22 December 2018

The Revisited Drone

I keep hoping that Breitbart will blunder onto this site and launch a hate campaign against me, thus sending me viral.

What drone? you ask. Well, if your memory is as bad as mine, you do. Less senile readers will remember that November before last in order to take better photos of my beloved bridges, i bought a DJI Mavik Pro drone, figured out the basics of operation, and promptly flew it into the archway over the entrance to my apartment complex, breaking the camera and running up an expensive repair bill. So i knew that my next objective would be to go out in the middle of an open grassy field and practice flying the thing until the joystick controls were intuitive, so i wasn’t left thinking, “OMG, i’m about to fly into that wall. Which stick do i need to press in what direction?

So i practiced a bit until i got more comfortable with the controls and was ready to learn how to take photos. And that’s when i hit the wall, figuratively this time. I simply couldn’t understand the user manual’s instructions on how to take photos. Crushing. But wait, there was hope, and it was in the form of Cooper, the college junior son of my friend David, who is a fine photographer and a drone expert. I could get him to help me.

Easy, all i’ll have to do is grovel in the grass and admit that i’m so senile i can barely dress myself anymore and can’t, after a lot of effort, take a damn picture with the drone. Sigh.

So i kinda stalled around about asking, and months went by, and more months, and finally over a year later when i knew he’d be home during his senior year for the holidays, i worked up my nerve and emailed him. And of course he shot back that he could do it in a few days.

I spent the next several days playing with the drone, desperately trying to advance my abilities so i wouldn’t look like a complete dolt. And you know, somehow it kinda worked. Suddenly i started understanding parts of the manual that had been completely opaque, and by the time the Day of My Great Humiliation arrived, i was left with a fairly short list of questions. Whew.

Cooper has always impressed me as talented and bright, and by the time he was in high school i was impressed with his maturity even though i made it easy on him by comparing him with myself at his age.

Well now i’m impressed with him as a teacher. He has the gift of assessing the capabilities of his audience and tailoring his presentation accordingly. I understood immediately every explanation he uttered. He quickly answered all my questions, and it was greatly reassuring that most of them were about how to set parameters that were already preset just as i wanted them.

It was a wonderfully reassuring visit, and on the way home i started thinking about which bridges i wanted to photograph when. I’m thinking the two San Francisco drawbridges over Mission Creek will be first. I can stand in the greensward to the east of the creek and fly the drone out over the creek for good perpendicular shots. But that’ll have to be next week because i’m caught up in all the holiday bustle now and don’t have time for it.

For now, you’ll have to settle for my very first drone photo even though i obviously pulled the trigger accidentally and now have no idea where i was. Ummm, upon reflection, it is probably David’s kitchen.

First Drone Photo
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Responses