A while ago, I discussed my new fondness for minimalist exploration (see here).
For most of my outings, I have now replaced my DSLR with a (very) high end Huawei P20pro telephone, with Leica lens.
Except, I didn’t.
Nowadays, I am once again carrying around a cumbersome bag…this time, with my Photography Pro drone in it.
Back to square one then ? Not really…
To me, Urbex drone photography is a game changer.
My drone means I am able to go into areas that were completly off limits before. My quadcopter gives me access to sites that are supposdely “completely secure” (see here). From high barbwire fence through a hole in walled door; I couldn’t give any more fucks !!
Besides, drone photography captures a completly new perspective of the sites I (and countless others) have visited. I can now have access to unique views, centimeters from the grounds to hundreds of meters in the air.
This, ultimatly, can get my pictures more attention.
While drone photography is being increasingly used, most Urbexers are still not utilizing it. This gives me the advantage to set myself apart from others.
Drones are a safety tool too. They can be tremendously helpful for anyone who’s into roof-toping (see here). As an exploration tool, they can give you a look at a roof before you attempt any sort of ascend. I know I would have aborted quiet a few escalades, had I known the state of the roof before trying a circus act to climb it.
A few basic rules then…
- Once arriving on site, you should be up and running in no longer then 5 minutes. Make sure all your drone application updates, compass and camera calibration have been done before hand. Upgrading your firmwire while trespassing is a pretty mediocre idea…
- Know you machine well before hand. An urbex outing is NOT the place to start fondling around and discovering your nifty flying litlle toy. You must be competent with your drone, you must be capable of overriding all electronic aid, and fly it in full manual mode if the need arises.
- Unless your drone is designed for it, do not fly in windy, rainy or snowy weather (see here). Also, beware of the extreme cold effect on your batteries.
- Talking about batteries, don’t forget to bring some spares and beware that if your phone is hooked to your remote control ( real time video for example), the drone app will drain your phone batteries. Fast. Bring a power bank.
- Finally, as we previously discussed, you have to consider the privacy concerns of neighbors as well as inhabitant, dwellers or squatters (see here).
- Last but not least, remember damage can occur to the drone. Some companies, such as Dji, offer a replacement warranty, just in case. You might want to spurge a few hundred dollars for it, especially if we’re talking about a thousand dollar+ drone !!
- You must also consider that a drone is usually a bit noisy (although the new ones are surprisingly quiet) and when flying high, can indicate the presence of trespassers. Sometimes, all the guards (see here) have to do is follow the landing drone, to catch perpetrators in the act.
- A Good photography drone usually costs a fair bit of money, so be careful not to loose it, especially around massive metal structures, as those have been known to fuck the machine’s navigation systems.
- Like wise, beware of flying restrictions, especially if you are planning to fly near and airport or an army base.
As usual, violators are at risk for legal apprehension (see here) that could mandate them to pay for financial compensation or possible imprisonment if caught violating the law.
But if you’re a regular Urbex practitioner, you don’t really care about these things, do you?
That last picture is particularly amazing! The dome is beautiful…
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