Newbee'ish from Leicestershire

Hi everyone,
I’m Gary from Leicestershire. I’ve been a professional photographer for ten years and I’m dipping my toes into aerial photography with a Mavic Air 2. I’ve passed my A2CofC, have my Flyer and Operator ID and plan to get insurance on a daily basis if I get a job.
Is it just me or does anyone else find droning a minefield? There seem to be so many ifs, whats and maybes. And most people who don’t fly a drone automatically seems to hate them.
Anyway, I’ve taken a few aerial shots whilst on shoots which you can see on this page: Aerial Photography — SMD Photography - Leicester Photographer
After doing the A2CofC course, I’m now starting to wonder if the shots over the bridge and marina were legal!
If aerial photography is a viable addition to my business I’ll start looking at a more pro spec drone. Although, I must say, the Mavic Air 2 is very capable. The only downside I can see so far is that the images are quite grainy in the shadows.
I’ve waffled again but it’s good to be part of the group!


Hi Gary @SMD and welcome to Grey Arrows :wave:t2:

There’s a fair amount to it, for sure :slight_smile:

We can help with some of it though, check this out:

And have you seen our members map? (Click the burger-menu in the top right) You may find some pilots living near you. Feel free to add yourself to the members map too :+1:t2:

We’re a well established club with many knowledgable members so it’s very likely that any issues you come across will have been discussed here before. Our discussion forum has very powerful search features which should help you find what you need but if you get stuck you can post a new question in the #questions-and-answers category.

Looking for recommendations of places to fly? Check out our interactive map on Drone Scene - be sure to log in to gain access to the full suite of features and map layers:

And please feel free to add locations of your own too.

Please also take a moment to look at the Membership Levels section on our FAQ as we’re quite different to other clubs and you’ll be eligible for some rather exclusive club discounts as your membership level increases :blush:

Welcome once again!

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Hi Gary, newbie here too, I busted my cheery here yesterday. Your obviously very advanced from my…‘cross my fingers and hope not to crash stage’…that I’m at.
Best of luck with your business venture and hope everything works out for you :+1:

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Honestly, that Good to Go questionnaire is brilliant! It’s just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks for the link. I’ll take a look at the other things you mentioned.

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It’s the usual reason for hate too, ignorance through non-education bolstered by sensation whipped up to sell newspapers.

Make sure you are in the right to be where you are - Dronescene and Good 2 Go are your friends here - and then act as an ambassador for UAV flying. Explain that you are trained and licensed, invite the complainant to look at the screen to see what you are seeing, talk to them. It’s fear of the unknown that also makes them antagonistic.

It depends on your budget and also how much effort you want to put into preparation and flying. Essentially the bigger the sensor the better dynamic range and low-light performance. A Mavic 2 Pro would be a step up with much the same ease of lying as your Air 2. Then an Inspire with the X5 camera - Micro four thirds sensor and lens mount will give a better image at the expense of being a less wieldy beast to carry and fly. Then we get into heavy lift territory, a fair amount of time spent in building, maintaining, tuning and making parts from various sources (or even DJI sub-systems from different eras) work with one another. Flying is pretty much hands on all the time and often two operators are required - pilot and cameraman working together - but the trouble and expense allows you to put an APS-C or full frame camera In the air.

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Hi Gary @SMD welcome to Grey Arrows, had a quick look at your site and looks very nice. Recognise a few of them places as from south Leicestershire myself. Are a few good places to fly round here; Harringworth viaduct is a favourite of mine. Harringworth Viaduct yesterday (24/03/21)

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Hi there