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Know your drone's limits ...and when to exceed them

Most seasoned photographers will tell you that the secret to great photography is not the camera. It is not always the photographer. The secret to getting an image that captivates the viewer is to just BE THERE. Show up and press the button and be rewarded with something that others want to look at over and over again.

Of course, this task is much easier when you are holding a camera at ground level. Things get a little more complicated in the air at 400 feet with wind and rain. You see, the rules don't change just because your drone is being attacked by the environment. To get stunning images, you still need to just be, well, there.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a remarkable drone. I am impressed every time I fly it. I love aerial images of thunderstorms and angry clouds. The problem is being there. Thankfully, this aerial drone is capable of handling stormy weather that would send most of us indoors. This allows me to push it not only to its limits, but a little beyond them.

The above photo would simply not be possible if I was not able to squeeze a little extra from the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. That is a massive wall of rain coming straight at the drone and the wind was fierce. My rational side wanted to land but I waited a few more minutes. I took this photo and flew back to my landing site in rain and wind. Was it worth it? To me, yes. To the folks that purchase these images, yes.

Some may argue this is a little cavalier, but I disagree. You cannot always win a race by keeping the RPM under the redline. There are times that you might have to leave your comfort zone if you want to capture images that are unique and beyond ordinary. I was confident that this drone would be able to handle it. I have seen it manage high winds and light rain. In fact, I once flew a DJI Phantom in a blizzard...

Ok, that was a little nuts but it made for some cool video. The point is, in order to get aerial images that 'wow' people, you may need to get uncomfortable from time to time and that means you need to learn your machine. Know your drone 100% inside and out. Don't buy a new one because newer is better. Keep the instrument you have now and know how it handles every situation. Know when it struggles. Know the warning signs. Practice fast landings. Have an escape plan. Etc.

Remember, safety comes first. If I am near a storm I accept the fact that I may lose the drone. But, I make sure I am hovering over nothing. If it is gonna go down it will go down and injure nobody.

Thanks for reading and please visit my Facebook page to follow more images!


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