Last week kicked off the 52 Week Photo Challenge and this week continued with a landscape photograph. This was somewhat challenging for me since I live on Staten Island in New York City and there isn't much landscape or photo-worthy landscape around here. Combine that with it being January and that makes for even less visually pleasing sceneries with the lack of greenery and typically freezing temperatures.
I tried to think of places to shoot landscapes without them turning into cityscapes and could only think of parks. Then I remembered that Staten Island is home to the former largest landfill in the world. With the exception of its temporary use for the aftermath of September 11th, the landfill was officially closed in March of 2001. The past few years the city has been cleaning it up a bit and have plans to turn it into a public park. It's still closed now and is mostly behind huge hills that aren't accessible to the public, so since its 2016, I took my DJI Phantom out for a spin.
As I was working at my desk at home, I heard super loud banging sounds of hail hitting my house. We had an unusually intense and extremely windy hail storm that came and went in about 15 minutes. The sun started peaking out and I felt like this was a good opportunity to get the landscape photo that I envisioned since there was a very dramatic sky.
I never used my DJI Phantom for taking photos so it was a first time for me doing this. This was challenging for a number of reason but the first being that I was limited on time. With about 20 minutes of battery life and having no idea what the inside of the landfill looked like, I had to rush to find a shot. I took a few here and there but nothing looked too spectacular. I saw a unique pattern of swampland that I raced to and worked my way to a satisfying angle from over a mile away, another challenging factor. While trying to get a low enough angle without drowning my drone, I took a few shots. The thing about shooting landscapes with a drone is that you can't angle the camera up without getting the propellers in the shot. I had to fly backwards really quick every time I took the shot so the propellers would angle back and out of the way.
With the "low battery" warning flashing like crazy, I flew the Phantom back at full speed and landed it with about 1 minute of flight time left. The front of the lens was covered with water since it was drizzling from the crazy weather. This is what caused that smudge on the right side of the shot. The DJI Phantom 3 Professional shoots RAW DNG files but they're nowhere near as good as shooting RAW on a DSLR. The image was overall grainy and its tough to recover as much detail in the shadows and highlights.
So here it is....week 2 done:
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