Two new experiences at Greg Harding Photography happened over the last weekend. The first one was getting up at 4 o'clock in the morning to go to work. I can assure you that I'm not unfamiliar with early starts (I've got kids), but going to work at 4am is definitely something new. The reason behind the early start was to capture stills and video at Carrington Power Station construction site at day break. We literally wanted to see the sun rise over the construction site.
The second new and fabulous experience was working with UAV operator Greg Chivers. We're really excited to have teamed up with Greg C to add aerial services to GHP's growing suite of services that we can offer to clients. We've seen the number of enquires relating to aerial and drone photography & video rising and we thought it high time to engage with a professionally qualified UAV pilot to provide some truly unique imagery for our projects. Of course the use of drones for photography/video is a 'hot' topic at present and the use of them commercially is highly restricted, so minimising the risk is important when flying these above people heads and over occupied sites. Hence the reason for the early start.
About a month ago we walked the location, keeping in mind the images and footage we wanted to capture and any obstructions that had to be overcome. We'd planned the shoot and put together a schedule that we'd capture the footage in. On all construction sites a RAMS (Risk Assessment and Method Statement) is required, so we filed this together with our shoot plan in advance and we were issued with the correct on-site permits.
One of the biggest limiting factors in flying a drone on a complex site, is keeping a safe distance from people that aren't under your control and on a busy site like this one, this was going to be next to impossible on an average working day. An early start on a Sunday and co-ordinating with the contractor to find out where and when most people were likely to be, negated some of the risk of the UAV activity. Getting on site before anyone else, meant that we could have a free run at the site without the restriction of people to consider, however overhead power cables, train tracks and roads all impact on the distances that you can safely fly around the site.
We concentrated on capturing the stacks as these will be quite a major part of what gives the finished power station its character, so we set these stacks against the sunrise to highlight their shape. I also liked the idea of it being titled 'The dawning of a new power".
We got incredibly lucky with the weather, almost perfect conditions and a beautiful sunrise. Who says it always rains in Manchester?
Greg C's skills as a pilot was evident from the video footage (check back for that post soon) and we're planning more work that will incorporate his flying talents with GHP.
In the meantime here's a few stills and some BTS footage from the shoot. We'd love to hear you feedback, I hope you like them.