Questions and answers about the drone flying directly from the drone pilot
Jenny Wong - a drone pilot from about an year
My name is Jenny Wong, better known by my handle on Instagram @jdubcaptures. I am an adventure and wildlife photographer. Out of 7 continents, the only one I have yet to shoot on is Australia.
How long have you been using the drone and for what purpose?
I have been flying for just under a year. Drones either were too cumbersome in size for my travel style or the quality of image just wasn’t there, until the Mavic 2 pro with it’s hasselblad camera came to market. Droning is only one of the tools I use, the DSLR is still a mainstay.
What types of drones do you use, can you recommend a model according to your observations?
I would most definitely recommend the m2p, but rumors of m3p are coming out so I’d wait for the new one or wait for the m2p to go on sale.
When you're not shooting professionally, what do you like to shoot?
Lucky for me professionally or not, my love is shooting nature, outdoors, and wildlife.
Was it difficult to learn to fly a drone and did you have a fatal mistake?
I learned how to fly in Hawaii. For photography, it’s pretty easy. You don’t need to worry about too much beyond basic safety operations. Getting compositions came naturally as I’m a photographer first before a pilot. Flying for video is a different ball game then photography. Adjusting the controller for smooth flying, the importance of choosing proper ND for frame rates can get pretty complicated. There are third-party apps that can do some impressive stuff, and then there’s precision flying with drones like the air which is really difficult and takes a few broken props and possibly drones to learn well.
I have yet to have a fatal accident but a few dings on the props for sure.
What do you think about the regulations in your country is there anything that can be improved?
The regulations in Canada is incredibly strict, I respect that. Wild places should not be buzzing with a million drones. But a few permits a day for an area would be nice. Improvements would be to implement a permit system for recreation flying in our national parks.
Tell some fun story
Wildlife with a drone is something I don’t do often. I have to be really comfortable with the animal over several days of tracking them and be confident that the drone will not disturb them. For me often that means choosing compositions that are far away from the animal. Environmental shots. The odd time the polar bear was curious enough to swim towards it.
What do you think is the hardest to shoot and why?
The most inaccessible place I’ve shot and the hardest to shoot would be the high arctic of Canada on Baffin Island. It’s remote and only sees a few tourists a year, there is not a whole lot of content online so planning the shoot is pretty tough. On top of that, we were camping and snowmobiling on the sea ice, the vast sea ice can truncate any mountain and iceberg. Depending on ice conditions it determined where I can go as well.
You prefer photos or videos and why?
I shoot more photos then video, often if I need video I prefer to bring a videographer with me.
What can drones do to society?
I think drones are great for many industrial applications and creating content, but I do believe if it is to grow we need concise, clear, and universal rules around the world. Licenses that are international, like a driver’s license.
Do you think this is a well-paid profession?
I am not paid for my drone work specifically, I am paid for content, how I create the content, as long as I conduct my shoot legally, is of no concerns to my client. They do not need to understand my drone work, as it’s not always the case that I use it.
Drone pilot photography - from Jenny Wong
What do you think about drone filters? If you use them - what types, which brand and for what most?
I’m a polarpro ambassador, so needless to say I am a fan of filters. A polarizer is a must-have for photography, and surprisingly with how stable the m2p is NDs are great to do some long exposures or tame some light if you shoot midday. I’m a huge fan of the ND/cp line that combos the two for amazing water shots. In videography, it’s almost imperative to get the ND to control frame rates. For drones, you can’t go wrong with polarpro. Fit, quality, aesthetics of the brass ring, neutrality of colour … Superb and best in class.
Do you have a specific place or object you want to shoot?
There are many places still on my bucket list, but without a doubt, my priorities are to explore more of the unshot places in the polar regions. A front line and last line in the fight against climate change. Content from this area has a story that needs to be told.
What extra is missing on current drones? What manufacturers should keep in mind for new models?
I’m a quite content withy drone but being able to change the camera out for the zoom and vice versa would be cool. If tech gets there, live radio signal to drone pilot via app from airplanes nearby may create a safer flying environment and loosen up safe fly zones?