drone

Iowa State Fair Aerial

It’s state fair time in Iowa!  Probably one of the largest, well known fairs across the country at that. The Iowa State Fair comes to town every August, and lasts just a little over a week!  While I do not condone flying over the crowded fairgrounds, I was able to capture this remote image from a distance. I used a tilt shift filter in Photoshop to give it “model” like look.

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Iowa Summer Sunsets

Here are a few more aerial sunsets. This is the perfect time of year to fly in Iowa (mid-summer). It’s time for the state’s annual RAGBRAI bike ride, and the Indianola Hotair Balloon Festival; The Hotair Balloon Classic. I take advantage of the low winds to get out and capture some great images of our midwest views.

Waukee Easter Egg Hunt, 2016

Our local Parks & Recreation team put together another successful Easter Egg Hunt at Waukee’s Centennial Park. I captured some aerial photos and video again this year.

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Here is the video that I created for the Parks & Rec. It was a nice volunteer opportunity for me. My Aerial Website can be found at http://dsm.photo

 

Waukee Easter Egg Hunt, 2016 from Cameron Stotz on Vimeo.

Short Clip on WHO TV, Channel 13

Our local Chief Meteorologist, Ed Wilson, gave me a nice “shout out” on the Channel 13 news a few nights ago. Occasionally, I will upload a nice weather related picture to Channel 13’s Facebook page; to share with all. Ed really delivered, giving a few surprising lines about my other pictures/videos and my YouTube presence. Check it out!

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Cameron Stotz on Channel 13 – Ed Wilson from Cameron Stotz on Vimeo.

 

High Trestle Bridge, in Winter

There is an amazing trestle bridge just north of the Des Moines area in Central Iowa. The town is called Madrid, but it isn’t pronounced like the Madrid you and I know – they pronounce it Maadrid, which is a little odd but okay. I’ve been up to this trestle bridge a few times in the past, but with my new equipment I am able to get into tight spots from great distances, which I can appreciate in a shoot like this. There’s nowhere to park, for miles. I’ve never actually walked the bridge, but I hope to some day, once the snow melts. Anyway, here’s a quick video of my time up there the other day. I’ll post a few pictures here as well.

Waukee Fire Dept – House Burn

This morning, I had the pleasure of being invited by the Waukee Fire Department to shoot some aerial drone video for a controlled house fire that the department coordinated. The goal of the burn was to give firefighters a real-world opportunity to fight a house fire in a controlled environment. While I don’t know the back story of the property, it was recently sold and instead of demolishing the home, they decided it would be easier and more cost effective to burn it down.

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FAA Drone Registration, 2015

So after I spend the time and money going through the entire aircraft registration process for my DJI Phantom 3 Pro, the FAA announces a web based registration program that will be out in the next week or two.

The process that I’ve proactively taken included filling out carbon copy forms provided to me by the FAA, getting those notarized, paying a $5 fee, and handling it the same way a Cessna gets its tail numbers. After all of that, here’s what the FAA has planned :

https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/

According to the FAA website:

“If you own a drone, you must register it with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry. A federal law effective December 21, 2015 requires unmanned aircraft registration, and you are subject to civil and criminal penalties if you do not register.”

Whether you fly for fun or commercially, you need to register your uAS. Unfortunately, the only benefit to registering is so the FAA can hold you accountable if you do something wrong, or crash somewhere that you shouldn’t have been flying. Registering your aircraft guarantees that you can be fined or imprisoned, and that’s the only benefit to you. Do you think the bad guys are going to register?

If you plan on flying commercially with your uAS, flying for money that is, you better have a 333 exemption. Fortunately, there are a lot of templates out there, for the folks that have their approvals complete. You can download their requests and approvals and use that as your template for your 333 request. Hopefully, the FAA will have a streamlined process coming out for the commercial use of uAS flying platforms. The 333 really isn’t the right fit in my opinion, as you are requesting exemptions from airworthiness certificates, the amount of fuel normally needed onboard, and many other topics that typically pertain to fixed wing aircraft. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few months.

 

Torrey Pines Drone Shots

On a recent trip to Southern California, I packed up the Phantom 3 Professional and brought it out there with me for the week. I ended up getting a few great shots while I was there. The terrain is so much different than the mid-west. It’s really flat here in Iowa, so when I have the chance to explore the mountains or the beaches from the air – I can’t pass it up! This shot was from the Amtrak construction underway, reconstructing the bridge through the lagoon near Torrey Pines. The rail line is still active, as a few trains went by me that afternoon. I tried to get some shots of the train, but it just didn’t work out that day.

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Torrey Pines Lagoon

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Amtrak Construction – Torrey Pines

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Torrey Pines – Looking South