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Hélène, running

Hélène is a 23 year old fellow artist from Amsterdam. She paints, sometimes large murals for children rooms, sometimes other work. She has a preference to portrait people showing true emotions, which is something we have in common. It would be the first time modelling for Hélène, and she preferred the Gagelbos instead of an area where the chance of a visitor would be bigger.

We headed out to a dark area of the Gagelbos, an area deep into the forest where the fallen leaves are black. I had been to the area before with Clara, in foggy conditions, but this time the weather was clear. I had an iPad air with me as an alternative display to solve the reliability issues with the iPhone. Again more stuff to take with me, the amount of equipment I take to a droneshoot makes it look like a professional expedition.

We started with some rising and descending shoots, after which Hélène did a large number of different poses. Hélène has a background in gymnastics, just like me, but she is more flexible than I ever had been. She also likes to dance the tango. That background was visible in the large number of elegant poses with stretched hands and feet. When the drone battery level dropped to 50%, I started an Litchi 360 pano.

After the shots in the dark area of the Gagelbos, we went to a more open area to the east, where a long straight path is located. There we tried the tracking option in the DJI app. Although I did not get the app working properly, I did manage to find a manual way to follow a walking person: if you just fly to in GPS mode, the frontal object avoidence camera's will automatically keep distance to an object. So if you try to follow a walking person from behind, you can just keep pushing the drone forward and the sensors will keep an distance of 6 meters.

Of course, this only works if the drone is really low: 1 to 1,5 meter. The main difficulty is the heading of the drone. If the drone is not perfectly aligned with the path of the model, it will move sideways and a correction is needed. After a few hundred meters, Hélène turned and headed back and we called it a day as Hélène feet were really cold.

At home, the pano photos turned out to be rather dark, the model photos and the rising and descending films looks great, and the walking shoot looked absolutely amazing. I noticed that the walking film looked sharp, while most of the individual photos from the film looked a bit blurred, because of the movement. Hélène E-mailed me later that she enjoyed the shoot, it the felt like a fairy tale for her. And running nude in the nature was a dream-like experience for her.

Lessons learned: running shoots are great

To Do: get some gear to warm hands and feet of the models.

Ideas for future shoots: more running shoots

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