Best way to show progress
Drone construction site photography is one of the most satisfying subjects I’ve been working on recently. Since the take-off of drone photography in 2013 Winter Park Photography has been flying in many different scenarios. The variety of different subjects and locations is one of the reasons I love this job so much.
I remember walking through the City of London when I was a boy with my Dad and every now and then we would see large wooden hoardings surrounding a new building site. Some of these sites in the 1970’s were new buildings going up in place of bomb sites still vacant since the German Bombs dropped on London during the Blitz in the second world war. What fascinated me were the City workers looking through small cut-out windows in the wooden hoardings. The contrast was amazing, these gentlemen in smart pin-stripe suits and polished
shoes absolutely fascinated by the other world behind the wooden hoardings, which was the building site. The muck and mud and the big machinery was the polar opposite of the clean, sharp office buildings in which these suited men worked. I’m not being sexist by saying it was just the men looking through. That’s just how it was.
A little later, when I was about 18 years old, I was a commuter myself, arriving at London Bridge Station by train and walking across London Bridge wearing a suit with the tidal wave of city workers every morning and evening. It was a fascinating time in 1984/85 as it was during the construction and regeneration of the Hayes Wharf area. Every day I took part in my very own living time-lapse. No cameras, just my own memory. Every time I go back now I look at the area and sound like a very old man when I say “I remember when all this was being built”. Now that area is growing even more with the regeneration of the London Bridge Station area with buildings like The Shard.
Even though my core business is photographing hotels and resorts, more recently I have had more demand from construction and development companies, mainly due to having a drone and the ability to produce aerial videos and take stunning aerial photographs. On a few jobs now we have been asked to document the progress of construction projects at set intervals, every two weeks seems to be the most popular. It’s the perfect application for drone photography, especially in a global business world where the developers might be thousands
of miles away or even the other side of the World, as is the case with one of our customers from Australia developing land in central Florida. By taking these photos and videos and uploading them quickly it eliminates the need for executives to fly across country or from one state to another to see the progress, or indeed from one country to another. I’m sure they will still visit the site, but bi-weekly drone videos giving them a snapshot overview of the building project vastly reduces the cost of multiple site visits. The videos and stills can also be shared online for shareholders to see how their investments are being handled. As you can see the list of positives is quite long.
My pilot, Russ Goodridge recently updated his software to use pre-planned autopilot missions. This enables us to plan a safe route in the sky using way points and to have consistency in the video and stills, which includes the spot in the sky where the photo is taken from every two weeks. This means as the job progresses we have the footage and photos to be able to create a time-lapse from the sky. This is an amazing use of technology.