Dane’s Drone Captures ‘Hawaii From Above’

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My obsession with drones (a.k.a. quadcopters, UAVs, UASes, RPASes, yadda yadda yadda) is well documented, and I’m certainly not along among camera and gadget geeks. The images and video clips that they can capture from above can be incredible, and there are hundreds of drone videos uploaded to YouTube every month. In fact, in drone pilot circles, there’s a common complaint that aerial photography will someday become so common, there will eventually be nothing special about it.

I disagree. More people carry cameras than ever before, but there’s still a difference between bad photography, good photography, and spectacular photography. And frankly, my hunger for drone videos has exposed me to more than a few that probably shouldn’t have been posted at all.

Anyone can buy a quad, but people who have a solid mix of piloting and photography skills are relatively rare. And Dane Christensen, a traveling wedding photographer, is one such person. He reached out to me yesterday to share a drone video that he posted titled “Hawaii From Above.”

Christensen is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and as he travels all over for his wedding photography business, he’s started collecting aerial video for his danesdrone project. But his visits to Hawaii carry extra significance.

“My wife studied at BYU Hawaii and we went out there so she could show me the island — being the place where she went to college, it’s special for us,” he explains.

“When we were there in February I took my drone everywhere,” he adds. “I really like the ocean and I wish I could have gotten more shots of it… the beautifully blue water with people floating on top of it really made for some peaceful shots.”

His current rig is a DJI Inspire 1, which was announced in November, although he got his start on the more consumer-grade DJI Phantom 2 with a GoPro camera mount. The Inspire can capture video in 4K resolution, which isn’t yet widely supported but still makes a difference.

“Technically web players don’t do it justice, because no one really has a 4k screen,” he explains. “However, the 4k quality does look better on a small screen than regular HD… there is a greater level of detail.”

Christensen’s next Hawaii gig is on the Big Island in August, a trip for which he’s definitely packing his Inspire, and that he’s very much looking forward to.

You can watch the video above or on YouTube, or visit danesdrone.com for more of his work. You can also find him on Twitter at @danesdrone. He was kind enough to provide a few stills from “Hawaii From Above,” which you’ll find below:

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If you’re especially proud of a drone video you’ve put together, feel free to drop me a line. I don’t always write about them, but I do collect them on my Hawaii Drones blog.

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