Behind The Image – The Swimmers
Top down drone photography for me has a very graphic design quality to it, something which is often enhanced when people are included. When I first started flying drones, I found myself photographing at the coast a lot on empty beaches. One thing that I really wanted to do, was to include people in the images and in particular swimmers. The initial plan for this idea was to set off to photograph some friends swimming in one of the local bays. Swimming at the coast of course comes with a limited time frame as you are dependent on tides and then also weather conditions for safe flying of the drone. Having found a day with suitable tides and weather, on arrival at the bay another issue cropped up, people. Drone regulations are such that for safety you cannot fly a drone over groups of uninvolved people. Of course on the day, the beach was full of uninvolved people and also very distracting uninvolved dogs, not the best scenario for safe flying.
From that initial failure came plan B (as in an actual plan, not the rapper). Plan B involved finding an outdoor area suitable for safe swimming, permissions for drone flight and probably the most difficult thing, persuading some friends that they really wanted to be getting up before dawn to go swimming in some cold water in the middle of April.
Once that was all organised it was then down the the shoot. With it being cold, everything was set up and good to go the minute the swimmers were in the water. The shoot was done within about 10 minutes. It was actually very physical for the swimmers as I was wanting splash to be seen in the images and when you are wearing a wetsuit that actually takes a surprising amount of work.
For the post edit I wanted to enhance the graphic design element of it and for this I brought in a much stronger blue colour into the water and emphasised the ripples in the water.
The picture of course wouldn’t be possible without the help of my three early morning mermaids, so a big thank you to the fabulous Sam, Barbara and Liz for going with the early alarm call.