When the night falls over Taipei, it is time for slow shutter speeds, higher ISO…and a flying gimbal
Before anything else, I need to admit that flying a drone at night is far from ideal, and flying over a populated area with buildings is out of the question. Most pilots would give up on the idea right away, since 90% of the possible obstacles are virtually invisible, blended with the dark of the scene.
On the technical side, drones still cannot see in the dark with their sensors (not sure if they ever will), and neither can the pilot keep the aircraft in the line of sight even if it is hovering a dozen meters away.
And although in most of the cases it is the wisest choice to abstain from flying, I still believe that with all the safety measures on check, a takeoff over permitted areas within the city is a rewarding photographic experience that results in colorful top-down images of vehicle light trails, pedestrian walks, gigantic x-shaped intersections, tungsten-colored roads, and miniaturized perspectives of buildings that could well be mistaken as part of a computer circuit.
Once in a park or open area sitting on high ground, it takes utmost concentration and patience to compose shots from the air. I think this way of flying, trusting on the built-in GPS to navigate a 3D space, and using the lights below as reference points, to send, and bring back the drone to the landing point could be the closest experience to flying an airplane.
Here is a gallery with some of my favorite night shots taken with a “flying camera” after the night falls over Taipei and New Taipei.
Naturally, when sending a camera to fly above Taipei City, photography is half of the fun. The other half is recording the fascinating nightlife happening below. Here are some of my favorite videos that resulted from some of these flights above Taipei.
Curious about what happens in Taipei City from above during daylight? Click here.
For more travel stories, drone movies and other short clips, click here. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt9NjA3TWuxLz2irZm38xNw