Using Drones as Tool for Capturing Footage – Part 2

Using Drones as Tool for Capturing Footage – Part 2

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The 26th Nordic Kite Meeting
Blokhus Denmark, May 13th - 19th 2024
So… How do I go about filming myself with a drone whilst flying a kite. Is it possible?

Well, I dove deep down into the Internet once again with a quest of looking for a solution to my challenge. I soon read about drones with tracking functions. A function that makes the drone track you. Now, could that be something?

I read a lot about drones using different methods to do the tracking and most of those drones had one thing in common, they all were way above my limited budget.

The drones that I could afford did not have particularly well functioning tracking systems. Most, if not all, of them, were based on visual tracking. Meaning they used their cameras to track a specific object. But I didn’t have to go much deeper into the information to find that visual tracking has a lot of pitfalls and show its shortcomings in many situations. Not quite what I was looking for.

Then I stumbled upon this ad on a Norwegian classified site. An ad for a tracking drone called the Staaker, developed and produced in Norway. (Yes, its name is truly intentional!) It was using GPS for tracking rather than visual tracking and the more I read about the Staaker the more interesting it looked! But then again it was that price…. Hmmmm…..

Anyway, the drone’s remote control, called a tracker, is just that, a tracker. Rather than have the drone visually tracking a moving object, the Staaker (drone) is tracking the wearable remote control. Now, this sounded promising! Could it be possible to wear the tracker (remote) and have the drone following you in different modes or flight patterns?

I started to investigate this and found that, yes, it should be possible. The very best would have been the drone tracking the kite but wearing the tracker and flying accordingly, should do the trick.

So i browsed the classified ads to see if I could get my hands on a second-hand Staaker for a reasonable amount of money within my budget. And I did! And the seller lived just down the road!

So I got on the phone and called this guy and a day later I was the Staaker’s new owner!

Wow! The Staaker looked awesome in its black and orange colour combination. And it’s a reasonably sized drone too, so you’ll need a license to fly it. To cut a long story short; I got all the formalities sorted out and soon I was ready for the first Staaker flight, yes, my first drone flight ever!

…and after a few test flight I thought ready for finding out if it really was possible; capturing footage of myself flying kites.

So one beautiful Saturday morning…or was it a Sunday? Well, anyway, I stuffed all the required gear into the kite mobile and headed for the beach. The wind was coming from a northeasterly direction and I knew exactly where I wanted to fly. This piece of beach is exposed to the current wind direction and also plenty of space with nothing obstructing the drone. Yes, I was ready.

I got the Staaker in the air and flew it around, kind of warming up and then I had it following me while walking down the beach to my destined flying spot. It seemed to work. Would it work when I started to fly too?

I pulled out a kite suitable for the current wind conditions and did some warm-up flying before I sent the drone back up into the air. Put it in orbit mode, so that it would fly in circles around me while filming.

So I was flying my kite while keeping an eye on the drone making sure it did what it was supposed to do. Guess what! It did! The Staaker “found” the tracker and did several circles around me. Hopefully, the camera was working too so that I would end up with some really cool footage.

After some fifteen minutes, it was about time to get the drone down, but before I landed it I had it hovering about five, six meters over the water and shot some more footage. Kind of like filming from a really high tripod!

Yes! When checking out the footage I found loads of epic scenes. So I rushed home to edit it and here is how it ended up!

November Low Sun Flying

I was very pleased with the raw footage and the final, edited video! Using the Staaker as a tool for capturing epic kite flying footage was definitely possible! Those drone shots surely bump that kite video up a step or two and with some more practice … the sky is the limit! (no pun intended)

But during this time other ideas had started to emerge in my mind. Ideas that were too interesting to leave behind. So… No, wait. Not until Part 3 of this series, so make sure to return for that in near future. …if you wanna know more about my ideas for taking this drone thing another step forward!

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