Going on a Trip Across Canada, or even to another country but you're not too sure about bringing your drone? That's what this post if for! For starters, if you are travelling across Canada by car, by all means, bring your drone! Just be sure to follow the Transport Canada rules and the local municipal by-laws. Also, remember you are NOT allowed to fly in National Parks without permission from Parks Canada.
Flying, and going international is a little different. Depending where you go, the rules can change drastically. Certain countries may have rules in place for recreational/tourism drones such as Canada, America and the U.K. while some countries may have banned them outright! Some may even have no rules at all, it is your responsibility to research before arriving to the country you are visiting.
Another factor to think about is the drone itself. Chances are, it is powered by a lithium-ion battery, and may need special treatment as it may be considered a "dangerous good". Ask the airline you are taking to ensure that you do not have to do any special paperwork if you are bringing a drone with you, better safe than sorry!
Remember to use common sense, and you will be generally OK. Now go get some amazing shots, and happy landings!
Do you fly a drone for fun in Canada? Awesome! Make sure you know these laws, and help make all airspace safe!
This is a very important, yet sometimes difficult subject to talk about. With drones becoming more cheaper and more easy to get, there stands to reason that people who are not qualified or do not have "common sense" may attempt to fly for money without thinking about the safety of the public or the legal requirements as we have discussed before. If they are a legitimate operator, they should have talked to you and other neighbours in the area to let you know what is going on before flying a drone. Below is a few steps to go through if you think they are not flying legally (as a commercial entity). Lets say you're at home, and a drone is flying above your house, or maybe it is flying close to your kids, or simply over your property, or is doing dangerous manoeuvres near your property. What do you do?
Below is a simple process one should follow if you get into one of these situations with a suspected commercial operator (NOT a hobbyist). Before we start, If you feel that your life or someone else's life is in immediate danger, call 911! (please note I said danger and not being annoyed).
1. Talk to the Operator (If present)
The first stage you should always take if possible is simply talking with the operator of the drone. If they are flying commercially legally, they should have a spotter (A second person with them meant to look out for people walking, cars, etc...). Staying 100 feet away from their operation, yell to get their attention. Do not approach the operators if the drone is still in the air. Once the drone is landed, you can then approach and let them know your concerns. Please be courteous, since they might be a legitimate operator, and they have talked to the other neighbours but possibly forgot you! (It happens, we are all human). If you suspect they are working 'under-the-table' You may ask to see their S.F.O.C. and/or insurance (which they should have both at the operation if they are a legitimate operator). An S.F.O.C. (Special Flight Operators Certificate) is paperwork from Transport Canada saying this operator is allowed to fly commercially, and the insurance of the operator must be at least $100,000 for liability.
2. Reporting to Transport Canada
If you deem that they are an illegitimate drone operator, then you may want to report them to Transport Canada (Link to reporting page here). Simply follow the process and fill in the required fields. Reporting an unsafe or an illegitimate operator helps make both the Canadian drone industry and your community a safer and more connected place.
3. Ask Questions, and get informed!
Do you have questions if something is legal or not? You can contact Transport Canada with questions, or even contact a legitimate operator like us! We are always willing to help educate the public! Have questions right now? Feel free to comment below!
Click here for the official Transport Canada Drone information page!
Click here for the official Transport Canada Drone Incident Reporting Page!
A good little video from Henry describing the basic rules! Enjoy!
Using filters on a drone's camera separates the casual drone pilot with the pros. The difference in quality can be outstanding.
Camera filters are transparent lens-mounted camera accessories that control how much light makes it to the lens, and eventually the CCD (sensor) of your drone's camera.
There are many different types of camera filters. Here are some of the more common ones:
Polarized/CPL: Just like your sunglasses, polarized filters help reduce light glare and makes shots look a lot more sharper - perfect for shooting shots over water or in other high-light conditions. These are sometimes called CPL filters (Circular Polarized/Linear). They generally do the same thing.
ND: ND stands for neutral density filters. What they do is that they limit the amount of light that can pass through to your camera. These are especially important if you are shooting in a high-light environment such as a snowy location on a sunny day, or at a beach/ over water that reflects the sun. The different levels of ND indicated the power of the filter. 8 being less powerful and blocking less light than a 32, and so on.
These two are the most important filters you can use with your shoots. Note that there are also combinations of CPL ND filter, so take a look on google for some for sale that can fit your drone!
Note that shutter speed is a good way to control the general brightness of your photos and video, but this comes with its own limitations. slower shutter speeds, while brighter, add more blur to videos while faster shutter speeds can add distortion and grain. Shutter speed can be a totally separate post!
Below are a few examples of what an overexposed (no filter or too slow of a shutter speed), underexposed (too much filter or too fast of a shutter speed) and a good filter/shutter speed combination. The results speak for themselves!
A $50 lens can really help make your works stand out and with professional looking photos, both you and your resulting pictures will be a lot happier!
Do you have any experience with using filters? Do you have any questions regarding camera filters or other techniques you would like us to share? Put them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!
Henry is the founder and operator of Air Support Aerial Photography. Here he talks about A.S.A.P. news, drone industry news, and opinion pieces!