When you hire a drone pilot the single most important issue the pilot deals with is flying safely. The pilot is fully responsible for this. It is one of the most complex things I have learned for my business which includes photography, retouching, video production with editing and now aerials.
         A safe altitude was only 200′ south of the tower but 300′ north of the tower due to the Sky Harbor flight path.

Anyone providing aerial photography for business use must register their drone with the FAA and have the FAA Part 107 license. The test covers many of the same safety issues for pilots of manned aircraft. You must know how to read sectional charts and legends to know what airspace you are in; Class B is Sky Harbor, Class D is for  smaller municipal airports. We cannot fly within 5 miles of an airport without authorization.

This FAA Sectional Chart shows many airports and warning zones.

We first use a few apps like to see if we can get almost real time authorization for the location through LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization & Notification Certification). We submit a request for a specific date and time to fly. If LAANC is not available in that area, which is the case for many areas in Metro-Phoenix, we must then submit a request for a waiver using the FAA DroneZone website which may take weeks or months to get approved. I then contact the Air Traffic Control tower of the airports nearby and provide them with the waiver ID # so that they can keep an eye out for it and rush it along.

The Legend helps us read the Sectional Chart to identify the class of airspace and obstacles.

An altitude restriction may be set to 100’ or 200’ in certain zones. The maximum altitude for a drone is 400’ in uncontrolled airspace, or Class G airspace.

When we get approval we ain’t done yet! DJI builds Geo Fencing into every drone. This prevents the drone from flying when it’s GPS determines that it is an a warning zone or controlled airspace. There are a few ways to disable this by submitting our FAA approval to DJI, and then turning off Geo-Fencing in the controller.

Now for the easy part: flying the drone, capturing images and enhancing/editing the images. Well, it’s not really easy even with lots of practice.

If your company buys a drone the operator assigned to the drone would be responsible for following strict safety rules.

Link to Aerial videos:

2019-08-13T22:32:17+00:00Aerial Photography|

Aerial Photography

DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ with 20 megapixel CMOS sensor and 4K video recording


Strong photography background:

Trotto has decades of experience in commercial photography and video production including advanced retouching and video editing. He applies this knowledge to the camera settings in the drone to ensure the highest quality images. Photos are recorded in the RAW mode which gives Trotto control over exposure, contrast, shadows and highlights while editing. Video is recorded in the Cinelike D setting with in-camera adjustments made to sharpness, contrast and saturation so that even if the sun goes in and out of clouds the images retain shadow and highlight detail. The images look flat upon recording and are enhanced in post which renders higher quality than having the camera enhance the images. He starts every flight with a short clip of the X-Rite Color Checker to ensure perfect color balance and to have a basis for enhancing contrast, vibrance and saturation.

Trotto uses several intelligent flight modes for specific projects such as circling a building or tracking a person or vehicle from behind or in profile mode. His team can track a vehicle at up to 35 MPH. Speed ramping in post can make the vehicle look like it is going much faster. For various commercial or residential properties Tripod mode gives Trotto finer control for smooth, slow passes in tighter spaces.

Mountain Park Church with award winning architectural design. View the video here.

Preparation; Trotto uses Google earth Pro to scout a location in order to get the height of buildings and any possible obstacles to ensure both a safe flight and that the 400 foot AGL (above ground level) altitude will be sufficient to photograph the property. He also uses Skyward and to get FAA approval, if needed, before the flight. FAA approval may be needed within 5 miles of an airport.

Using the polygon tool in Google Earth Pro any building height can be measured. Tower is 61 feet.

Construction projects have many uses for aerial images from marketing to planing to insurance purposes.

Loop 202 construction at Pecos Rd. View the video here.

You can hire a drone pilot or you can hire the professional photographer that flies his camera. Go to contact page.

Photography, Video and now Aerials

Tuhaye Golf Course at the Talisker Club, Park City, Utah

The scenery at the Talisker club is perfect no matter what season it is. members have an exclusive ski experience at Empire Pass in Deer Valley in the winter and, in the summer, golfers enjoy mountain views from the Tuhaye Golf Club designed by Mark O’Meara. My assignment was to capture the views in both mediums, photo and video, and to show the different seasons. My team can provide photography, video and now aerials. We started in September, 2018 to capture the fall foliage. The 4 hour scout of the property was directed by the realtors from Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. Maps of the golf course were marked as a guide and I was set free for 3 days to capture the imagery. I set out with photo and video equipment and 2 tripods loaded into a maintenance golf cart. Some homesites look down on the Jordinelle Reservoir so these views were also captured by hiking over a few hills with a monopod.

I hired an experienced drone pilot from Salt Lake City for the aerials of the homesites and the views. Although this was my first assignment to use my own drone I was able to capture a detailed photo of the front exterior of the welcome center. Perched up on a hill there was no good angle for a photo from the ground. I also provided interior architectural photos of the welcome center. I used the HDR method for natural looking interior photos.

I will return in May to show the green Tuhaye Golf course with snow on the mountains in Deer Valley.