In the heart of Miami’s Design District, the new Clima Home stands as a testament to modern architectural brilliance. Recently, I was commissioned by Camcon construction, one of my long-time clients, for a shoot at this iconic location. With over three decades in architectural photography, each project for me is an opportunity to explore and exhibit the artistry embedded in structures.
At the heart of my gear is the DJI Mavic 3 Pro, a game-changer in aerial photography. Its advanced features, like the 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera, offer unparalleled image quality, crucial for capturing the intricate details of architectural wonders like the Clima Home.
For this project, I employed the Mavic 3 Pro to achieve angles and perspectives impossible from the ground. Its ability to hover at low altitudes, sometimes just 15 feet above the ground, allowed me to showcase the Clima Home’s unique architectural elements in a way traditional ground based photography couldn’t.
In drone photography, especially in urban areas like Miami, prioritizing safety is crucial. The DJI Mavic 3 Pro’s sophisticated obstacle detection and anti-collision features are essential. However, I go a step further to ensure safety. My assistant plays a vital role as a vigilant observer during the shoot, particularly important at dusk when the drone’s sensors might become less effective. To prepare, I conduct a daytime aerial reconnaissance with the drone, determining the best angles in advance. This pre-planning is critical, as the drone’s collision sensors can become inactive in low light conditions during dusk, increasing the risk of accidents with unseen obstacles like tree branches or wires.
Ground-based shots complemented the aerial views. Using a tripod set at about 6 to 8 feet, I captured the Clima Home’s facade with my ground camera, running a series of bracketed shots. This approach, combined with the drone’s aerial perspective, provided a comprehensive view of the building’s architecture.
In drone photography, especially during low-light conditions like dusk, manual control over settings is crucial. I often adjust the ISO and aperture on my Mavic 3 Pro to avoid any compromise in image quality. The drone’s ability to shoot in a 5-stop exposure bracketing mode is especially useful in balancing the dynamic range in each shot.
Finally, flying the drone close to structures requires skill and caution. Despite the challenges, I’ve never lost a drone to a collision, thanks to careful planning and adherence to safety protocols like using Cine mode for smoother, more controlled movements.
In conclusion, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro has revolutionized how I approach architectural photography. It not only enables me to capture the essence of structures like Miami’s Clima Home but also ensures that I do so safely and efficiently, delivering stunning results with minimal effort.