Iceland & Drones

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Iceland was never on my radar until I started wedding photography, because some of the most famous internet wedding photographers seemed to have these clients who did engagement shoots in Iceland. A well dressed couple on a windy hill in a surreal landscape seemed to create the story that it was just them two, alone in this universe and relying on each other to live.

Photo by Anni Graham

Some shots were aerial which got me interested in drones. I started watching YouTube travel videos featuring drones which really elevates your film making and story telling. Like I said in my first post on this blog, I wanted to learn video editing for the sake of filming weddings, and flying a drone seemed like a special video skill to have for epic wedding videography.

Buying a drone was an expensive risky piece of equipment. There were YouTube tutorials and reviews for drones and not really a lot of legal tape yet about this equipment. 4k drone footage is a heavy file size to work with for editing on most computers, even the strongest GPUs and CPUs can crash when working with it. After what seemed like constant research every day for months, the DJI Mavic Pro seemed like a good choice, compact, decent footage and kind of affordable. I think with all the accessories and equipment it will set you back about $3000. Our motivation to purchase and learn this equipment was a trip to Iceland. I was living in London at the time and a flight to Iceland is very affordable. There were many aesthetic videos with drone shots of travel Youtubers who had gone to Iceland to explore its beauty. I wanted to make something as impressive as those videos.

At the same time, a lot of the research we did going into a winter holiday in Iceland were often less cinematic and hour long videos telling you about the real cons and pros to visiting certain areas of Iceland. For example the ice caves looked beautiful on Instagram, upon viewing more honest reviews on Youtube, discovered that it was highly unlikely that we would see the same quality of ice cave, that it was highly likely that our expedition could be canceled any moment due to weather and there was no guarantee when it came to the ice caves, so we nixed it from our list of things to visit.

Reality is more crowded, dirty and often smaller than the ideal Instagram version

Due to really appreciating these long in depth reviews of Iceland, I didn’t really make my first contents on my channel in the way that’s highly entertaining. My early vlogs about Iceland were boring. I didn’t know how to color them and I didn’t know how to edit or film well. At this time, I didn’t have a camera that auto focused during vlogs as well, so that meant I had to keep really still in frame if I wanted any depth of field behind me. I learned a lot from those early mistakes of course and now I try to prioritize entertaining filming and story telling and if I’m going to include any details about the trip, I’ll do it here, on my blog.

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