Finding Places to Fly and Photograph with your Drone.
For some this is very easy – for others a bit more difficult. Here are some hints and tips which may help you find some safe – and photogenic – places to fly!
Note: most of these suggestions assume you know how to take decent pics and videos which you can share with the owners or overseers of the properties.
Learn to use Google, Apple or Bing Satellite Maps to locate large open areas. During a recent trip to Florida, I noticed that a large fairgrounds was just a few blocks away. This area provided a great view of the city and surrounding area and was very safe for flying.
Walking or Biking around an area can often locate some additional places to fly. I founds some large abandoned areas near some railroad tracks which provided an amazing view of a local park as well as the center of town.
Consider your Contacts
Do you or your friends know the owners of the local golf course? How about those who may own a local pick-your-own farm or orchard? These are often beautiful properties with great views of the local area. You can offer them some free photos and video in return for permission to fly.
School Properties and Conservation Land
Many school properties are vacant or very lightly used on weekends – and so can provide a place to take your aerial photographs. Many towns and counties have so-called “Conservation Land”, which are properties that allow public access for activities like hunting, hiking, etc. As with any other flying grounds you’ll want to check them out first and make certain your activities won’t distirb others.
Advertising for Places to Fly
I recently found additional places to fly in the following manner:
I contacted the admin of a local botanical park and offered to take video and photos on their 10 acre grounds.
I noticed a nice shot of a local church in some of my pics, so I sent a copy along to the church (found their web site) and also offered to shoot some other pics for them. They really liked the pic and invited me to take pics and video on their property.
You can even consider an ad on Craigslist in the photo section – offering free services in trade for permission to do some flying.
Many areas have Land Trusts which funtion to preserve valuable farmland, wilderness and other open areas. I shared some of my photos and videos with one such ground locally and now have volunteered to help them on an informal basis. They will assign me a couple places to photograph and arrange, if needed, with the farmer or land owners in question. You may be able to find some local land trusts at this URL:
Be creative and you can likely find plenty of safe, fun and beautiful places to fly. As a bonus you will also likely have a wider audience for your photos and videos, as these organizations will often post your work on their web site.