Having a blast…..

4 years, 10 months ago 14
Posted in: Uncategorized


I’m having a blast with this whole drone deal!!!  Let me explain!  All my life I wanted to be a pilot, and when finally learnd to fly and went on to do two books on America with Wes and Mark, I loved flying,  but in all  honesty, I was a little nervous every flight!  Flying an airplane, even when you are very careful, has risks.  I miss flying, but I really missed seeing our world from up there!!


For a few years I’ve thought about buying another plane to get back to aerial photography, but a number of factors have held me back.  Airplanes have gone up in price, considerably, in spite of  a bad market for ultra light planes!  The cost ot hanger a plane gets higher all the time.  If you have a ultra light that can be put in a trailer, you save that money, but a good trailer costs from 2 to 5 thousand dollars.  Planes must have an annual every year, which is a good chunk of change. It just gotten to financially hard to own and operate a plane.


The drone industry to the rescue!!!  You can buy a very good drone that shoots 12 megapixel stills and 4K video in a stabilized platform for less than $1,000.  Then add a few extra batteries and all the accessories you might want and you can still stay under $1,500.  The best drone for this kind of work DJI makes (the leading drone company), can be had for under $2,000.


Now I can take a drone that fits in the palm of my hand anywhere in my camera bag and with an app on my iPhone cane see if I am in a place where drones can be flown legally.  It takes me less than 5 mimutes to prepare the drone to fly and I can operate the drown up to 40o feet agl (above ground level) which allows making images very much like what I did out of the ultra light, but I’m safely on the ground!!!!


A bird’s eye view of my house down through the trees!





Really having a ball!!!!!!




the pilgrim


14 Responses

  1. John Gompf says:

    Just like a kid in the candy store!!!! Enjoy

  2. Rodney McKnight says:

    Great to see you having so much fun..and sharing it..

  3. David Berry says:

    I also feel your excitement ~ I’ve had my Drone for a year now and having a great time with it ~ I just ordered the new Mavic Air to add to the collection ~ I guess you can say I’ve been bitten by the bug as well. So glad you are enjoying it my friend! Hope for the day I can join you on a workshop and we can add our drones to our photographic tool box and take some awesome images.

  4. Gale Stoner says:

    I had the Phantom 4 Pro but sold it last year because it was too bulky to transport easily and it took me too long to prepare to fly. The Mavic Air looks like it addresses both of my previous issues. It might get me back into the aerial thing again. Thanks Bill, for sharing your images. I suppose drones are still prohibited from national parks?

    • Bill Fortney says:

      Unfortunately, but there is plenty of beauty out there to fly over! Leaving Saturday for a week in Aruba, hope to shoot a lot down there, stay tuned!!!!

  5. Mike Morrison says:

    I’m with you Bill, got the Dji Phantom 3 a few months back and having loads of fun!
    I got the Spark last month and really enjoy it for its size and price!
    It’s amazing what you can do with one of these!
    I have had a few crashes and walked away physically unharmed. HaHa!

  6. Lynn Haynes says:

    Dear Bill,

    I have been so excited for you and “this whole drone deal”! It was really neat to see where you live, and obviously, your wife is “on board” with you. I have always thought it would be neat having a drone but didn’t see how I would really use it or justify the necessary money. I am excited to tell you I am seriously looking into purchasing a Mavic Pro Platinum! Thank you for your dedication to photography and your passion to “pass it on”.

    God Bless You,

    Lynn Haynes [snake photo]

  7. Rick Browne says:

    I’ve read your drone posts with a certain amount of dread – every time you discover some new lens or camera (or now, drone), it somehow ends up with me spending more money! 🙂 Nevertheless, it sounds like you’re having a great time, and the idea of getting the fun of aerial photography without the danger or expense of flying sure seems like a great concept! Continue to enjoy!

    • admin says:

      I missed flying so much, but a plane was just not something I wanted to do again, but this at least gets me that point of view!!!! Jump in the water is warm!