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Posted by on Jun 28, 2015 in Blog, Video

Treyford Rise

Summer Solstice, almost…

OK, 2 days late for the solstice, and 3 days short of the longest day of the year, but thought it was about time I went and got some sunset action while the daylight hours are so long. So as 9 pm approached the sun was heading behind some fairly epic clouds, and the skies were turning golden just as I was rolling along the road between Treyford and Didling (really ?) hoping to find somewhere good to launch from, ideally next to a fairly impressive bit of the South Downs.

An impressive bit of the South Downs...

A fairly impressive bit of the South Downs, yesterday.

Luckily, half way along it I found a convenient layby, and a newly sown field with an open gate, and perfect launch spaces, so resolved to do 3 quick flights here in what I had been led to believe by the BBC was fairly light wind.

Up, up and away…

No craft in the air around me at first launch, so I went for ‘cams-pointed-at-the-sky’, and a fair bit of height. And the height was where it was all going on, as I found out to my surprise the first time I crested the hills on the left. I could see the lowest clouds moving fast, but had assumed that sort of wind was still way above my typical range, and conditions around 400 ft might be more like what was going on at ground level – just a few little breezes with an occasional longer reach, but nothing I shouldn’t be able to accelerate through and maintain perfect control…

Almost touching the clouds...definitely touching the wind.

Almost touching the clouds…definitely touching the wind.

But no; at height there were powerful currents that did their best to sweep my trusty Discovery Pro away from me and upwards – at one point I had to go into manual mode to power it back down out of the maelstrom. I’m guessing it was upwards of 40 mph up there, which is quite a battle for any multirotor. So on subsequent flights I kept things rather lower, which suited my purposes anyway as the sun got more hidden and less vibrant, but for that gained a slightly ethereal bleached-out quality as it fell.

Is 4 better than 3 ?

I miss my GoPro3+. It would have done a lot better than the GoPro 4 at giving me even light levels across a wide range of brightnesses. There is much to like about the 4 (Black Edition) but the way it deals with contrasty lowish light scenes is not one of them. Hence today’s videoings, which required more than the usual bit of post-attention, and in some bits there’s a lot of blacks but still the sun whites-out even when we’re centered on it. I’m sure the 3+ was better at that.

So a shame that my GoPro4 didn’t do very well there – but at least it was quite smooth, an achievement all of its own in all that turbulent airflow…

And here’s a little gallery of that…

And that’s the end of that bit.

See you next time

Aero J