Welcome to my blog
Here’s my blog… I’ll try to keep it up to date with things I’ve worked on, alongside camera and UAV related topics.
I hope you enjoy and please let me know if you found something useful.
The humble hotel shower cap
I recently had a sort through of my work bag and to my partners amazement I pulled out three hotel shower caps. Not knowing what they are for my partner thought this was very funny, as I wash my hair everyday and have no need for a shower cap! “why do you have three hotel shower caps?” she giggled.
With that I thought I’d explain to the many hotel staff who over the years have had to replace them after I’ve visited.
We are often working outside running around or hanging out of cars or other moving vehicles. Although we have water resistant jackets for the cameras the lenses are slightly trickier to protect.
If it’s raining whatever lens or filter you have on the front of the camera often becomes covered in water or even worse, dirt. This isn’t great if you need to be ready at a moments notice without anytime to clean and polish the glass.
This is where the humble shower cap comes in. Whilst I’m not recording, I pop the shower cap over the Matte Box, transparent ones are the best as they allow you to keep the shower cap on the front of the lens whilst I find the shot, then I whip it off at the last minute before ‘turning over’.
It’s a tiny solution to a problem anyone who uses cameras will appreciate. It saves me loads of time constantly wiping the glass and means I can be ready at a moments notice.
My motto is, if it works then use it, and I’d like to say thanks to all the hotel staff who have kept me stocked up over the years.
Vodafone's VOXI launch
It’s always good to know your equipment is in good working order especially when its going in the air. We preform regular flight tests and these are the reasons why.
Our regular tests flights are a great way to keep our skills at a high standard, as the old saying goes “practice makes perfect”.
During a flight there are many things both pilot and gimbal operator must monitor which involves a lot of communication between them, in addition monitoring the flight and of course the shot!
In addition if we change something with the aircraft or its payload we like to take the aircraft somewhere remote to ensure it is behaving exactly how we want it to.
And finally as commercial UAV operators we have to keep our flying hours up to date so it serves as a great way to do that.
I have flown a lot of radio controlled aircraft, but even this was a first for me.
I was one of four pilots asked to fly foam pigs along the beach in Brighton, for online bookmaker MarathonBet.
The marketing stunt was designed to represent the seemingly impossible task facing Brighton’s football team of winning the league following their previous promotion.
The aim was to gather reactions from the public seeing “pigs flying”. The reaction were great and we found people laughing, pointing and filming on their mobile phones.
The Job was challenging for several reasons.
We normally try to keep as much separation between aircraft as we can, however here we found ourselves doing exactly the opposite. It was done in a very managed way and all the pilots knew exactly where to be and what to do if things got a bit “uncomfortable”.
In addition to the close proximity to other aircraft we also needed to ensure the areas of the beach we were flying over were safe and managed and for this we sectioned off parts of the beach and restricted access to the public during flights.
Due to the orientation of the aircraft and the pigs we had to reconfigure the aircrafts orientation. As the aircraft is symmetrical we normally look at either the navigation lights or the landing gear for orientation. This will let us know if the aircraft is facing towards or away from us.
However due to the design of the foam pigs we had to change the aircrafts orientation in order to keep the elusion that the pigs were flying forwards rather than sidewards.
This job was a joy to work on despite the addition challenges we faced. We had perfect weather, and its always nice to bring a smile to peoples faces.
My Top Four
This is the Spektrum DX9 Transmitter, and as a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Pilot it is how I control my aircraft.
Although most of the switches on the transmitter effect the UAV, my top four most important switches are listed below.
Switch 1. Flight mode allows me to operate the UAV in three different modes, GPS/ATTI/MANUAL. Each position gives me increasingly more control over the aircraft.
Switch 2. Providing the Flight Controller logged a home point before take off, Fail Safe or Return to Home (RTH) will bring the UAV back to within 2 metres of it’s take off point.
Switch 3. Referred to as the “left stick” this has two tasks. The up and down movement will increase or decrease the throttle making the UAV climb or descend. Pushing the stick left or right will make the UAV Yaw, (move it’s tail left or right).
Switch 4. The “right stick” also has two tasks. Moving the stick up or down will move the front of the UAV up or down, whereas pushing the stick left or right will make the aircraft bank (turn left or right).