Flying a Drone at the Imperial Sand Dunes (vlog)

Owning a drone is a lot like having legitimate cinematic capabilities (like in actual movies) in the palm of your hands. Actually, scratch that. It’s not like having, it is having legitimate cinematic capabilities in the palm of your hands.

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I mean c’mon, what is this? If I didn’t know that was me (and Shahan) in the picture, I honestly wouldn’t think this was real.

The first time I saw the drone footage on my laptop, I was squealing like a little kid in a candy shop. I mean, I was straight up giddy. Granted, I’m nowhere near being an amazing pilot, and to the average Joe looking at these shots, they’re probably like, ‘meh, so-so.’ But the thing that got me so hyped was that I’m not an experienced pilot at all, and the shots still blew my expectations out of the water.

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“I can’t really see what’s on the screen, but I hope this looks okay.”

There’s just something about controlling a camera in the sky (a really, really nice camera, mind you), and knowing that the subsequent aerial shots were created as a result of your doing. Yours. Not some person in a helicopter or sitting on a crane operating some humongous whatever-thousand dollar camera. It’s just you and a controller connected to your smart phone. Technology, man…

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How do I take a selfie without showing the controller?… Oh, I know!

I’ll admit, it was an impulsive purchase. But I also knew that I really wanted a drone for this trip. Badly enough to buy it online and then buy it again in-store because I was worried it wouldn’t get shipped to me on time (Of course I returned the online one. What do you think I am, crazy?). It also cost a pretty penny, but I’d say it was well worth the investment. I’d buy it again and again and again and again.

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At first, Shahan rolled his eyes when I told him I bought it. But then he ended up thinking it was cool, too.

DJI is really onto something here. This was only our second time flying the Mavic Air (after a brief 10 minute practice session at the park), but it’s so user friendly, we didn’t have any issues flying it at all. The only thing I was sad about was not being able to get an aerial shot of the drone following our car on the road between the sand dunes, but it was extremely windy, and I didn’t want to take any chances considering my novice piloting skills.

One day, though. One day.

Oh, and if you wanted to see the actual footage from the drone and you’ve got three minutes to spare, watch this: