Hey guys and gals, hope yall have been well during these crazy times of 2020. So I have been asked several times about how I am able to catch some of the cool fast moving low level over water shots. Well thought Id make a quick little how to for yall. So first thing is knowing the drones safety systems, for this blog I will be speaking about the DJI Mavic 2 which is what i use for my filming. So the As the Mavic Pro flies, dual forward and downward vision sensors measure the distance between itself and obstacles by taking photos from all four cameras. It then uses the information to create a 3D map which tells it exactly where obstacles are. Pretty cool right? Pretty much the drone paints a map in its computer brain to let it know whats below it and in front. (Imagine one of those virtual rides at Disney where its video screen playing the scene while your seated in a car). Well lets focus on the belly sensors/cameras. These little guys help keep your bird(drone pilot lingo for your drone) at a safe height normally about 3-4 ft before auto landing.
Ok, now to the “How to”. When I am flying out over water, I like to line up the area I can watch the drone clearly. Using straight line of sight, I will lower the drone to height I wish to fly it. Now, be careful you want to leave a little wiggle room for an emergency(I normally stay about 2 feet from surface). Leaving this little bit of space allows you to fly but maneuver out of way if a sudden wave, splash or even sea life(its happened) from suddenly jumping in your flight path. Now while flying at this level I would suggest flying while watching the drone directly (kind of like flying an RC plane where you manuever from line of sight rather then FPV). This way you can see what is around you and what dangers may be showing up. While flying try to line up you filming scene before you start speeding up, this will help keep everything smooth and in focus. Last tip is a given. Start filming as soon as the drone takes off and throughout your entire flight. Trust me on this. Many of times we have all flown and have seen some amazing shots only to realize that the film is not rolling. So start filming asap.
Well there you go guys, just a little something to give yall some tips on flying low level over water. Hope this helps and as always feel free to drop me a line