When younger, John worked as an underwater photographer for companies in the North Sea oil fields. His photography extends beyond Tall Ships and he showed us impressive photos and videos taken underwater using cameras equipped with fisheye lenses which adjust for the light distortion effects of water. He brought along three underwater cameras. Two (film) cameras are integrally waterproof and require no enclosure unlike his latest digital camera where the fisheye is part of a waterproof enclosure. Whilst John has great affection for the older film cameras and their lenses he explained the joys of digital as being able instantly to check photos on the camera and then to edit them on his Mac. This he compared to waiting for films to be developed for up to a week, depending on laboratory availability.
Of course digital is where Apple really comes in to its own. John use Adobe Lightroom on his MacBook Pro to manage and process his photos. Some of the tall ship photos photos he showed us were taken from helicopters, hired at considerable expense, but now John is moving into the world of drones. He brought along his new DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone Quadcopter with Hasselblad Camera (with rotor blades removed for safety), but this did not stop him from demonstrating how his iPad, coupled up with the drone’s separate control panel, is used to monitor and manage the camera. He ended with a video he had made over Hengistbury Head and Mudeford Spit.
The quality from the Hasselblad camera was stunning and the pilot showed great skill — even allowing for the built-in flying aids. John explained how you direct the drone where you want it to go and it works out the four separate motor speeds required automatically. He edited his film using iMovie for a perfect finished result. John is due to take a professional flying exam so he can use the drone more flexibly to add more wonderful photos and videos to his portfolio and we hope to have the chance to see the results soon.