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Ellesmere Port

Drone footage of Ellesmere Port National Waterways Museum

Ellesmere Port

Drone footage of Ellesmere Port National Waterways Museum

As you may be aware, I recently became a qualified drone pilot after passing my PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operation). This allows me to use a drone commercially in the UK to record video and take photographs for clients.

In the run up to my practical test, I needed to get some practice hours in – just like a pilot would for learning to fly a helicopter or a plane. One of the practice flights I undertook was in Ellesmere Port, near the River Mersey and the National Waterways Museum.

I took my DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter down to the car park near the museum, expecting to find a nicely deserted area from where I could launch. However, due to flooding elsewhere, the circus that was in town was relocated to the car park, meaning I had to find an alternate launch site.

This didn’t matter, however, as the presence of the circus tent made for some really interesting footage, captured by the 4K camera on the quadcopter. I experimented with some sweeping shots across the Mersey, while getting as close to the waterline as I dared, and also took some side tracking shots with a subtle pan.

While this was all just for test purposes, the footage captured did come out rather well and looked really impressive when edited together with some soothing music. The whole flight lasted no more than about 20 minutes, with the editing process taking roughly the same length of time.

It’s impressive what you can put together using a drone, a knowledge of camera movements and the correct editing software.

There were a few scary moments while flying the rather expensive piece of equipment over the water, however. While seagulls will, on the whole, ignore a drone, they did seem to want to circle very near to it at one point. A mid-air clash with a seagull wouldn’t have ended well for the gull or for the drone, as a forced water landing would, most likely, have been the end of drone’s flying days.

The ending of the video sees a cargo ship coming into Ellesmere Port, which was a very lucky occurrence to have captured on video. I believe that the tracking shot, together with the reducing altitude and tilt shot, really captured the movement of the ship as it sailed past. It also helped that I moved the drone below the flight level of the seagulls, who were also interested in the approaching ship.

Video such as this really helps to show of an area of beauty, and offers an unusual perspective not often seen. This makes it very sharable on social media, and helps to promote businesses to a much wider audience for relatively little investment. This video, for example, has already been viewed more than 6,000 times purely because people in the area are interested to see it. That’s a lot of exposure for what was, essentially, under an hour of time recording and editing the video.

If you’d like to know how a drone video can help promote your business, please get in touch. We’d love to help you.

Darren Jamieson

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