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Posted by on Jan 27, 2013 in Blog, Video

Winter Sun Sky Surfing

Ruined off.

Like rained off, except involving ancient battlements. Today’s video efforts are something of a backup plan, or rather what happens if you do an elaborate plan to go fly a site, and then get there to find that Google street view has let you down and access is absolutely impossible. Doesn’t happen often, but did today. So was the case with Bishop’s Waltham Palace. So myself, Special M and first-time flyer / improvisational cameraman Paul left, slightly disappointed we couldn’t do our original plan. Fortunately Hampshire is full of top countryside, and some of that isn’t locked, so we went looking for a bit of that instead.

Drive-by Flyings…

Leaving Bishop’s Waltham we climbed back on the A272 towards home, and did some drive-by flyings when we randomly found a very attractive golf course, later discovered to be Corhampton / Droxford Down, at the top of a very high hill, topped off by an atmospheric spot of Winter sun, and the flyings commenced.

Temperatures were reasonable, a nice change after all this snow business – I was working with gloves set C and only one set of thermals.

A random find... it's Corhampton Golf Course, yesterday.

A random find… it’s Corhampton Golf Course, yesterday.

Go Go Gadget Copter

For the first time in a long time, I found myself surrounded on most sides only by vast swathes of open space and no real hazards at all, so it was maximum flying speed and maximum flying freedom, and just the best fun to fly. Of course the wind was there to ruin it all, but I mainly worked with it, and so it didn’t, and I had lots of footage to choose from, all of it a bit shaky, but nothing like as bad as it can get.

Are you firing that at ME ?

Some moments of concern – notably some gunshots commenced every time I was over the golf course itself, and didn’t when I wasn’t, and I never did establish whether these might have been aimed at my little UAV. Needless to say, they didn’t take it down, so either they were warning shots, proper shots aiming to take me down but with rubbish aim, or nothing whatever to do with me and entirely coincidental. Perhaps I’ll never know. Not to worry.

Making the Grade

Hampshire has certainly got this whole 'rolling hills' thing down.

Hampshire has certainly got this whole ‘rolling hills’ thing down.

Excellent filmwork from Paul McTaggart today – that man has supernatural camera tracking abilities and filmed the hex suitably deftly, keeping it very much centre-frame  no matter how sudden, wild or unpredictable its movement on occasions, from my little portable Flip-cam, so props to him for giving me lots of cutaway options in this video.

I’ve done a pretty radical colour grade on all today’s on-board footage, as the GoPro2 washes out pale Winter Sun, especially if there is much ozone in the atmosphere or distance fog is involved.

Using ProTune shooting mode makes that worse, and increases sensor noise, but makes grading the footage easier at the end by not doing the normal inbuilt compression, thereby giving you more colour data bandwidth to play with. Also graded the Flip footage with a nice dark winter desaturated blue for contrast and to help see the craft when it’s high up against the skyline.

Another proper bit of sky. I say proper. I mean 'massively edited'.

Another proper bit of sky. I say proper. I mean ‘massively edited’.

What IS that sound ?

I’m surprised you need to ask if I’m honest. On the musics it’s the Nightcall Moonbeatz remix, yes, again, because it’s one of my favourite soundtracks for when I’m joyously tumbling about the skies, so let’s all enjoy that, and a healthy dose of Winter greens and blues…

What is that video weirdness and why won’t you make it go away ?

That’s Google’s de-shake again. No need to go round the arguments again for having it or not: we just are, and there’s no need to tell me if you disagree :)

And that’s conclude’s today’s flyings. I award them 6 / 10.  Might do some more today, or start the epic power re-route maintenance operations. It’ll be one of those…