Proximity flying

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I've been getting bored looking down at scenery. I often fly below tree height to add dimension to my footage and generally make things interesting, but I'd like to get lower still - low and around stuff. What I really need is an FPV drone, but absent that, how do you shoot FPV drone-like footage with a P4? Even without the flips and banks there's a smoothness to FPV drone flight that's difficult to emulate. I suspect it's all about maintaining momentum, lots of practice, oh - and fearlessness!

Anyway, I did some flying 'low and around stuff' last weekend (see video) and discovered that even in tripod-mode, making smooth slow speed turns in tight quarters is super-tricky. I managed to get the drone back in one piece. I may have pruned some of the undergrowth along the way, but in my defence, it did need pruning.

 
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MTO

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I've been getting bored looking down at scenery. I often fly at tree height to add dimension to my footage and generally make things interesting, but I'd like to get lower still - low and around stuff. What I really need is an FPV drone, but absent that, how do I shoot FPV drone-like footage with a P4? Even without the flips and banks there's a smoothness to FPV drone flight that's difficult to emulate. I suspect it's all about maintaining momentum, lots of practice, oh - and fearlessness!

Anyway, I did some flying 'low and around stuff' last weekend (see video) and discovered that even in Portrait-mode, making smooth slow speed turns in tight quarters is super-tricky. I managed to get the drone back in one piece. I may have pruned some of the undergrowth along the way, but in my defence, it did need pruning.

I think you did great!
 
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Wow, that was some great flying. Out of curiosity were most of the "tight" shots executed with you looking at the drone, or looking at the screen? Quite an adventure in a beautiful setting!!
 
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Wow, that was some great flying. Out of curiosity were most of the "tight" shots executed with you looking at the drone, or looking at the screen? Quite an adventure in a beautiful setting!!
Thanks. What didn't make it into that video was me inserted myself into some tight spaces with a complete lack of finesse. Fortunately, it was dead calm in that cutting.

Your question gets to the nub of it. IMO there are really only two ways to fly like that: vlos (close to, and directly behind, the drone is best - for obvious reasons) or goggles. As it would happen, I do own a pair of DJI goggles. I'm not sure why I bought them... vlos is the only way you can legally fly a drone in Australia, at least outside of designated areas.
 
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I love this stuff.

I was hoping you’d pass through under the bridge. When you finally did I was like “YESSSS!” ;)
 
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Glad it locked GPS. Easy to lose in tight or wooded locations. Good job.
Thanks. Good point about the GPS. I was in a wooded area in a 15 metre deep cutting! I recollect picking up 10 satellites at launch - at a shallower point further along the cutting. No doubt I would have lost some of these during the flight. It was rock-solid, though. Helped that there was not a breath of wind.
 
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Lucky you got out Pygar70 as not sure where you can go these days. Daily confusion.
Nice Gippsland shots and I was like I hope he doesn't go in as it's going to be a real interesting retrieval.
So far you're doing everything right (presume you gave tripod mode a go) and getting to know what's what. Can only improve on what is already great at the moment.
 
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Lucky you got out Pygar70 as not sure where you can go these days. Daily confusion.
Agree. Parks Victoria's ban on droning is an ongoing source of frustration. Of course, you can fly in from outside their boundary - but this is often-times impractical and can raise other issues.
No prohibitions flying at this old bridge. Also, no other visitors, so not breaking the 30 metre rule. Although I just may have forgotten to ensure my two children were more than 30 metres behind me when I launched! Sigh...

Nice Gippsland shots and I was like I hope he doesn't go in as it's going to be a real interesting retrieval.
Thanks - lots of great scenery in Gippsland. Check out my Blue Rock Lake video. I often fly over water or in locations with little to no chance of retrieval. While it would have been unpleasant, I would have had no qualms wading into that mosquito-infested pool to salvage the drone.

So far you're doing everything right (presume you gave tripod mode a go) and getting to know what's what. Can only improve on what is already great at the moment.
Yes, using Tripod-mode. I incorrectly stated Portrait-mode in my post - now fixed in edit. And of course, sensors turned off.
 
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I've been getting bored looking down at scenery. I often fly below tree height to add dimension to my footage and generally make things interesting, but I'd like to get lower still - low and around stuff. What I really need is an FPV drone, but absent that, how do you shoot FPV drone-like footage with a P4? Even without the flips and banks there's a smoothness to FPV drone flight that's difficult to emulate. I suspect it's all about maintaining momentum, lots of practice, oh - and fearlessness!

Anyway, I did some flying 'low and around stuff' last weekend (see video) and discovered that even in tripod-mode, making smooth slow speed turns in tight quarters is super-tricky. I managed to get the drone back in one piece. I may have pruned some of the undergrowth along the way, but in my defence, it did need pruning.

Fantastic colors and place to fly
 
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You could try building or buying a Cinewoop. It's a small drone with ducts around the props. I just built one and using a simulator to learn to fly it, avoids crashing the drone. Flying is all manual, a great new skill to develop.
This guy is one of the premier flyers
 
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You could try building or buying a Cinewoop. It's a small drone with ducts around the props. I just built one and using a simulator to learn to fly it, avoids crashing the drone. Flying is all manual, a great new skill to develop.
It's something I'd like to do. However, in this country at least, you can't fly them legally except as a club member in a designated area. It's a stress I don't want.
 
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5 stars!!!
Great job avoiding that hanging wire that wasn't visible until you were upon it in the last frames during your "fly under". That takes guts!
You mentioned "adding dimension" to your footage and I wondered if some sideways and backward flying shots might do that? A backward shot under or over that hanging log would have been a mind blower but a high risk, expensive potential drone killer as well. Ouch!
Another feature of advertisements and music video clips is shorter, more numerous changes between scenes.
 
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5 stars!!!
Great job avoiding that hanging wire that wasn't visible until you were upon it in the last frames during your "fly under". That takes guts!
You mentioned "adding dimension" to your footage and I wondered if some sideways and backward flying shots might do that? A backward shot under or over that hanging log would have been a mind blower but a high risk, expensive potential drone killer as well. Ouch!
Another feature of advertisements and music video clips is shorter, more numerous changes between scenes.
Thanks. Yeah, the hanging wires were a concern. I had spotted them before taking off. Backwards footage is impressive when you know that the drone is actually being flown backwards and not the video being played backwards. You wouldn't have been able to tell in that location. Besides, I was having enough trouble getting fluid motion in the forward direction.
 
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A very nice video. I like seeing old bridges and how they were constructed, especially logging railway bridges, much the same as your bridge.
 

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