My drone now accompanies me if I am going somewhere suitable to fly it, and Hatfield seemed a suitable opportunity to give it a fly.
As I’m not using the drone regularly (it’s not my primary camera), I’m still getting my head round how to use the drone in my photography and how to compose photographs. The actual mechanics of flying it aren’t difficult – it’s using it as a camera that is the tricky bit. They do say that having constraints fosters creativity, and there are certainly constraints you don’t have with a regular camera – such as range, a short battery life and then there’s the legal constraints around the drone flying rules. And like a normal camera if you choose to use primes, you are constrained by a fixed (28mm) focal length. However, beyond that you are pretty much unconstrained. By that I mean where you position your camera – there are degrees of freedom that are inconceivable on the ground and re-positioning the camera is rapid. But like any other situation where you have unlimited freedom, you end up being overwhelmed, so I’m very much on the leaning curve.
Given that the sun was bright and – being January – quite low in the sky, I had to think carefully about what I wanted to shoot and from where. While the headframes are quite close together, once you see them from the air you realise that they maybe aren’t as close as you may think.
The site itself, and it’s surrounding landscape, is very post-industrial.All that is left is the two headgears and their winding house, a fan house and the coal conveyor. The slag heaps are being landscaped and everything else is just wasteland, so the overall aerial shots are pretty boring and only really add context to the rest of the photographs I took.
Getting a little closer tings start to get a little more interesting. I found the metal downcast headgear of more visual interest than the mainly concrete upcast one. Just a pity about the background!