Birds Eye Bonsai Rock Lake Tahoe

Iconic Bonsai Rock as seen from a new perspective just 20ft over one of the most photographed rocks in the world.

Iconic Bonsai Rock as seen from a new perspective just 20ft over one of the most photographed rocks in the world.
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Behind The Lens

This photo is taken on the east shore of Lake Tahoe over the iconic beach known as bonsai rock. The rock is stranded out in Lake Tahoe yet due to the wonders of the world 3 unique bonsai rocks managed to take seed and grow out of its surface.
I wanted to be able to see directly into the water and thus needed the light to be directly overhead of the rock. I enjoyed the early spring sunlight as waited on shore of Lake Tahoe for the light to be just perfect. At 2:30pm the sun was just right to light the rock with few shadows yet still keep the shadow of the drone out of the shot. It was tricky but turned out perfect!
Lighting is always particularly hard when shooting from above, in fact unless I'm shooting in twilight I always have an ND/PL filter on the drone to help cut out reflective light.
For this shot I used my DJI Inspire 1 Pro with the X5 micro 4/3rds sensor and 15mm f/1.7 ASPH Prime Lens. I then fastened a Polar Pro ND8/PL filter on the drone to cut through the glare of the water.
Bonsai rock is an iconic shooting location in Lake Tahoe and photographers from all over the world come to shoot the rock from the shoreline. Therefore, I wanted to take a different approach to this iconic location and show a completely different angle. Thus I needed a newer tool to get me above the rock and achieve this angle and perspective.
Post was relatively easy for this image, I simply adjusted the contrast and highlights. I am not a big fan of over editing my images and haveing the ND/PL filter really help cut out any glares or extream exposure from shooting in the strongest light of the day.
In my camera bag
My drone case is a hefty backpack full of all sorts of goodies. First I use the GPC.inc Inspire 1 backpack to lug the large drone to hard to reach places such as the rocky shoreline of Tahoe. From there I have the DJ Inspire 1 Pro, X5 camera, two of my favorite aerial lenses (DJI 15mm f/1.7 Prime & Olympus 12mm f/2.0 prime lenses), 2 controllers, ipad, Polar Pro 6 filter pack, fold up landing pad, and DJI Osmo with x5 adapter. These elements combined allow for amazing results in the air or on the ground!
Aerial photography is its own realm of photography with a whole new world of angles and perspectives now available to any photogrpher. My advice is that just because you can go super high doesn't mean you always have to some of the best angles are just feet above your head. For instance this shot was taken just 12ft above the rock and 20ft above the water.

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