Scott's World

Fly Legal Fly Safe FAA Part 107 Certification

The new year brings a lot of potential opportunities to everyone in the A/E/C industry.  The technology that is now in the hands of many people i.e. DRONES will provide opportunities to make many projects simpler and more convenient to produce aerial photography for project reporting and updating.

JGJ Construction Cleveland, OH  The Breakers Hotel Sandusky, OH

JGJ Construction Cleveland, OH  The Breakers Hotel Sandusky, OH

As of this past December 2016, I successfully completed and passed the new FAA RPIC (Remote Pilot In Command) certification test for Drones and have obtained my flying certificate.

Davis Wince Architects Columbus, OH  MC Fitness

Davis Wince Architects Columbus, OH  MC Fitness

What this means exactly is, I can now fly "Legally" my sUAV (Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) for any commercial customer/client who is looking for high quality aerial photography for profit. Prior to this, the FAA rules "flying for profit" were very restrictive.

Bialosky Cleveland, Cleveland, OH  American Greetings Corp. Crocker Park Westlake, OH

Bialosky Cleveland, Cleveland, OH  American Greetings Corp. Crocker Park Westlake, OH

Just a quick note, there are now and always have been areas across the U.S. where most civilian aircraft of any size are restricted from flying.  These areas may only be restricted for short periods of time but are clearly noted on either sectional maps which pilots commonly refer to or in NOTAMs (notice to airmen) which are provided by the FAA and in many areas are updated hourly.  It is the pilots responsibility to look at the sectional charts or read these NOTAMs before flying in any given airspace.

Sample NOTAM (Notice To Airmen) for JFK Int.

Sample NOTAM (Notice To Airmen) for JFK Int.

The most important thing that I want to pass on to everyone is this.  In order to fly legally anywhere in the United States a RPIC must have in his or her possession at the time of the flight their RPIC certificate and their insurance information.  The FAA is very strict when it comes to flying these small aircraft for commercial projects and profit so having the proper certifications in hand during flights is absolutely essential!

CBRE,  Butler PA Commercial Parcel

CBRE,  Butler PA Commercial Parcel

Any firm that plans on hiring a photographer/videographer to fly a sUAV for their project needs to ask first and foremost to please provide a current RPIC certification as well as insurance information with their quote. Never ever hire anyone who says they can fly sUAV to take aerial photos without checking on their credentials first.  Proof of certification and insurance should be easily provide by the individual who will be flying the UAV.  The ramifications of any accident no matter how small could prove to be extremely damaging to everyone involved.

I don't want to scare anyone who has hired a sUAV pilot to photograph a project and I certainly do not want to offend those who are flying sUAV for profit but this information is critical and everyone should be aware of it.  When you decide to have a RPIC fly for you using their sUAV, "Safety First" is the motto that needs to be followed.

Kokosing Materials,  Cleveland Asphalt Plant

Kokosing Materials,  Cleveland Asphalt Plant

Source: https://www.peasephotography.com/blog/

Lorain County Community College - Art Glass Installation

Recently I was contacted by a client/architect friend Ron Cocco of Clark & Post architects of Lorain, Ohio to photograph a new installation of Art Glass in a pedestrian bridge between two buildings located at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio. The artist, Shen Shen Sheng an internationally renowned artist from San Francisco CA was retained as the creator of this beautiful piece of Art Glass for the college. 

Like most projects this one started with a walk through to see the project. I was surprised to find that the scope of this installation was much larger than expected and right away I anticipated the need to have some additional help in the production of this project. The bridge portion of the installation was approximately 100 feet across with the remainder of the art glass extending another 85 feet into the next section of the building! Total length of this art work 185 approximately!

I also learned that the lighting in the pedestrian bridge itself was rather poor and the photography could not rely on this lighting alone. This would require extensive lighting and a lot of it. I contacted one of the local stage lighting firms in my area to explain the project and schedule a walk through with them.  

Derek Hons of Vincent Lighting Systems Company in Cleveland, OH meet with me at the site to look at the project and see what the best plan of attack would be. We decide that what was needed was a series of high output LED lighting fixtures evenly spaced along the floor of the bridge and into the adjoining space beyond and in one section of a lower level stairwell. In total it would require twelve lights which would all be connected to a central control board. Each light could be controlled separately to make the necessary adjustments for intensity and color balance. This proved to be an excellent choice of lighting as the art glass needed to have a lot of light plus some color enhancement to saturate specific colors.

The shoot was scheduled to happen at dusk to take full advantage of the brilliant colors of the glass as well as having a beautiful cobalt blue sky behind the building. As we move into the early stages of the winter the sun is dropping rapidly in the sky during the latter part of the day and the dusk hour itself is extremely short. The sunset the day of our shoot would start at 5:14 p.m. and be at it's best around 5:25 to 5:45 p.m.  I did shoot beyond 5:45 but the sky was getting rather black and the roofline of the building was starting to fade into the night and with no lighting on the building itself I was done shoot by 5:50 p.m.

The lighting process had began at 1 p.m. the day of the shoot with Derek and two assistants Ben Starett and Chris Myers arriving with the gear.  It took about 2.5 hours to string all the lights together at the control board. Each light was then tested a number of times. Once this had been completed we had some time to consider some of the potential issues we might encounter during the shoot.  We realized that the direction of the lights might need to be adjusted as there was no way to do this during the daylight hours. Each person including myself was outfitted with a two-way radio so that I could communicate to the assistants which of the twelve lights needed to be adjusted. This also included altering the color balance of a few lights to enhance the color of the glass. This would all have to take place moments prior to the optimum ambient light of the dusk hour. I actually had to make several corrections during the shoot but this seemed to go quickly with no real problems.

During the shoot I also realized that the passing cars created a bit of a distraction. Normally when photographing a building at dusk I try to have some of this action to create the feeling of movement but in this case it really took away form the subject matter. Fortunately there were not that many cars but I did have to wait several times during the shoot to let passing cars get out of the frame.  

I was also aware from my test shots a few days earlier I would be getting some flair on they camera lens from a couple of streetlights specifically from two angles where the streetlights were just out of the frame but still spilling their ultra bight LED light onto the camera lens. I had to rig my tripod with two Manfretto magic arms with black card to shade the lens from these lights. It worked very well but added several pounds to my camera rig.  In the end no flair mission accomplished!

All in all this was a very rewarding assignment as it required some thought as to how to handle this huge long piece of art. Many years of studio and location assignments made this shoot a success and I have nothing but good things to say about everyone who helped out.