King of the Hills
Up to the Top…
It’s been a good long time since I last flew from the highest hill in Hampshire – I don’t go up there too much because it’s very popular with dog walkers and local residents in what is normally golden hour, so I don’t want to disturb them too often. And I have to wait for wind conditions to be perfectly calm, as we are 900 ft up at the summit before we even take off, and we want to go another 400 ft above that and still get useful footage whilst not being blown away to Portsmouth…
Calm on High
Today was such a day, and being the middle of it, there were only a few people around, and not much wildlife to disturb either. All the sheep were way down in the valley, so apart from that massive mast, and the odd low-flying helicopter, I had the skies to myself. No airprox action required today so my panoramas went unimpeded, although for some reason the H decided it would take 19 photos (instead of its normal 18) at 350 ft, but even so, it came out fine once Photo Stitcher had done its thing with it.
The Winter sun was on the harsh side, making filming conditions contrasty and difficult, and I was trying some experimental exposure settings for some bits of this (had an ND4 on instead of the ND8 that might have been preferable), so don’t quite feel I got the best shots I could, and will be back to do it again under cloudier skies and with better gimbal tilt control. I could see all the way to the South coast and beyond, but unfortunately the sun was directly above that, and still very bright in the sky, so you can’t see it in the video. I will have to go back when the sun is off to the side because it is a spectacular view…
Even though I had labelled that transmitter mast and its supporting base sheds as ‘buildings / structures under my control’ (unmanned, empty and stationary), and didn’t feel obliged to keep 50 m away from it, I didn’t want to get much closer than that while the behaviour of my Typhoon H around such things is still an unknown. I have flown within about 200 m of it before with no ill effects, so today I felt confident I’d be OK if I kept a good 30 meters between it and my craft an didn’t hover too long in front of those radiating dishes. The TH didn’t seem to notice it was there though, and I didn’t see any unusual behaviour at all, so whatever that mast is transmitting, it doesn’t affect my RC signal if I keep the craft between me and it. I wasn’t reckless enough to do a Point of Interest because I didn’t want the mast to ever be between my craft and me, and I suspect that’s what kept us all safe.
Once more (with feeling)
Some of my camerawork was a bit ropey today, something I am blaming on very cold fingers, and just having a generally ‘off’ day at the controls ! I suspect I was too busy maintaining VLoS with the craft, and making sure it wasn’t going near anyone that I wasn’t spending much time looking at my screen designing cool shots, so apart from the initial tower rise and retreat shot it was all a bit random after that ! I will go back with a better plan next time :)
See you then