My husband and I just got back from a quick trip to Hawaii. He was there for a work conference and I was lucky enough to tag along. One of the things I really wanted to do on our trip was try out aerial photography. I have long admired the work of photographers like Salty Wings and Gray Malin. Their images of coastlines and beaches from unique angles are beautiful and inspiring. Fortunately for me, pulling off similar images isn’t as hard these days thanks to some very affordable and high quality drone options!
So a couple days before we flew off for Hawaii, I picked up a Yuneec (pronounced “unique”) Breeze drone and packed it in my bag for the Big Island.
Now I had high hopes for this little drone, but it actually outperformed my expectations.
The quality of the photography was great for a tiny camera mounted to the bottom of a half pound drone. Maybe not as good as a DSLR, but definitely better than my cell phone camera.
Also, as someone who never had any remote controlled helicopters or cars growing up, this little guy was pretty easy to operate from my phone or iPad.
Of course, it’s not all good. The great thing about this partiular drone is that it’s basically plug and play. It’s a great starter drone with a couple key functions that make it even easier. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get some of those functions to work. Sure I could pilot the drone wherever I wanted it, but if I wanted the drone to follow me around via my GPS signal….well, I couldn’t seem to get that function to work.
Also the drone does not move quite so smoothly. With every change in direction, there is a pretty abrupt jerk of the drone. If I wanted to use this for lots of videography, it probably wouldn’t meet my needs.
Since I am more concerned with taking photos, these things didn’t seem to bother me, and all the pros out weighted the cons. Good quality photos, easy to use, small and compact. That was enough for me.
Oddly enough my husband, who wasn’t totally sold on the drone before the trip, is now looking into upgrading ours ALREADY! So if this is something you think that you would be interested in, and want to invest in a good quality (but not outrageously expensive) drone, here are a couple that he has picked out:
There are also a couple things you should know in advance. Any drone over 1/2 pound must be registered with the FAA. When looking into drones, look for one that is relatively light and compact so that it is easy to travel with, assuming that is what you intend to use it for. I would also recommend finding one that is pretty quiet. My little Breeze was hardly audible when up 20 feet in the air.
Regardless of what drone you get, I also think there should be some drone etiquette. Notice that there are no people in my pictures. I was really careful not to fly this out around people. One, I didn’t want to disturb them. And two, I didn’t want them to think I was taking a picture of them. There were a couple times when people walked by and ended up in my picture. I wasn’t as worried about them since they saw the drone and typically asked me about it before walking into frame. Basically, just don’t be a jerk about it. Be respectful of other peoples’ privacy and space.
There you have it! My favorite pictures from our trip to Hawaii. I can’t wait to send this drone out again on our next trip. Although my husband may have this thing follow him around while he plays golf. I have a feeling we will be getting a lot of use out of it!