World on a string

Autumn is a great time of year for aerial photography. The change of color can be breathtaking in Colorado and the Fall foliage makes way for some excellent pictures. I usually start by powering up the batteries in my drone early in the day and get everything prepared for an early evening photo shoot. This year I headed out to Wallace Park, it's near the interchange of I-225 and I-25 and has a backdrop of the Denver Technology Center and the Colorado Mountains.

Panoramic image of Wallace Park at Denver Technology Center

Wallace Park at Denver Technology Cente

I decided to do something a little different. I wanted to get a picture of a kite flying over a park with the Fall foliage, the high rise buildings and the mountains, but hanging my 360 camera under a kite seemed time consuming and problematic. The solution was to use the drone to carry the camera and add the kite in post, but getting a image of the string of the kite would be a challenge.

Drone Flying at 150 feet above Wallace Park

Drone Flying at 150 feet above Wallace Park

As usual the local Home Depot had a nice solution, but as often is the case, this kind of thing can be a bit trial and error. It was easy enough to find a bright yellow string and a small pully and attach the pulley to the bottom of the drone. Then I fed the yellow string through the pulley and attached the old bullet time string to my old Insta 360 camera and knot them together.

Final image of "Go fly a kite" by April Alsup

Go fly a kite

I enjoy flying the drone, but in this case I had to manage a lot of different things. I put the Insta 360 in photo interval mode and launched the drone. It was set to take pictures every 60 seconds. The camera was spinning wildly so I wasn't sure how well the images would turn out. Sometimes you just have to wait until you back in your studio to see the results and in this case a lot of the images were blurry.

Insta 360 Little world mode from drone on a string

Little world mode from drone on a string

Fortunately I was able to use some of the pictures and the yellow/orange string looked perfect. The Insta 360 software has some cool image modes and I used a fisheye effect on the first image and little world on the second one. I then touched up the images in Adobe Lightroom and used Photoshop to remove the drone and add the kite. 

Final image "World on a string" by April Alsup

World on a string

All in all, I'm happy with the results. The first image was a panoramic image I took using the drones Hasselblad 1" sensor on an old Mavic 2 drone. The other two were from the Insta 360 and I did some post framing and color correction on them, but it was a fun day for aerial photo content creation before all the leaves drop and Winter time comes in Colorado.