Drone video and photography are powerful ways to capture the world around us. By shooting from above, we can see things in a whole new way. We can see the big picture, we can see the details that would be hidden from us if we were on the ground, and just as importantly, we can do it all from a safe distance.
This was the case when I shot a window survey recently for my friends at Aburns Glass. Window cleaners had reported that the facade of the Farmers building had some windows that looked in a poor state of repair, and possibly unsafe. The only way to get a good look would be to set up an abseiling rig or much more expensive scaffold – or get me to put my drone up. I just needed a few days to secure the necessary permissions from the city council to fly in the CBD and lauch from the footpath reserve, and on a quiet morning, I was able to get useful shots of the windows in just a couple of minutes. The only ones bothered by the process were a few territorial black-backed gulls.
My drone was also a safe way to video the demolition of a row of derelict buildings in Rattray Street recently for Scope Group. The buildings that were demolished had been owned by Dunedin’s well-known Chin family and once housed Drake Leather, The Tai Ping restaurant and the brothel Club 166. The drone was a great tool for getting good angles that revealed the demolition process, and I was able to get some really stunning shots that for safety reasons woudn’t have been possible shooting from the ground.
The team at Scope kept the process as quick and safe as possible, including the use of a mist canon to damp down any remaining asbestos in the rubble. Scope specialise in asbestos removal and had removed it all in a painstaking process before the demolition even began.
The entire demolition process took a couple of weeks, carefully taking the old structures down, sorting and carting away the rubble to be recycled or reused as fill and carting it away. In the end, the only thing left was a clean site.
I love working with my drone on this kind of job. It can capture demolition and construction processes in a really dramatic way, giving viewers both close detail and a sense of the scale of works. All from a safe distance.