Rebuilt by drones – but not

Ah… Whitby Abbey. It’s been a while.

With a history dating back to the seventh century, the ruins have overlooked Whitby Harbour since the time of Henry VIII. And it’s a very popular spot for ‘toggers.

You can see why.

But it’s been ruined for centuries, so why not reconstruct it?

WITH DRONES!

It looks amazing. But… it’s not right. It would never have had a steeple. Steeples came around far too late to be on this building. And after a bit of digging, yes: this is just a computer animation as an example of what the company involved says that its drones can do, not what they have done.

Still. Go and have a look at what they have done: here.

Absolutely incredible.

Drone sunset

I’ve sat in my car park many, many times this year. In all sorts of weather (but mainly wet):

And I was there again last night for the team’s final practice session before the World Cup.
Last week when I was up North, I wished that I had brought my drone along. The sunset was incredible, but I was surrounded by ugly buildings and tall trees, which didn’t make for any decent photography.

So this week, rather than miss out again, I did take my drone along. And predictably, the sunset was completely rubbish.

Initially…

I’d actually packed the drone away and was settling down in the back of the car to watch an episode of Only Connect when I spotted the first tinge of pink in the sky. And while I didn’t think it was going anywhere, I knew I’d be pissed off if it did and I missed it, so I unpacked and set up again and by the time I got flying… well…

First things first: this is a stacked image of 5 bracketed shots, given that the sky was BRIGHT and the mountain was DARK. I’ve already been accused of RBOSSery by someone on the family Whatsapp group (wow – et tu, Brute?), but in fact, it’s actually UN-RBOSSed:

Look at that! And that’s just because there was far too much going on in the sky for the teeny, tiny sensor on my aging drone to handle. So no, definitely no RBOSS or hypocrisy here*.

I think this image would have been better with a bit more Table Bay in the mid-ground, but I was just down the road from Blouberg (aka “Blow”berg), and the South Easter was pumping. I was getting wind warnings even just up at 30m, so I decided not to risk much above 50. A bit irritating, but there are some things that you just can’t control, and hey, I still have a drone this morning, so that’s nice.
Always look for the positives.

Because the World Cup is coming up, I’m not going to be in my car park for a while now, and when practices do start again, they will likely not be 4 or 5 times a week, so I think this was a really good way to sign off for a while.

* Add a bit of Whatsapp compression and I can maybe kind of see where he was coming from, but I’m still rather hurt.

Day 661 – Reminder to self

We were in the pool again until after 9 this evening. That’s why this blog post is so late.
Sorry, I know you’ve been desperately hitting the refresh buttons on your respective browsers.

Is this January hotter than previous Januarys (Januaries?), or is it just our collective imagination?

Anyway, while we were cooling down this evening, floating and gazing at passing satellites, I realised that I need to get a photo of the pool at night. I mean, I’ve already done that here, but I’m thinking of chucking the drone up to get a proper overhead, rather than one from the bedroom window. When I read this, maybe I’ll remember.

In that post above, I suggested that the pool light was a gimmick, and it is, but it’s a damn cool gimmick, and nightswimming (which deserves a quiet night; I’m not sure all these people understand) is made much more fun by being lit from within.

The heat and the floating have left me a little tired, and I suspect that I will be heading up for an early night ahead of the first full week of school…

Or I might end up watching the Spanish Super Cup final.

Who can say?

Day 169 – New camera

Not a fancy Canon or Sony or whatever. Just the lens and sensor from my Mavic drone.

Well, I say “just”, but it’s quite a big thing for me to get it replaced.

I think I might have mentioned on here that there was a bit of an issue with the old one: there seemed to be some delamination under the front lens cover and that made the images smeary and yellow. It was evident in the top image that I shared on this post – despite my best efforts with the editing software.

The photo was taken at the beginning of the year and gradually, the problem got worse until I had two choices: stop taking photos with my drone or buy a new drone.

Actually, I was forced into the first one – the distortion and discolouration became too much to overcome with Lightroom. I mean – just look at this:

Ugh.

And I seriously considered the second choice as well; but then the virus happened and – having a bit of extra time on my hands – I looked at the price of a new drone.

Wow. Ouch. Eina. Lawd!

And while the new drones have a few extra features here and there and yes, they are HIGHLY desirable, in all honesty there was only one issue with my current drone. So instead, I looked into getting a camera replacement done. It seemed possible, but no-one was at work at any of the repair places during lockdown because they’re not classed as “essential services”.

Unless of course you want your drone camera replaced.
In which case they are quite literally the dictionary definition of “essential”.

Fast forward to this week and I finally bit the bullet and got round to taking Florence to Fixology in Sea Point, who sorted it within an hour while I walked on the Promenade:

Yes, rather expensive (the camera replacement, not the wander on the Prom), but not outrageous and better than having an otherwise lovely piece of precision technology sitting on your desk doing nothing.

Anyway, it was a bit breezy last night, but I did have a low level test flight around the garden and the images from the camera look spot on (as they should).

With plans for the next couple of weekends, I’m rejuvenated and looking forward to getting some decent footage and images of activities and landscapes.

Watch this space.

Day 21 – Mildly delayed

I have been trying to get these daily posts out at 8am, but this one is slightly late.
I’m pretty sure that no-one will notice – is there really anyone frantically hitting refresh at 7:59, like they’re hoping to be the first in line for concert tickets on some underprepared concert ticket website that will then crash 10 seconds later?

Remember going to concerts?
That was fun, wasn’t it?

Anyway. I digress. Often.

Yesterday was a flat, dull, calm, grey day. Horrible for photography, but great for taking the drone up for the first time in ages and having a quick spin out of the back garden. It needs some work on the camera (the drone, not the back garden): the lens plate is slightly damaged, but apparently fixing that is not an essential service, so it’s not going to happen for a while yet. So I was left having to do a  little bit of fiddling in Lightroom, which did at least give me a different image for my photo-a-day Lockdown album on Flickr.

And then, after a quick rain shower, and just as it seemed that all hope of any colour was lost, a watery peach sunset, which I togged from the top of the braai chimney while the braai was in use.

I would not advise this approach.

This photo really is nothing special, but as a symbol of hope and optimism after a miserable grey day, it’s still nothing special.

Today is also grey. Hold tight for the sunset.