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Mar, 2018

Trifecta Aerial Pool Girls

Aerial topdown drone view of three models floating in a triangular formation in a backyard pool.
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Won Staff FavoriteMarch, 2018


Peer Award

Peer Award
Outstanding Creativity
Top Choice
Superb Composition
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Behind The Lens

I discovered this backyard swimming pool from a referral of one of the models when looking to test-shoot underwater fashion photography. Prior to the underwater work, we shot the girls around the beautifully landscaped backyard. We started along the garden, then by the pool, then floating on top before going underwater. As we all know by now, girls just wanna have fun. So, while they were playing in the pool I got my drone out overhead to shoot them in sort of a synchronized ballet posing for the drone. Actually, I was rather impressed with their abilities. So glad they liked to play. I was getting a little too serious anyway.
We started shooting around 11 AM and had to finish by 4 PM. There was so much to shoot in the landscaped backyard with these playful girls that I hardly had enough time to shoot them underwater.
I was hoping for more Sun that day, but the bright overcast light turned out to be a better source to show all the details of this backyard pool area.
I started test-shooting underwater fashion stills and video with a GoPro HERO 3+. The same camera I used on my early drones. I've been flying drones for 7 years now and have 7 drones in my hanger. All with cameras on them. One drone, the DJI S900 has the gimbal for the SONY NEX-7 camera. A friend told me about a Polaroid brand underwater housing for it that was only $250! So now I shoot Underwater Fashion with the SONY NEX-7 in the Polaroid Underwater Housing. This top-down aerial drone view of the girls in a triangle was shot with my DJI Mavic Pro drone.
I luv top-down birds-eye views from my drone. I think it's because they're so novel of a perspective. When the girls started practicing their triangular formation, I knew it was going to be a good shot. At least it's better than them just splashing around.
There were a few concrete cement cracks around the pool I cleaned up a bit.
In my camera bag
On this kind of shoot, I just bring my Nikon D7000 with NIKKOR 10.5mm, 12-24mm, 18-200mm, and 80-400mm lenses. The drone is a DJI Mavic Pro with a built-in gimbal stabilized camera that has a 12 MP Sony Exmor 1/2.3” sensor with FOV 78.8° 28 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.2 lens attached. I'm waiting to get the next iteration of DJI drone this Spring.
The best way to shoot with drones is like sailing. Safety=1st. Comfort=2nd. Fun=3rd. This was a closed set shoot and the girls wanted the drone shots and they were not too tightly together not to be able to avoid any falling drone. Always have an assistant with you when flying drones to watch for things you're not. Especially when there are other people in the shots. Make sure you plan plenty of time to get the shots you came for. Since the girls wanted fun shots above the water, I didn't have all the time I wanted for the underwater shots to happen before one of the girls had to leave. But it was nice the owner of the pool, a retired photographer, said we're welcome to come back. He must have understood the dilemma I had.

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