Learning to Fly a Drone

After years of hiring drone pilots and watching a few of them crash their aircrafts – and my cameras – to smithereens, I was understandably apprehensive about buying one of my own.

But as leaps in technological advancments in this category (obstacle avoidance, battery life, ease of use) trickled down to the smaller, more reasonably priced drones, I started taking serious notice. And about a month ago, I took the plunge and bought one.

It’s still surprisingly cumbersome to get the controller, the mandatory phone app and the drone itself all configured, updated and connected to each other. Keep in mind, I’m a Mac user, so the tinkering most PC/Android users are adapted to is foreign territory for me. I’m used to things working more or less straight out of the box without having to go through a bunch of reverse engineering just to figure out how to get it all to work. Like a computer, a drone is a tool. And if the tool is too hard to understand how to use, I’ll just find some other way to get the job done. Fortunately for those of us with limited patience and technical savviness, there are dozens upon dozens of tutorials available on Youtube. Some are genuinely pedagogical, too.

Once past the initial stage of frustration whilst trying to get the hardware and software to rock n roll, the flying while filming and shooting stills is fairly straightforward. I’m getting the hang of it now and letting go of my previous distrust issues – so that I can focus on the drone as a creative tool to allow me to get unique perspectives.

What I like best about the flying experience? Possibly using the “Home” button so that the drone flies exactly back to where it took off from – with out any involvement on my part.