Clinton, PA – July 2017
Clinton, PA – July 2017
Electric City Building, Scranton, PA – January 2017
Penn Avenue Parking Garage, Scranton, PA – January 2017
In late April Eliza and I took a weekend day drive to visit some wineries in the tristate area of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We wanted to visit a few wineries we had never been to before and the beauty of that region alone is worth the drive.
We both take tons of photos on days like this but for a change I thought I’d take a photo of each winery we visited with my drone. I didn’t know how this would work out logistically – would the wineries let me, would it be a pain to do, would it take too long and put a damper on our day? It turns out none of my fears were founded. It was super easy to do (with some initial set up) and the results came quickly and easily.
Here are the aerial photos along with my personal ratings of the wineries.
Belmarl Winery and Vineyard – ★★★★★
Brotherhood Winery – ★★★★☆
Demarest Hill Winery – ☆☆☆☆☆ (sorry, it was terrible)
Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery – ★★☆☆☆ (region worth visit, spirits are not)
Now that you’ve seen the photos, I’ll give you a quick rundown of how I prepared so that taking these photos wouldn’t ruin our day. Before we left I set up the drone and my small take-off table in the trunk of the car ready to fly. Props attached, batteries in, bag unzipped. The only thing I needed to do at each winery was find a safe place to fly, turn the drone on, take a photo or two, land, and turn the drone off. I focused on only taking two or three photos of each winery. So I chose my angle, flew to a decent height, took my shot and left. These were only for my own personal collection anyway. My guess is that my longest flight was 5 minutes long.
This idea of looking at things slightly differently using the drone fits my principle of having an excuse to explore.
I wouldn’t change much about my technique here. And it likely seems like an odd thing to obsess over. But, I’m satisfied with the shots (they are photos that I never would have if it wasn’t for owning a drone) and my set up. I hope to do this again on similar jaunts.
Aerial, Lackawanna State Park – July 2016
Aerial – July 2016
UAV, Lackawanna State Park, PA – October 2016
Because it isn’t too close to home I’ve only been to this park twice. Once two years ago to kayak and again just a few weeks ago with Jonathan Edwards to do a little UAV flying and hiking. We ended up flying and fooling with our photography equipment more than hiking. Which was fine. It was fun just to geek out a bit rather than worrying about step counts. (We did manage to squeeze in about 5 miles somehow though.)
Jon and I parked our cars just off Pickerel Point Road and walked to Conservation Island. This park is very big and has tons of hiking trails that I hope to someday get back and hike some more. Maybe I’ll hike them like I’m hiking the Lackawanna State Park trails when I find the time. Our first priority was getting our UAVs in the air for a bit.
For those keeping track of my Lackawanna State Park hikes, this exploration of Promised Land State Park happened in-between the Abington Trail and South Branch Trail hikes. I’ve been doing a lot of exploring lately.
We did some flying above the Conservation Island bridge (ended up drawing a crowd too). It was windy and once we had our footage we didn’t take the UAVs back out. From there we walked the loop around the island and toyed with our equipment. There were a few neat spots to check out like some rock outcroppings and a lush area on the eastern side of the island. From what I read the island was created when Lake Wallenpaupak was created.
I was testing out a few lenses for my iPhone (a wide-angle and macro lens) and Jon was toying around with a camera he had borrowed from a friend and a selfie-stick. We managed to get some decent photos. Here are a few of the photos I kept. I’ll be publishing the better ones on the site over the next several months.
All-in-all it was a good day out.
Yesterday fellow UAV pilot Jonathan Edwards and I hiked to the “top of the world” at the Dunmore Pine Barrens to get some exercise, see the sights, and fly a little.
I decided to hike this area because of local hiker, writer and blogger Jeff Mitchell’s blog post wherein he details the hike. He provides specific detail for parking and getting to the top which undoubtedly saved us a few minutes of spinning in circles. Here is a snippet of his post:
According to Google Earth, this place is called High Rocks. Layers of mist and slow moving clouds hung in the valleys below. The tops of the plateaus rose just above the mist. The sunrise cast the cliff in hues of amber and orange. I could see for about 20 miles across the Pocono plateau.
Mitchell hiked in the wee hours of the morning to catch first light or dawn time. Jon and I left the lot at around 4:30pm or so and hung out at the top until just after the sun dipped below the far horizon. My guess is that dawn is a completely difference experience on that ridge so I expect to give it another go in the future.
Yesterday’s weather was perfect for a hike. The round trip was about 6.2 miles (according to my iPhone) and I would say that just about anyone could make the trek. Just be very careful on the cliff.