VCC President’s Message – April 2022

By | March 29, 2022


I’ve owned a drone for three years. I’ve had an on-again off-again relationship with it. Mostly off-again. It’s spent most of this time in my storage locker, so I was very happy to find out that James Dies was organizing a drone SIG.

I was quite excited about my drone when I first got it. I passed the license test with a respectable 84%, and I was on my way. I did test flights to get the hang of things, although I once had to order new propellers after a hard landing into some bushes.

One of my plans was stock footage. We live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Surely, I could whip up hours of breath-taking video of forests and mountain streams, while making side money to feed my photography habit. Instead, I produced minutes of extremely average footage. The colour was not right, the video had a sense of being not quite real. Something was most definitely wrong.

For useable footage, a shutter speed of 1 over twice the frame rate is the key. For example, 30 fps needs 1/60th of a second. This low shutter speed now required me to use a neutral density filter. To get the colour consistent, I needed to shoot in video raw and do post processing. This was getting complicated. I decided to forgo video and concentrate on stills. I did get some decent stills suitable for the web by extracting them from the video stream in post, but shooting stills in raw and post processing the same as I do with my DSLRs was the way to go.

My journey slowed at this point. To get it out to where there were good shots was a bit of a hassle. YouTube was fine, but it’s not a replacement for information and experiences shared between other flyer/photographers. What I really needed was to be part of a group of drone photographers. That’s why I’m very excited about joining the upcoming SIG.

If you have an underused drone, are thinking of getting one, or if you just want to learn about it, I hope to see you in the SIG!

A quick ask as we near our season’s end: Our hope for next year is that we have a full season of participating in external competitions. Competition is a key part of many a photographer’s journey. We still need volunteers to make this happen. Please contact James Dies at for more information.

Steve Sproston, Acting President