The summary is: "Successful, Educational, Fun, Challenging!".
Set-up for Flight School
Once done this would become the indoor object to photograph with the DJI Phantom Vision. But first, the new recruits had to first learn how to actually fly Phantoms.
After a couple of hours of work we all decided it was time for some dinner and to finish everything on Monday morning before the Flight School workshop started.
Top Gun Flight School
Then it was time to introduce the instructors. My call sign Captain "Sunburn".
For about 30 minutes we talked about safety and safe flying, introducing them to the DJI Phantom, explaining and discussing the functions of the Phantom. Then it was time to let them get some stick time.
Because of the weather we were all inside. Being inside means that you do not get a enough or any GPS satellite signals and therefore, flying the Phantom becomes a little more challenging.
If your Phantom picks up enough GPS satellites, it will not only remember its home-location, but when you fly and let go of the sticks, it will just stop and hover in place. But if you don't have that GPS lock, it will continue on its motion and so you will have to be ready to counter-act by giving input in the opposite direction to make it stop.
The first few exercises were to really just get a feel for this. I was very pleased with my group as they did very well. And at the same time other groups had some spectacular and fun crashes around us.
Flying the DJI Phantom is a lot of fun - even when you crash. It's a very sturdy machine and usually only the propellers get some damage. And that's easy to fix - you just unscrew the propeller and replace it with a new one.
We did a good 3 hours of flying various exercises and during a break in the rain, I actually took my group to the park and introduced them to the DJI Phantom Vision. They were all amazed by how much easier it was to fly outside with the GPS lock. And they all did fantastic and graduated to be some great aerial pilots.
Captain Doc (Russell Brown) and Captain Hollywood (Aaron Grimes) presented on various techniques for still and video projects. This part is always very beneficial even to us more seasoned pilots. You always pick-up a new way of adjusting your images.
Presenting at Adobe Photoshop World
Mark and I decided that our topic should be "Traveling the World with a Quadcopter". We wanted to put some focus on the possibilities of this technology and the fact that we believe DJI has changed the way we think of travel and vacation photography.
We did not want to talk too much about Photoshop techniques because Aaron Grimes and Randy Jay Braun, two experts in video and image post-production, plus the Adobe pros Andrew Trice and the guru of all, Doc Russell Brown were also giving really informative instructions on how to create aerial panoramas and how to bring life into your images.
- Right before the Flight Training Workshop started one of the attendees came up and introduced himself telling me that he was very happy to finally meeting me and that he learned so much by following our adventures. This really made me feel good and started the session on a great note!
- I had two female students in my class and they both, while nervous, did really great. The rest of the group also did extremely well, considering they had to learn indoors, which is much more difficult. At the end of the day, I was very pleased with their progress!
- Some of my aerials (El Arco de Cabo San Lucas and Notre Dame de Paris) were printed out on an Epson on photo paper and canvas. They looked amazing and people actually asked for copies to frame and hang-up.