Looking straight down, a living replica of the architects’ plans.

Looking straight down, a living replica of the architects’ plans.

I’m not really sure how one’s spirit animal gets assigned, but if I had my choice, I’d pick a bird. An eagle, to be exact. I love to see the world from on high and imagine I’m soaring above it all. Looking down, the landscape becomes my personal model world. Perfectly lovely – both miniature and vast at the same time.

Drones help make this happen for me – letting me reach new heights, both literally and creatively.

Photograph as an architect’s plan, looking straight down via a drone-enabled camera.

Photograph as an architect’s plan, looking straight down via a drone-enabled camera.

Drone technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Drone-enabled cameras can get to the higher vantage points from which I’m able to gain a better, deeper understanding of and appreciation for the intentions of architects and planners – and to capture that perspective in my photography.

While I’ve long relied on helicopters to allow me to shoot from the air, there are certain places they can’t get to and altitudes at which they cannot realistically fly. Plus, they can be expensive.

Drone as very tall tripod – The Point at Glen Mills Apartments.

Drone as very tall tripod – The Point at Glen Mills Apartments.

Drones, however, are incredibly affordable. They can fly from 20 feet to up to 400 feet above the ground – serving as a very tall tripod or low flying helicopter.

With a modern drone, it’s relatively simple to hover and shoot straight down. It’s also possible to navigate in relatively tight spaces. And shooting high-quality aerial video is just as easy as shooting still images.

I could never jump high enough to get this angle. No one could.

I could never jump high enough to get this angle. No one could.

The images featured here are from an assignment to document The Point at Glen Mills Apartments in Concordville, Pennsylvania in support of real estate advisory firm ARA Newmark’s efforts to sell the entire complex.

As humans, our field of vision is usually anchored to the earth. But a drone-enabled camera becomes my eye in the sky.

Drone as helicopter – entire apartment complex, with townhouses and retail in the distance.

Drone as helicopter – entire apartment complex, with townhouses and retail in the distance.

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