North East, MD

North East, MD

This was a gloomy, rainy, sleepy day in our home town. The forecast wasn’t giving any hope for a change in the evening and around 5pm I thought there would be no drone in the air. However, thing started changing dramatically around 6:30pm. What appeared to be a thick cloud cover gave way to clear sky and eventually the sun found it’s way through. I decided to fly right from the backyard of our house. When I started things still didn’t look that spectacular but as the sun was getting closet to the horizon this amazing view was revealed right in front of my eyes and it surely looked even more spectacular from the air. The image is stitched from 16 shots (two rows of 8) taken with Phantom 4. All photos were captured in .DNG format with color set to “none”. Post processing was done in Adobe Light Room to adjust contrast, saturation and local color settings to taste.

WHERE TO FLY FROM: head over to North East Community Park for a great drone flight practice spot. Even if you happen to be there on a busy day there is plenty of room to find a take off location.

BEST TIME: the park can be anything from completely empty during winter and early spring week days to quite busy during summer weekends and holidays. Sun rises above the town but you are almost guaranteed solitude at sunrise time. Sunsets similar to the one pictured in this article can be observed above water and nearby marinas but you are far more likely to have company.

April 14, 2016 update: the town of North East has a lot to offer and many places that are hiding in plain sight. The Main Street itself is a very obvious place to hang out and depending on the time of the year it can be the very definition of quaint and cute:

North East Main St 2048

If you are in the area you will want to visit the bakeries, candy stores, coffee shops and restaurants that all have something delicious to offer. As far as drone coverage is concerned you don’t always need to fly high to get cool shots. One might argue that the following photo could be taken with a regular camera. Sure it could, if you’re willing to put on high boots and stand in the middle of North East River. It’s just so much easier with a drone:

North East River 2048

All three images in this post were stitched from multiple HDR shots and processed in Lightroom. This technique allows you to go beyond your drone’s resolution and dynamic range to end up with a high enough resolution image for a large size print. For a detailed description of my entire workflow please check my Guide to Stunning Aerial Imagery.

More than anything else PLEASE USE COMMON SENSE and FOLLOW THE RULES! Always fly in the line of sight, respect wildlife and other people present at the location. STAY SAFE and happy flying!