I visited Burghead on a chilly November afternoon, a long drive (over 2 hours) from the Arbroath starting point! Arriving later than expected due to a slight Google Maps mishap - I'd entered 'Burghead Bay' which took me past Kinloss Barracks before I realised that I was heading to the wrong destination! The sunset looked promising, and I was afraid of missing the best opportunities for a decent picture.
Luckily the area didn't seem that busy (you don't really want to have too many people near-by) and there was ample room to get parked, grab the required kit, and find a suitable point on the nearby grass.
I decided to visit following a random request for pictures of the town - I didn't have any - checked on a map and thought it looked like an interesting place!
Before the first flight I had checked for any official airspace restrictions as RAF Lossiemouth is not too far away - however, the area is well outside of any restriction. I wish DJI would update their own maps to reflect reality as the controller immediately warned I was in an "altitude zone" as soon as I powered up.
The flight restriction map as presented by DJI (above), who manufacture the drone, this differs from the official airspace restrictions for RAF Lossiemouth which end well away. The information here is still important as it can stop the drone from taking off or flying in to the marked areas.
This is the flight path as recorded by the drone (above). The flight log contains lots of information such a battery level, control link strength, GPS signal strength, location/direction of pictures, altitude and distance from home-point at any given moment
Some of the pictures
With the light quickly fading I managed a few pictures of the harbour area. Flight-time is in the region of 35 minutes (varies depending on how hard the drone has to work against any wind, etc), so it was time to land and change batteries.
When I got back in the air the sun was well and truly set. So it was time to switch techniques to hopefully get some good night-time captures. Low light drone photography techniques were explained to me by fellow drone pilot, and photographer extraordinaire, Ben whose work you should check-out at Tayside in Pictures.
Above, a similar picture to the last however this is a combination of separate pictures starting off with one looking directly down at the shore and then raising the camera progressively for a couple more. Photoshop is then used to combine the images later to create this. Street and building lights make for interesting aerial photos once the natural light begins to fade. There has to be just enough natural light so the surroundings aren't lost in blackness however! The road running near the centre of the picture right out of town is Grant Street which seems to turn in to St Aethans Road as it leaves town.
Multi-shot pictures are great to capture very wide of very high shot, because the processing is done later it's sometime a bit hit-and-miss. Sometimes the pictures will just not combine in the way planned.
Industrial building are often well lit and can look completely different at night than they do during the day. You'll notice on these pictures of the Burghhead maltings some lights are different colours - this is due to the different type of lighting - older lights tend to be more orange in colour.
Finally a couple while heading back towards the harbour. The light was really fading fast so it was time to land and pack up.
That was the end of my trip, just time for the long drive home.
I've tried to expand a bit more in this article on the techniques and process involved in what I do - if you've found this interesting and would like to see more posts like this please let me know.