The first month of a New Year is a time for optimism and renewal. It’s a reflective period where people resolve to make transformative changes. While resolutions are created with the sincerest of intentions, they often fail due to lack of concrete planning and execution.
For ambitious types looking to make an impact, deflecting from your comfort zone is required on a continual basis year over year. Anyone genuinely committed to long-term, sustainable success understands that plateaus are merely temporary setbacks on the journey of growth and achievement.
In an industry that’s constantly evolving, at a rapid pace, it is in the best interest of anyone involved with drones to form habits around continual education. Whether it’s mastering best practices, or learning an entirely new form of technology or skill set, the only way to thrive is to dedicate time and effort to overall improvement.
Through personal experience, or word-of-mouth from trusted influencers, I’ve rounded up five top areas any professional or hobbyist should direct their focus, and recommend resources, both free and paid, to help you level up.
After a successful run in 2017, DJI Aerial Photo Academy kicked off mid-January in Tennessee and will pass through 48 cities in the greater United States this year. Anyone familiar with the work of Randy Jay Braun and Stacy Weskerna Garlington can expect to learn Lightroom tips and tricks that will substantially improve the quality of their photos. Here is an example, from their blog, of the caliber of information you’ll take away in this intensive one-day workshop. Friends that have attended in the past found the experience worthwhile.
— Leah Froats (@LeahFroats) July 18, 2017
Yes, Adobe Premiere Pro, and the entire Creative Suite, is substantially more expensive than alternate software solutions. Throw in the steeper learning curve, compared to those other options, and it’s tempting to bypass it altogether. This is a mistake.
The reality is, Adobe is the industry standard. If you hope to work on any worthwhile project, or at a creative firm, your knowledge and mastery of this software is going to impact your ability to get hired.
Luckily, there is a glut of free tutorials on YouTube dedicated to teaching the basics of video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro along with more advanced techniques. The best online instructor, in my opinion, is Justin Odisho. His videos are accessible, engaging, and easy to follow. I’ve been working my way through this playlist for some innovative, out-of-the-box hacks I haven’t seen elsewhere.
While drones may offer up an entirely new perspective of the world around us, the reality is they’re capable of much more considerable things than taking pretty pictures or filming stunning aerial landscapes. Mapping offers up endless benefits for a variety of industries. Describing them in detail goes beyond the scope of this article but for agriculture, construction, and mining, to name a few, understanding how to generate and deliver actionable data will give you an edge over most remote pilots.
DroneDeploy has cornered the market by offering up a wealth of free resources that cover every aspect of mapping, from getting started to growing your business. Another well-known platform, Pix4D, provides instructor-led training, in-person, and an online curriculum to become certified.
Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras can detect changes in temperature. One growing area of interest, that utilizes thermal energy or “heat imaging,” is search and rescue. Both people and animals can be located thanks to this technology.
The scientific explanation for how this all works is best covered by Wikipedia: “Thermographic cameras detect radiation in the long-infrared range (IR) of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 9,000–14,000 nanometers or 9–14 µm) and produce images of that radiation, called thermograms.”
Companies also use infrared imaging for roof inspections, firefighting, cell tower inspections, and the detection of hazardous materials (HAZMAT). Infrared Training Center offers online courses and four-day sUAS Thermography Certification classes. Renowned photographer Chris Knight attended and said it was worth the price ($2,000).
You can learn or improve upon all the above-mentioned disciplines. However, if you don’t thoroughly understand the laws, how to get approval for controlled airspace, or know how to communicate your right to fly with others that don’t understand drone legalities, you’re going to find yourself at a disadvantage.
Drone U is a comprehensive hub of information covering everything you need to know to safely operate UAS. Membership comes in a variety of tiers and in-person training is also available. These are resources you need, especially if you’re serious about operating a successful drone service business.
What resources do you recommend?