Sunday, December 28, 2014

The use of an UAV (drone) in Canada...

TRANSPORT CANADA - Laws, Regulations & Exemptions

Very popular under the Christmas tree this year, "drones" may become a poisoned gift, if you don't follow the rules.  In Canada, Laws & Regulations surrounding the use of an UAV, is governed by Transport Canada.  And even though this law seems to be recent, and dated November 26th 2014, it makes no sense.  If we follow every guideline in this law, you'll be throwing your drone away and pursuing another hobby.

Earlier this week, a Phantom Pilot got fined $1,000.00 for using his UAV to create real-estate footage for a client!?!  And although the DJI Phantom weighs less than then 2.0kg as stated as one of the exemption criterias, the pilot failed to respect the 9nm distance from a "built-up" (residential area).

Full Article HERE
Video footage used against the pilot, to "validate" the fine HERE

It turns out that this guy, Julien Gramigna, is somewhat "Deceiptful", as it turns out that he has NOT been using a DJI Phantom, like he so proudly poses in his photo in the paper, but rather a "heavy-weight-classified" well above the 2.0KG exemption weight (more than 5.5KG actually).  

It's one thing to try and pass off as a victim, but what this guy is most likely trying to do, is scare off the competition, having them believe that even you're using a Phantom, you'll be in deep trouble if you shoot photo/video footage in this Country.  

Many think that the whole point of making his misfortune public, was a publicity stunt to get more attention and free exposure.

I think the newspaper is as much to blame, for not verifying information that is readily available on this guys website, and is current knowledge to most in the business, in the area.

Here's what he uses... (as clearly stated on his website, and witnessed)
  • Hexacoptère DJI S800 EVO
  • Nacelle Zenmuse Z15
  • Caméra DSLR Sony NEX 7
Way to go champ, for being a nuisance to this industry, and on the same token scaring off potential clients!!


Let's continue the topic at hand.... Canadian Laws, Regulations & Exemptions while using an UAV.

Here's what Transport Canada Defines as the Law, Regulation & Exemption
Flying an unmanned aircraft, according to Transport Canada HERE
Regulations and Exemptions HERE
Summary Print Chart HERE

That being said, I think that even though these laws were put in place to protect the people, common sense and safety should apply....

1.  Don't fly within 9km of an active Airport/Heliport
2.  Don't fly above Military bases, prisons, or in controlled/restricted airspace
3.  Don't fly directly above large crowds
4.  Don't fly in high winds
5.  Verify to status of your gear prior to each flight
(this list could go on for pages on end).

But in the end, it's all about being safe, for you, your gear, & others.

If everyone with an UAV would just use common sense, people around us wouldn't be so compelled to calling authorities, or automatically think we're doing something wrong.  It's part our responsibility to help those around us have a better perception of what we do, and why we do it.

Safe Flying!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 - A Photographic Year in review...

As 2014 comes to an end, we take a look back and see what SNAPePHOTO accomplished during the last 12 months, and look onward as to what we can aspire towards, in terms of goals for the upcoming year.

As most of you know, 2014 was a big transition year for us, as we've gone from working part-time to becoming full-time (since August), and being available for your projects, around the clock!

1. Projects
A total of 187 different projects were accomplished in the past year.  Some took an entire week, others less than an hour, but whether big or small, we welcomed them all!  We've given ourselves a mandate for the 2015, and that is to try to break the 250 project mark, add people to our team, and keep on providing you with the best possible photo solutions for your needs.

2.  Blog
Our first full year of keeping a Blog, proved itself to be worth while.
109 new Posts on the SNAPePHOTO Blog! (up from a mere 33 posts in 2013)
We'll try our best to keep this trend going, and aim for an average of 10 posts a month for 2015.
More than 80,000 Hits in the last 12 months (up from a mere 5,000 hits in 2013).  That tells us that people are liking what they see, and are coming back for more

3.  Website
We managed to keep the website up to date, with a good quantity and variety of our projects, added new sections, changed visuals a few times to make it more appealing, etc...
With 59,613 Page Views, 22,981 Visits & 15,781 Unique Visitors, we're happy!!  
(that's more than a 30% increase from the previous year!).

4.  Gear
2014 has been a good year for us in terms of acquiring new gear.  A few new lenses were added to our list of goodies, including Sigma's 120-300mm F2.8, the new version 100mm macro, the 16-35mm F4, a 600 EX-RT Flash, MP-E 65mm macro, and several accessories for the studio.
The biggest news, has got to be the addition of our Drone to the arsenal.  We're confident that this will provide clients with a whole new perspective & point of view to showcase their projects.
More news on our drone HERE

5.  Clients
And of course, we're keeping the best for last... Our clients!  2014 has brought us a total of 19 new clients, and, some of them in new sectors of activity. For 2015, our goal will be to add on average 2 new clients a month.  Hopefully, you will be one of them.

On that note, we want to take this opportunity, to wish you all....


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quick unprompted Portrait Test Shoot...

December 13th 2014 - Minimal gear on-location portrait test shoot

We've been getting a lot more requests for large quantity on-location portrait shoots lately, and we wanted to "dial-in" a perfect and consistent recipe that would require to mobilize the least amount of equipment, and provide to best possible output, while being recognized as our own by our clients. 

As such, we asked a good friend of ours to come over, at short notice, to snap a few poses.  It being the holiday season, we also had fun adding a few colored gels on the backdrop light.  I think you'll agree that the results of this minimal set-up, yielded some pretty strong images.  

As you know, we're not against sharing our findings (and our knowledge), so in order to help our fellow photographers, you'll find below our camera settings, and a link to the entire set of images, and the details of the mobile studio set-up. (light position, strengths, etc...)

For you "haters", yes we know these aren't exactly Corporate style images, but the lighting technique remains the same.

Gear:        Canon 1Dx camera body, Canon 85mm F1.2 L-Series Lens
Settings:   1/100, F2.2, ISO 100
Studio:      2 Einstein heads, 1 white reflector, 6' grey backdrop

You can see the studio set-up and entire set of images... HERE

Monday, December 8, 2014

SNAPePHOTO, Reaching New Heights! (Quadcopter/Drone)

It is with great pleasure, that we at SNAPePHOTO, announce the purchase of our first UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), in the form of a Quadcopter/Drone, for the sole purpose of capturing digital still images and video footage.  That being said, we carefully selected the unit that provided the best all-around options, for what we wanted to achieve.

In order to be exempt from Transport Canada's rigorous regulations, a UAV must have a take-off weight of less than 2.0kg.  Ours weighs in at a mere 1.3kg, leaving us room to spare for a few options, like a retractable landing gear.  Yes, once the image/video quality aspect covered, it did play in the decision-making factor of what unit to select. More information on the regulations surrounding the piloting an UAV, governed by Transport Canada, can be seen HERE and the Exemption Requirement details HERE

Drone Specs:     JDI Phantom 2 Vision+ (Quadcopter)
                          Plastic & Carbon Fiber construction
                          700M-1100M range (depending on antenna upgrade or not)
                          FPV (First Person View) with iPhone, iPad or Monitor
                          25min Flight time (approx.) / battery

Camera Specs:   3-Axis Gimball Head
                          Anti-Vibration Pad Mount
                          14 Megapixels RAW File Still Images
                          1080p 30FPS & 720p 60FPS Video

With the addition of our new state-of-the-Art unit, we're looking to provide aerial services in both photo & video formats. We'll be offering views otherwise impossible, or highly improbable.

Whether it be during a festival, outdoor sports, cultural event, a private party, wedding, or even real estate, we'll be glad to help gain the added visibility and assist you in showcasing the desired results.
Think of the possibilities & exposure this type of imagery could provide you, and your project...

Once several projects completed, we'll be posting a few examples on our website, as well as on the SkyPixel Quadcopter community site.

WEBSITE - Drone Section

Meanwhile, sample DJI Phantom 2 Vision videos > HERE

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Boxing Gala - Bell Center

Saturday December 6th 2014 - Bell Centre (Montreal, Que.)

A total of seven bouts were presented that evening. (see list below)

Judging by the crowds reaction, it went without saying, that the main event was a bitter disappointment.  A "No Content" finish in the early stages of the 2nd round, after Pascal hit Bolonti with a cheap shot, clearly after the referee had called "Break" on more than one occasion.  

Seeing the possibility that his fighter could win by disqualification mesures, Bolonti's coach apparently tells him not to get up (in Spanish), thus the fighter faking a knock-out/injury, laying flat and leaving the Bell Center on a stretcher to the Hospital (by good measure), then probably to the nearest bar.  You be the judge, by viewing the video HERE 

Images from that evening can be seen on our website HERE

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

RIP - Mr. Jean Beliveau (1931-2014)

The world of Hockey, and the Canadiens as a whole, lost a great man yesterday (December 2nd 2014), as Mr. Jean Beliveau passed away at age 83. He was recognized as one of the sports best centers, and led the Habs in an unprecedented 5 consecutive Stanley Cup wins. 
RIP Mr. Beliveau. (1931-2014)
You will always be remembered as a true gentleman.

Below is a link to the Habs tribute, in his honor.…