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  • Tom Durden

Claire, ballet on the dunes


Claire: "As an amateur model, I am often searching the internet for exciting shooting opportunities. I noticed Tom's call for models on kunstinzicht.nl, and his description about shooting nudes with a drone was immediately appealing to me. I find it very relaxing to surround myself with nature, especially when forests, dunes and beaches are involved. Tom's call entailed the best of both worlds: posing naked to expand my portfolio, amidst green and lush nature. His work excites me, I greatly enjoy the compositions he creates with his drone-approach. I did not hesitate to contact Tom, and we already discussed a suitable location in our second e-mail. Laudable is his flexibility: he was interested to hear my suggestions and was willing to shoot at a location of my choosing. The end result was better than I had imagined, it is strange and crazy to see yourself naked from the drone's perspective, but in a good way. Some pictures even show the North Sea, dunes and forest areas all in one. The weather was not optimal on that particular day, rainy and windy, but Tom brought heating packs and we paused in between takes so that I could warm up again. I can happily look back on this experience and I would recommend shooting with Tom to anyone who appreciates the combination of nude art and nature."

Technical drone stuff: We flew with much wind: gusts up to 56 km/h and the wind was worse near the top of the dunes. Sometimes the drone had trouble staying at one location and the warnings on my screen were intimidating. However, despite operating the drone clearly up to its limits, the drone still felt reliable. After a start at a dune top, we dropped down to a dune pan. Wind conditions were better there, but after a while it unexpectedly started to rain a little. Drops obscured the lens, and the object avoidence system was triggered by raindrops. It first gave warnings and after that halted the drone mid-air. Even after cleaning the drone by hand, the object avoidence system kept causing problems. My solution: just turn it off. The drone gave one extra warning but started flying normal again. At home the footage sometimes showed marks by the water on the camera lens, but most of the footage was useful.

Lessons learned: dunes near the sea can be quiet, the drone can stand high winds but then I have to withstand a large number of warnings, light rain impacts the collision avoidence system badly and it effects shots too but only when the camera lens has raindrops on it, a model with a background in ballet is really great to work with.

To do: continue.

Ideas for future shoots: more ballet.


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