When did you set up Bright Sky Videos and why?
I discovered camera carrying multi-rotor UAVs (drones) in 2013 and immediately saw the unique and useful capabilities of these aircraft. In early 2014 I purchased a DJI quadcopter carrying a 14mp stills/full HD video camera and set up Bright Sky Videos as an online entity to share the images produced, to gain experience and to build a portfolio, with the eventual aim of offering a local, low cost aerial imaging service to SMEs and individuals.
What happened next?
In 2015 I gained my BNUC-s pilots qualification and received my Civil Aviation Authority PFAW (permission for aerial work). At this point I decided to at least take a break from my career as an accountant and give my full attention to Bright Sky Videos and with the support and help of my wife Chris, see if this could become a viable small business.
Who have you taken picture for?
So far clients include an ongoing project with the Walled Gardens at Croome Court to record the restoration work, a construction company, golf courses, an interior design company and an architect. A large part of what I do is still non-commercial, public interest work for my Facebook page, which has continued to grow and the positive reactions and encouraging comments are a great inspiration for me. I also like to think that by showing what these machines are designed for and are capable of I might in some small way be counteracting the largely unwarranted negative press comments regarding drones.
What are you working on right now?
This year has seen exciting developments, including investment in two new aircraft, both carrying 4K ultra HD capable cameras. I am also now writing for the UK’s first dedicated drone magazine, 'Flight, Camera, Action', and have recently returned from a trip to Germany where I have been learning to fly large, heavy lift, octocopters with a view to acquiring more industrial inspection type work.
How do the drones actually work?
The aircraft is remotely controlled by a radio transmitter and is easier to fly than a traditional model aircraft in that it is basically a hovering machine which does not need to be moving to stay airborne. It is this hovering ability that makes them perfect platforms for carrying cameras. The better drones have GPS hold capabilities and various autopilot safety features. The camera has a Wi-Fi link to the controller and a screen, so that the pilot can see exactly what the camera has in frame and has full control of the camera. I typically shoot stills in a raw format for maximum detail but this does mean that some post production processing is necessary. Much more post production work is required to edit and produce a video and is a skill that I have had to become competent in so that I can offer a complete, ready to publish, product to my clients.
Finally, tell us a bit about yourself and what pictures you like to take for yourself?
Proud to be born and bred in Worcester, I think we live in a wonderful part of the country, with many beautiful features. I think my favourite single subject is Worcester Cathedral and my favourite place to fly is the Malvern Hills with the beautiful views available.