Kaiserpokal online

Gallerie zum Kaiserpokal online. Hat etwas gedauert,


Letzte Woche fand ja auch die UAV-g17 Tagung in Bonn statt – eine Fernerkundungstagung mit UAV Schwerpunkt. Gute Gelegenheit mit den Leuten von DJI mal intensiver zu reden und einige Konzepte zu diskutieren. Nächste Woche geht es voraussichtlich nach Bayern für einige spezielle Befliegungen für die Vor- und Frühgeschichte, außerdem ist die IDM der Drachen in der Planung.

mtc. Sören

Kaiserpokal 2017 – Regatta Gallery Preview

Kaiserpokal Gallery Preview: did some nice tests with the Haida 150 filter holder for the Nikkor 1424 wide lens. The wind conditions were kind of problematic and only two races were finished. Light and the overall cloud scenery  however was really very nice for a photo shooting and the early morning hours now in September start to have this magic clean atmosphere and this wonderful light quality. mtc

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Ferienregatta in Berlin

Die Abendregatten haben in Berlin ja eine lange und wirklich schöne Tradition. Die Ferienregatta in Berlin gehört da sicher zu den Highlights. Wenn das Wetter dann mitspielt ist das eine herrliche Afterwork Segelzeit in die Dämmerung hinein. Diesen Mittwochabend kamen erste Vorboten der Wetterfront  allerdings bereits mit Schleierwolken gegen 18.20 Uhr  vor die Sonne gezogen. So war das Licht doch nicht ganz so stark wie erhofft. Trotzdem hat es gereicht, um mal ein paar Tests mit diesen extremen Beleuchtungswinkeln vom Copter aus zu machen. Hier ein paar erste Shots. Leider ist der Südostwind keine gute Windrichtung für das Licht am Abend. Es bilden sich einfach weniger gute Kursrichtungen zur Beleuchtungsrichtung.  Trotzdem: das Licht ist klasse für die vielen Texturen und Strukturen der Wasseroberfläche.




Hoffentlich mehr davon zum Kaiserpokal – mtc! Sören


Preparing for the German Classics

Right back from our Scandinavia tour! Shot a lot of these fantastic landscapes at the west coast of Sweden and than also some in the North of Denmark. The mixed weather was kind of cool for doing all sorts of things photographically – from under-water towards copter night time and sunset shots and also using slomos at the coast. I am also feeling much more confident now that the Phantom copter systems are dealing well with strong winds ;).

A shot from Hirtshals Fyr: – flying at night is likely the most exciting you can do with a copter.



Did also some footage with grading in Adobe AE towards nice slomos. I am still working on these but there will be a slomo teaser soon for this project. Its just a very cool feature that can be used nicely to visualize waves and coastal textures and I want to use the 12o fps in the future also for the sailing sport photography. This is clearly a domain where we can do much more – and better ;).


Right now: preparing for the German Classics 2017 – this is as usual one of these very big events. The forecast is kind of hinting windy conditions but this is pretty much expected this summer.

mtk – Sören

Historische Jubiläums Regatta des BYC / VSaW

Schöne Bedingungen für die Historische Jubiläusregatta des BYC und VSaW zum 150 jährigen Jubiläum der Clubs, zuerst gabs gut Wind & Sonne und dann zumindest noch genug Sonne für so einige visuelle Experimente mit dem Copter.  Kleine Vorschau auf die Galerie schonmal hier – volle Galerie mit Download Option ist jetzt hier online: http://soeren.zenfolio.com/hjr17. Einige schöne Copter Shots bei mehr Wind zeigen gut was mit dieser Plattform alles geht. Insbesondere, wenn man mit dem Motorboot mitfährt ist einiges an starken Kompositionen möglich. Das Ganze braucht aber recht viel Konzentration, da die Previsualisierung zusammen mit der Kontrolle der eigenen Position zum Copter/dem Feld der Segler – die Situation recht komplex gestaltet.


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Havel Klassik 2017!

Havel Klassik 2017 – das größte Treffen klassischer Segler im Binnenbereich. Diesmal recht overcast die Lichtbedingungen, aber trotzdem wars wiedermal herrlich die vielen verschiedenen Bootsklassen vor den historischen Gebäuden zu sehen. Diesmal hatte ich eine Durchfluggenehmigung für das EDR-4 Sperrgebiet beantragt bei der BAF und konnte so einige schöne Perspektiven vor der Pfaueninsel testen. Ingesamt natürlich mit viel Potential bei besserem Licht und verschiedenen Flughöhen.  Leider ist das Feld schnell sehr stark auseinander gezogen, sodass man gewisse Prioritäten setzen muss. Eine kleine Vorschau hier schonmal. Die volle Galerie ist bis Do.-Abend online.

mtk, Sören

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Copter based motion-time stacks

Some of the new interesting perspectives of copter based regatta and yacht photography clearly come with time series visuals – or as I would rather call it: “motion-time stacks”. Its not new in sports photography and with fast cont. autofocus and high speed cont. shooting speed we have seen it in motorbike sports, skiing , swimming and especially with athletics and dancing. The appealing aspect is that you can tell a (very short) story with these stacks. The image reveals a series of decisions and is much more than a capture of a specific situation.


With UAV visuals you can create comparable shots – mainly possible due to the precise GPS controlled position hold of the modern quadrocopters – especially the DJI Phantom series. The lat/lon/altitude position is very precisely corrected and together with the gimbal correction you have only minimal changes of the area covered with the FOV of your camera.  Combining different situations at the same position is more a question of how to post process the time series and how to combine the changes into one image. With the new Phantom copter generations you can easily leave the copter at a specific place & altitude and let it capture the scene while shooting with a DSLR at the water level.  The only problem are winds above 5Bf  and/or gusts that exceed 5-6 Bf. The copter drifts away and you would have to manually move the copter in S-Mode to get back to your start position. Flying freely without VR-googles is also not too much advised when you do not have constant visual control of the copter position. You easily loose track where the copter exactly is. The standard RTH function does not work on water (you usually drift on a small rib, when you trigger RTH the copter will fly towards the position where you have been – not to where you are now)  – though flying back to sender (and not to the start position) is helpful and implemented in a way as you can update the  “Home Point” manually in the Phantom series control software when you have a GPS enabled controller device (iphone/iPad). This can safe your copter because on water you easily loose track where exactly your copter is. RTH with the hover option enabled (you do not want the copter to land automatically!) is a great function as long as you update the home point regularly on the boat. Thats the function that I trained a couple of times for these not so nice moments when you believe that you lost control and the battery warning noise is slowly eating your coolness. Btw: updating the controller position should be set with a shortcut once selected – its the function that you want to trigger every 20sec or so on a boat. I dont understand why this is not already implemented in the DJI GO app.

The „Dynamic Home Point„ feature of the Inspire copter controller software (version update 29.05.17) is also a  very remarkable feature in that context. It updates the position of the „Home Point“ using the controller GPS information. The RTH function is in that form a really useful function again.  This is by far the most secure option for flights over water where you start from a boat but it doesnt create safe automatic landings on a moving boat! Landing is usually by picking the copter in air by hand. Its the reason why the Phantom series works well here: you can easily pick the copter up by its legs.

Some picture examples that I did in may/june 2017 to find out what is working are attached here. Imo you either fly very high (you need a permission for above 100m!) or very low – approx. 20m – to get exciting perspectives – the in between wont make it in my opinion. Low flying is difficult, you often  cannot clearly define the relative height difference to the boat rigs and you do not want to distract peoples attention. Very high positions are nice to capture the field at the start leg or at the luv position but even with the 20mm (equiv) of the P3 you will need 150-250m flight altitude – and clearly a BFA permission to go that high.

To create appealing visual compositions you have to pre-visualize the direction and possible crossings of the boats – that is really the most challenging part. I usually try to get a fixed position close to a turning point where maneuvers take place. There are endless option how to combine light and action into something appealing. With the wide angle 20mm equiv. camera system of the P3 one always collects sun glint that will mess up the stacking process later. Its hard to avoid but you can try to keep at least the action out of the glint region and it can be also nicely used as part of the composition.

With the new copter regulation in place for Germany its easier to do commercial/research work than it was before. Mainly because you do not need an allowance for every flight from the regional authority anymore. There is a general clearance for commercial flights below 100m, and below 5kg weight in place. Above 100m and in EDR zones and some other restricted region-types a special permission is needed (an insurance is also a given).

In Berlin the EDR4 is blocking the south-western part of the Havel – so everything west of the “Kälberwerder” island is very clearly within the EDR4 zone (a restricted flight zone around the HMI experimental nuclear reactor). For this year for the “Havel Klassik” regatta race I applied for a clearance (that I received already) because the interesting visuals are all west of the Peacock Island and fully within the EDR4 zone.








I will add some more shots here in the future to make this post a diary of the experiences with the P3A and the P4P from DJI. So stay tuned.


MicroSD cards and standards …

There is a lot of confusion about the speed of MicroSD cards these days and various standards exist. Overall its easy to buy yourself into the wrong card type and for copter data acquisitions with the P4Pro the card speed is essential.

So here we go:

UHS-I and UHS-II (Ultra High Speed Classes):

UHS-II is the newest standard but is not supported by many yet. The Phantom series 3 and 4 all need UHS-I and definitely the fastest UHS-I cards. The UHS-I bus goes to 104MB/s whereas the UHS-II bus goes up to 300MB/s  (theoretical limits – the cards will not perform at this speed).

u1-u3 Rating:

UHS Speed classes are subdivided in to u1 and u3, while u3 performs minimum at 30MB/s write speed (needed for copter flights).

Video Rating: 

A new speed rating is called “video rating”. It scales from V6 to V90. The fastest cards are v60 right now (possible values are V6 V10 V30 V60 V90, but note that V60 and higher is usually UHS-II bus type and not supported by Phantom 3 and 4 series).

C-Rating (c1-c10)

Speed Rating up to 10MB/s write – this is a slow class rating and c10 should be always possible for fast cards.


Up to 32GB capacity the cards have the label microSDHC whereas cards bigger (64-256GB) hold the label microSDXC.

For the Phantom3A (5MB/s max write speed) Phantom3Pro (60mb/s =7.5MB/s) and Phantom 4Pro (100mb/s=12.5 MB/s) series the fastest at writing to card seems to be right now the UHS-I SanDisk Extrem plus and Extreme pro cards (90MB/s sequential write). While this seems overkill the u3/V30 just certifies that you will never be below 30MB/s write speed under real world / all temperature conditions.

  • SanDisk Extreme PLUS  microSDXC UHS-I u3 V30
  • SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDXC UHS-I u3 V30

Nice summary from Wikipedia goes here:





Drone Deploy and DJIs POI Mode copter image acquisitions

Using DroneDeploy and the POI mode of DJI  (this article was first published on jenacopterlabs.de).

Have been doing some leaf-off flights now in March on one of my favorite sites for complex tree crown point cloud mapping. To add to the leaf-on data from last autumn.


Fig.: Leaf-Off point cloud with combined height color coding and reflectance color coding.

This time I also checked the full automatic flight modi using the POI (Point Of Interest) mode from DJI and Drone Deploy with the P4Pro and the P3A.

Both work perfectly although I believe the POI mode can be dangerous when its done with low altitudes. You have to carefully check that the radius is free from obstacles when you define the center position, altitude and distance from center (radius) for the POI flight. When POI is started it begins with comparably low speeds. You can modify the speed setting when the POI mode started. Unfortunately you cannot modify this stetting before you start. Tuning the speed on an iPad or (even more difficult – on an iPhone) is kind of dangerous because you easily move the slide too much to higher speeds than wanted and the copter will immediately accelerate and start circling your POI object like crazy until you managed to move the slider to slower speeds. There is however always this stop button to kill the POI mode – this is handy and needed sometimes. When you press the stop button the copter stops the POI mode completely and waits for new commands.

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