California's East Slope

I became interested in aerial photography with drones after I had made plans for my September trip to June Lake, California to photograph the Fall foliage in the canyons and around the beautiful lakes. I hasten to say that I am a cautious beginner at flying cameras, but see great potential for it.

Drones have difficulty with the thin air at high altitude and with winds—both of which are features of this area. I did manage to get the drones airborne several times, including two trips to the site of the abandoned Chemung Mine. The first visit was rainy and cold, but I had excellent weather the second time I visited there.

I carefully put the Phantom2 Vision+ up on other days when I stopped at scenic lakes. Lake Alpine and Pinecrest Lake had little wind and good sunshine during the flights.

Comparing the shots from beach level with what the drone sees from above is instructive.

I didn't quite realize it when I went there, but Big Virginia Lake is nearly 10,000 feet above sea level. When the Phantom went up, it was higher than 10,000 feet and suffered a spectacular swan dive after taking the scene shown.

Which explains why I didn't fly the drone out over the water…

Chemung Mine Fall 2014

Lake Alpine Fall 2014

Mono Lake Fall 2014

Pinecrest Lake Fall 2014

Virginia Lake Fall 2014

Carl Roessler
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