Droning with Stu Gibson

drone photographer with stu gibson

Droning with Stu Gibson

In the last 6 months our increase for drone charging requests have grown significantly and we aren’t the least bit surprised as we’ve witnessed an increase in drone imagery popping up in our Instagram feeds. The new angles drones can reach is very exciting, and making the shot happen via remote control takes you back to that one Christmas when Santa bought you a remote control plane/car/boat. You loved it then and you still love it today. We hear ya!

To help us better understand drone usage, we caught up with legendary photographer and drone addict, Stu Gibson. He talks about how drones have help him grow his freelance photography business and his producing unique imagery that clients are loving. Stu will also share some tips and tricks for drone use, where the industry is heading and share his favourite drone image of all time!

What have you loved about playing with drones?
‘Playing’ is the key word in that question. Everyday I can wake up and play with flying machines and somehow convince people to pay me to do it, hahahaha. Its’ unbelievable and I can say I love my job. You never know what exactly you’ll be able to photograph from above, sharks included!

What is your number one drone tip that most users wouldn’t know?
There is so much info available online these days, so everyone is a pro. But one tip I have is to change your setting when flying over water from boats. I always turn off all vision sensors for hand landing and launching as it makes things much easier. You should also never rely on the ‘return to home’ function from a boat as it can be pretty hit and miss.

What is your Goal Zero charging setup for your drone?
I use my Sherpa 50 combined with the Nomad 20 and it provides me with one full drone charge battery.  I then use my Venture 30 for iPads and GoPro charges so I don’t need to take  any additional power away from my Sherpa 50.

Why do you think there is such a trending movement towards drone use?
Everyone loves aerials and subjects look far more impressive from the air. I’m sure the drone industry will plateau, but for now it’s a hot product. For me, aerial videos and stills are totally mesmerising, I can gaze out the window of a commercial plane for hours, not really looking at anything, and it’s always so peaceful. I think my love of air stare has translated into my ability to capture imagery with a drone.

What drone brand and model are you using and why?
I use all DJI products. I’m lucky enough to have the whole Phantom family and a Mavic on larger jobs. I also team up with a partner when using the DJI Inspire 2, they are usually very reliable and the best on the market for camera quality to price. I go pretty hard on them regularly so it’s good to be able to pick up another one fast.

Do you have a comment about the licence for drone use?
At the moment there aren’t that many rules and laws, I’m a licenced operator and it blows me away that we are allowed to fly these things almost anywhere, haha, anyone can use a small drone commercially now, so it’s wide open.

Any other secret tips for drone users?
Read the manual to set it up correctly, after that, you need to be doing something very silly to crash one. Drones are incredibly smart using some very cool technology, so you hardly even have to fly them, and this provides you with more time to focus on capturing the perfect angle.

What’s your favourite photo you have taken with a drone and why?
It’s from my last trip, we were on a bikini shoot in Tahiti and a big pack of sharks swarmed our boat. I then decided to fly the drone over one of the models laying on the front of the boat, the shot was perfect, and I was super stoked to have captured it with an aerial view.

How has using a drone changed your photography style?
Using drones has changed my workload, that’s one thing for certain.  I’m currently receiving an abundance of work with drones and it has led me back into video production. I still loves stills and I shoot plenty of water images but I enjoy the diversification of my work and looking down from above.

To learn more about Stu Gibson and stalk his work, you can visit his website on www.stugibson.net. You can else check out more on Stu via his Goal Zero Ambassador page. Or we totally recommend becoming one of his followers on Instagram.


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