Sky High Media Blog

The SHM Photography Blogging about Aerial Photography in Devon and The South West

North Devon Show

Wow, what a great day we had at the North Devon Show! Despite a few showers, and some very grey clouds, the sun still came through, and there was an incredible turnout for the show this year. With so much to see and do, for all the family, we have made this short highlights video to show just a small snippet! 

We will be adding photos to the photo page soon, so check these out too!

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Are you in the holiday cottage lettings business?

With the likes of AirBnB growing ever more popular, and with more and more options for relaxing or quirky get aways being possible it's important to stand out from the crowd. This week we were at Anstey Mills Cottages, near Dulverton in Somerset to capture aerial video and photographs for them to use on their social media and website. Recently they noticed a drop in bookings, due to the increase in properties available. For this reason they decided to get us in to show off their stunning cottages, and the beautiful countryside around them, to their full potential. 

In this case we were simply providing the footage, and the owners son, who is a musician and media student, is going to write the backing music and edit a video together. 

We look forward to seeing the final product.

If you need video or photo's to help promote your venue, cottage or cosy getaway, then get in touch

 

 

 

 

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Swaling on Exmoor

It is currently swaling season on Exmoor. If you have driven over the moor recently you may have noticed large plumes of smoke covering the landscape, and wondered what it could be.

 

Swaling is the age-old act of controlled burning of the old overgrown heathland and heather plants, and clearing the ground of dead vegetation so that new growth can appear. It is carefully regulated and is carried out by farmers, commoners, landowners and the park rangers. We were lucky enough to be asked to film the rangers for the day to see how they go about it.  

 

"Exmoor national park authority is particularly keen to support swaling on Exmoor. Swaling maintains the character of the landscape by rejuvenating moorland plants, which in turn provides grazing for livestock and habitats for wildlife.”

(Exmoor National Park - The Guardian)

 

We will be producing a short video for Exmoor National Park on this topic in the near future, be sure to keep an eye out for it.

 

More information can be found on the Exmoor National Park website at:

http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/living-and-working/info-for-farmers-and-land-managers/swaling

 

 

 

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Monday's Super Wolf Blood Moon

We have been rather quiet on the blog front over the past few months, but as the new year get's going, we have been busy getting equipment ready, and talking to customers about this year's upcoming projects - and last Monday we made the most of the day to get these jobs done..

On Monday 21st January, the world saw the Super Wolf Blood moon, which won't happen again until 2029, so we got up at 0430 with the children -who were just as excited to see it, and headed up to Exmoor, where the dark skies would give us the best viewing opportunity. Luckily the cloud cover was low, and we managed to get a good view of the moon. It was quite a spectacular sight. We snapped this photo, before heading back to the warmth of our home, where the children got a couple more hours sleep, and I made the most of the quiet morning to catch up on paperwork. It's amazing how much more you get done in the day by getting up a couple hours earlier than normal! :) 

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One week to go until the North Devon Show

This time last year we were having torrential rain, and as a result unfortunately the North Devon Show had to be cancelled due to a very boggy show ground. 

This year couldn’t be more different (thank goodness!). We now must be in week 7 or 8 or hot dry weather with no more than a handful of rainy days during that time! You can see how the grass is dying off and all the fields are lookin brown. We could definitely do with some rain for the fields and crops. 

We are now just a week away until the show on the 1st August. Preparations are coming on well and the marquees are being erected. 

Sky High Media are proud to be working for the show organisers again this year, helping with promoting and filming on the day. Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page to see the live streams. 

Facebook.com/skyhighmediadevon

Be sure to come along, there’s fun for all ages! Let’s hope next Wednesday is another dry & bright day!

To find out more about us, and what we could do for your business or event, see here. 

 

Google ‘North Devon Show’ for much more Information. 

 

 

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Curry on the beach

Yesterday we took a wonder over to Barricane Beach at Woolacombe. Despite living in north Devon for all my life, I don't ever recall visiting this beautiful little bay. There is a little café on the beach, where can grab a curry to take down and eat on the beach. The sea was warm, and the sunset was stunning! You could be mistaken for being on a Mediterranean island! :)

Great times, and highly recommended!

View the gallery for more local photo's.

 

 

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Drones for Inspections

We have recently acquired the Panasonic Lumix 45-175mm lens to mount onto our Inspire 1 Pro drone. This is an awesome lens for really getting in close to subjects, without actually... er, getting close! 

To get this lens to fit and balance on the gimbal is not straight forward. We had to make up a series of lead weights to counterbalance the weight of the lens. However, space is of a premium so lots of careful sanding and filing of the lead to get it to sit right without fowling any parts, yet keeping the required weight (to the gram) took several hours of dedication. However, we believe that dedication to doing what you are passionate about reaps rewards.

First tests with this lens have been very successful, with the Inspire handling the additional weight very well. Even in 20mph winds the gimbal kept the lens surprisingly stable. The only downsides to this adaption is a slight loss of flight time, from about 17 minutes with the 12mm lens, down to about 13 minutes with this lens. We however feel this is a loss that is insignificant when you look at what we can now achieve.

Building's, transmission lines, high structures, you name it, we can now get the photo's (and video) you need to be able to analyse, look for, and rectify potential problems, without putting anyone in danger of working at height.

Of course another benefit to this lens, is due to the strict laws we need to abide by regarding keeping 50m from properties not under our control, if you need a photo of an area and the only convenient location to fly is several hundred metres from the subject, chances are we will still be able to get the high quality images you are after, without having to crop in on a final image and losing megapixels (and quality).

As soon as the weather is good, we will get some more examples, and post them here!

If you want to discuss how we can help get the photo's you need, please contact us and we will be all to glad to help. :) 

 

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Mapping

We were asked this year to make a timelapse of the set-up, and to take aerial photograph's on the day, of the North Devon Show.

Unfortunately due to the wet weather we had leading up to it, and the poor ground conditions at the show ground, the organisers decided to cancel the show for the public's safety.

This led to us offering our services in another way with mapping the site for two reasons. Firstly, to show the extent of the mud and poor ground conditions we did an NDVI map (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) This shows up on the pictures below with green being good grassland, yellow as slightly muddy and the red area's as the main boggy/muddy areas. Secondly we mapped the site to make it easier for the organisers to set-up in the future. By importing our map into Google Earth, exact locations can be determined using GPS and latitude and longitude readings of key parts of the showground, such as marquee locations etc.

To fly this site and map the whole area we used our Phantom 3 Professional drone, which has a great flight time of approximately 23 minutes, which meant we could map the entire site with one battery. (It took about 20 minutes to map the site). We then process the data gathered and turn it into a useable map.

For more information on mapping, or any of our other services, please give us a call on 07813 554397 / 01769 572990 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

Lets hope that next year's weather leading up to the show is better!

 

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Summer has arrived!

Well it looks as if summer is certainly here with many parts of the UK enjoying temperatures of high 20's to 30 degrees Celsius! It is perfect drone flying weather, with good clear visibility, beautiful blue skies and hardly any wind! So this means we have been busy! With two jobs completed on Exmoor on one day last week there is a lot of editing to get done now, before more flying again at the end of this week.

We were so lucky to have been packing up at one of the Exmoor jobs to have these three fox cubs come put the hedge literally only 20 feet away. Quickly grabbing the camera I lay in the long grass for about 20 minutes watching them play together. Here is a photo of them, and a video can be seen in the video gallery.

Enjoy the weather whilst it lasts!! cool

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Our new toy to get the shots you want

We are excited to have just built our 4x4 off road radio controlled buggy, which can have the Osmo mounted on the top. This gives us stunning 4K, stabilised footage at a different angle, close to the floor, as opposed to 400ft in the air! 

Great for various different shots and capturing a new angle. Capable of speeds of around 25mph and all terrain, there is no limits!

Remember to contact us to discuss your project!

 

 

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Molton Monthly Magazine write-up

This month we have a write-up all about us and what we do in the Molton Monthly magazine! This magazine is distributed free of charge to all the homes in South Molton and surrounding villages, as far away as Chulmleigh. We have some exciting jobs to look forward to this year, and can't wait to get started on them when the weather improves! You can read the article (if you have good eye sight!) in the picture below. In the meantime, please contact us here to discuss your upcoming project.

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SHM obtain Night Time Approval

Most companies when they gain a PFCO (permission for commercial operations) from the CAA, they are restricted to only operating between sunrise and up until half an hour after sunset.

Sky High Media are now proud to announce that we have been given special permission to operate during the hours of darkness, by the CAA. To obtain this we have had to amend our operations manual and risk assessments, and then apply for permission from the CAA - which was granted today.

This enables us to be able to fly and capture footage from events such as carnivals, and firework displays.

We are proud to be one of only a few companies across the south of England to have obtained this special permission!

Please contact us to discuss your requirements and to help you promote your business!

 

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A new edition to our fleet...

Over the last few weeks we have acquired a new aircraft to add to our ever expanding list of kit. We are now owners of the amazing DJI Inspire 1 Pro. This give's us the ability to have interchangeable lenses for inspection purposes, it has a faster flight speed and can withstand higher winds (useful in England!)

Currently we have the Olympus 12mm prime lens which is gives a great picture with high dynamic range for general landscape shots, and the Olympus 14-42mm lens which gives us zooming capability from the ground to accurately see areas in  close up detail - perfect for inspections of roofs and buildings, or simply to get a shot which isn't possible without getting too close.

We also have 9 batteries for this aircraft, which means we can keep flying all day long if needed.

Things brings our current equipment to the following:

DJI Phantom 3 Pro
DJI OSMO Pro Stabilised ground camera
DJI Inspire 1 Pro
Canon EOS DSLR
GoPro Hero 5

Whether it is a promotional video for your business, a photograph of your house, mapping of an area, 3D modelling, or an inspection of a building, be sure to contact us to discuss your requirements for the new year, and we will be pleased to give you a quote!

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Too windy to fly...

...so we have been out on the ground catching a few photo's (just for fun) :) of various things and places. Take a look in our photo gallery to see what else we can offer!

www.shmphotography.co.uk/gallery

 

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Drone Mapping

Yesterday we went to a farm to map some fields where 1200m of new water pipes had been laid in the ground.

By using our drone we can select the area required to autonomously fly the whole area taking pictures at regular intervals and then stitch them together. From the data collected we can generate 3D models, ground level data, and information on how well crops are growing within the selected area.

Below are some examples of the many uses of mapping using drones. See each picture for further details. 

 

By selecting the area we ant to map on our software the drone will then fly over the whole area (at 250ft in this case) taking images. These are then stitched together to create this image overlayed onto a Google Earth image. A total of nearly 200 photos were taken to create this map. All this took less than 10 minutes to fly. You can clearly see where the trenches were dug and the pipes laid in the ground.

 

An example of a 3D model of a shed and a pile of stone in the foreground. This can then be rotated, zoomed in and flipped around to really get an idea of the area in a much more detailed way than just having photos. (This is a screen shot of the model)

 

We can then draw around an area and measure the volume of material within the box. In this case the pile of stone amounts to 468 cubic yards = 357 cubic metres. At approximatly 1.7 ton to a cubic metre of stone that is approximately 607 ton of stone.

 

 

We can also view how the terrain varies in elevation. This is looking down at the pile of stone, you can see the orange area at the top of the stone, and the yellow area is a lower part. The red colour is the highest part of the image, and is the roof of the shed. This can be useful if you need to know variances in ground height before doing ground works, for example.

 

 

 

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Devon D-Day

Today we went to Saunton Beach to see the Devon D-Day celebrations which were taking place. 2 Auster and 4 Cub aircraft dating back to the 1950's flew in and landed on the beach. Along with lots of other military vehicles and activities it was a great day out. The rain held off too!

See this short video we made of today.

 

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Surfdome

We are very prod to have recently worked with Surfdome on their new promo video #workyourbikni

All the drone footage was shot on Croyde beach by us earlier this month!

See the finished video here:

http://surfdo.me/workyourbikini 

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Guest — yabeshphotography
Nice Video Super...
Saturday, 15 October 2016 16:19
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Batsworthy Cross Wind Farm

Batsworthy Cross wind farm in North Devon is cited just off the A361 North Devon Link Road, and is the first thing holiday makers and locals see as they head into this beautiful part of the country. Wind turbines are a love hate thing, with peoples opinions on them divided. Today I had chance to stop by to see how progress was getting on since 11th February when I was lucky enough to arrive just as the first turbine was being erected. Today, just over two months later, there are now 9 turbines, with most of them operational.

#itsalovehatething

See the video here

 

 

 

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Woolacombe - is Spring here?!

Had a job at Woolacombe today, so took the opportunity with this amazing weather to get some pictures. Lets hope Spring is finally here!

More photos here!

 

 

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Sunrise at Huntshaw

With a good weather forecast for today, meant I was up early to catch the sunrise. It was very cold this morning at Huntshaw Cross, near Torrington, but managed to shoot this before my fingers went too numb!

View our photo gallery for more pictures.

 

 

 

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