantom 4 Pro.

Alcatraz Drone Shots with DJI Mavic Pro

It has been a little while since I have made a post and I wanted to share some great new things we’ve been working on, especially the fun little projects. Recently, I got the DJI Mavic Pro in and let me tell you now, this thing is legit and the real deal (in terms of small compact drone capabilities). Naturally, this isn’t gonna hold a stick to a rig like the Shotover Drone, the DJI Matrice 600 or the Freefly Alta that have the capability of carrying professional gimbals and cinema cameras like the Arri’s and the RED, but for small projects it does a great job at capturing video and photos.

The Mavic can record up to 4k resolution 60fps with a 12mp still camera. One unique thing about the Mavic itself compared to a lot of the other smaller drones on the market is the focus feature. Generally, the focus is a static infinite focus to capture everything, but with the Mavic, DJI chose to change it up a bit and allow users to set focus by tapping the screen on your tablet or phone. This is a blessing and a curse, because for indoor shoots and up close shots, it can be great to adjust focus accordingly. Other times, when you are trying to capture a large expanse of a shot, you tap the screen to focus on a specific area and sometimes it just blurs out everything. This happened quite a bit in my flying over San Francisco Bay because it was having a hard time focusing far out with the water covering most of everything in the screen.

Below are two different versions of a recent flight I did when I was traveling out to San Francisco and captured some shots of Alcatraz. A few things to consider, Alcatraz sits in a perfect area that is not in controlled airspace. The only hiccup you have to worry about is the Golden Gate National Park that covers the Northern shore of San Fran, and most of Alcatraz island. National Park rules for drones is that you cannot take off or land in a National Park so this is something that you must be vigilant of.

The color video was taken with the Mavic only, while the Black and White version was a combination of Mavic for the drone shots and a cell phone for the interior shots. This was just a personal fun thing for me to do, so production value (especially using a cell phone camera) was not something I was worried about. Either way, enjoy.

September 11th Memorial – Filmed with DJI Phantom 4 set to Disturbed Sound of Silence

Every year Palms Mortuary does a special memorial for 9/11 victims by displaying a flag for each victim. There were 2996 flags displayed. Each flag has a note card with a name of a victim written on it. This was a honor to be able to film this with my DJI Phantom 4 drone, a truly humbling experience. Please take a moment and watch the video, and remember all those lost that day.

InterDrone

Just finished up another year at InterDrone, one of the premiere drone conferences here in Las Vegas. This year it was held at the Paris hotel down on the strip, unlike last year when it was held at the Rio. I must say, this year wasn’t that impressive as far as the companies there. The focus was naturally on hardware that a lot of people were selling; such as new drones for companies to buy, new batteries, new simulators and new training. Other than that, there wasn’t much of a WOW factor from anyone.

One thing that was particularly cool was a product from Epson (yes the printer company) that was an augmented reality display glasses, much like Google Glass. The glasses allowed you to keep the drone in Line of Sight (LOS) but also have an overlayed FPV view for you to see the video. Epson had teamed with DJI in order to get the app working properly together and overall it was a great product. Brother (yes, the sewing machine and printer company) also had their own attempt at a display piece, with a small device that flips down over just one eye and gives the video to that one eye. This was not as impressive and overall I was not a big fan of that product.

More to come on some other bits of technology out there and different projects I am currently working on.