Evening Light over the Isarwinkel valley
Evening Light over the Isarwinkel valley

Still in the experimental stages here, after Learning to Fly back in Tuscany, now I am back on home turf and looking for locations. Not as easy as it sounds, as a lot of areas are restricted to flying drones. Anyway I parked up and wandered along the gravel path south towards the Sylvensteinstausee for about ten minutes carrying the bulky weight of the Karma on my back. It’s a warm evening and I’ve driven straight home from work but  carried on down into the mountains to find a suitable location. I’m at the end of the Jachenau valley as it meets the Isarwinkel. Just at the side of the gravel road I quickly set up the drone and up it goes above the tree line and I send it out over the field in front of me, it climbs  up to one hundred meters and I send it about ten meters in front of my position on the ground so I can keep it in my visual view.

The original Still, drone photography, blue skies over the mountains.
The original Still, drone photography, blue skies over the mountains.

The evening skies are light blue stretched by white airplane vapours, adding a perspective addition to the views. Once positioned above the tree line I can turn the camera in every direction by rotating the drone, the forms of the nearest hills only becoming visible to me back on the ground by watching through the live feed on my monitor screen. In one direction I can gaze down the Jachenau valley into the fading light, the mountains dark against the low sunlight, turning I can see the Austrian mountains about the Sylvensteinstausee.

Standing at the edge of the Forest. Instagram post
Standing at the edge of the Forest

Recently I’ve reconnected more seriously with Instagram, I find it is quiet a cool platform and a good place to find some great photographers and of course a source of inspiration. I try my turn at tilting the camera through 90 degrees for that iconic aerial view so loved on the platform. The effects are pretty impressive too, although it takes a while to adapt, always running the risk of being too fake, something I want to avoid, these are two I posted on Instagam without too much filter work, the trees have been brought forward as they were disappearing in the evening light. The distant mountains fade into the background without losing the colours.

The stillness of the distant mountains. Instagram post
The stillness of the distant mountains

These two aerial photographs are from the same frame of the film, the first has been reduced for the square Instagram formula and focuses on the edges of the forest called Long Shadows. The second is the original clip taken from the film with an expanded view of the field showing the curves of the surrounding fields. The camera setting is on wide field of vision, so the still image appears to be curved at the edges, this is only really needed for horizontal shots of  ‘wide’ view landscapes.

Long Shadows, Instagram post
Long Shadows
Long Shadows, original expanded version
Long Shadows, original expanded version with the curves of the surround fields.

I’ve come to the conclusion I live in a pretty cool place, once you get up high without the effort of climbing the nearest mountain, the views along the valley and into the mountains behind are very beautiful. This one is again taken from a video, I tend to run the camera to record for about two minutes because this length is easier to download later and the shortened length makes it easier to find the right photograph later. The bend in the River Isar is clearly visible from the video still but by zooming in and sharpening the photograph the effect is a lot more dramatic for the second Instagram photo.

The Isarwinkel from above, with the bend in the river

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