Now it’s time to look at the other big winner of the DVAs — the winner of the FPV Video of the Year. That award was given to Paul Nurkkala, aka nurkfpv, for his “NURK’s Flight of the Year // Trains, Bridges, Rapids, Mountains, Sunset, Gapping, Perching, Powerlooping.”
So what makes Nurk’s video award-worthy? For starters, it was one of those videos what made you say “whoa” as you watched it. When Nurk first released video of what he titled his flight of the year, it took the internet by storm. People in the FPV community praised him, while some outside of the FPV world scolded him for what they deemed was a risky flight. At any rate, the video received plenty of buzz.
There’s not much editing in Paul’s video. In fact, it’s just one shot of a flight from start to finish, with some music — a perfect song choice of “The Train from Washington” by Gil Scott-Heron — in the background. So unlike other videos that won their category in the Drone Video Awards, the editing was not the reason for Paul’s victory.
Instead, it was the things he was able to do with his quad during the flight. Flying under a moving train, inside a train car while it moved, and even a moment where his quad says hello to the train’s conductor all made this a compelling video. Nurk had already made a name for himself in the drone world by competing in the Drone Racing League and having success in other races, but this video definitely added to his profile in the community.
Paul has continued to produce plenty more great videos since his “Flight of the Year” was the talk of the town among FPV pilots. To see more of his work, check out his AirVūz profile. You can also follow him on Instagram.
By AirVūz Staff
Iceland’s DRAMATIC LANDSCAPES make it a drone pilot’s paradise. With such a diverse geography, there’s plenty to see and film.
The GOLDEN CIRCLE is a 300km route where you’ll see some of the most famous sights in Southern Iceland. There are hundreds of different tours going on every day of the week.
The BLUE LAGOON is a geothermal spa that’s popular for bathing because of its water which is rich with minerals, like silica. It’s the perfect place to relax and unwind.
In Iceland’s capital, REYKJAVIK, you can stroll through the old harbour, visit a Viking museum or take in the view from the historic Hallgrímskirkja church. Reykjavik is also the world’s northernmost capital city.
Some of the most famous waterfalls are Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Gullfoss and Goðafoss.
Basalt lava from volcanic eruptions have created amazing black sand beaches like the world famous REYNISFJARA BEACH. You won’t believe it until you see it.
Iceland is also a geyser hotspot and home to THE GREAT GEYSIR. Watch boiling water shoot up to 70 meters high. It was also the first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans.
ADVENTURE is waiting in Iceland. When are you going?
To see all of the drone videos featured in this aerial compilation, CLICK HERE!
Drone pilots’s and producers’s work featured in this video are:
BRAZIL is the fifth largest country in the world. Drone pilots are capturing its vibrancy and varied activities from above. Click any of the links below to watch stunning aerial videos of Brazil’s iconic sites.
RIO DE JANIERO is home to the Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Famous party beaches are also abundant.
Every major Brazilian city has at least one SOCCER stadium. Brazil has won the FIFA World Cup a record five times!
Drone video shows IGUAZU FALLS from above, this exquisite system of waterfalls is the largest in the world.
Brazil contains almost 60 percent of the AMAZON RAINFOREST, which itself represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests.
By land, sea and air, EXTREME ATHLETES take advantage of the country’s varied rugged terrains. Whatever activity you choose, be sure to wear a helmet!
With both ocean and jungle landscapes, NATURE is on display throughout Brazil, humpback whales included.
Do these aerial videos make you want to travel to BRAZIL?
To watch all of the videos featured in this aerial compilation, CLICK HERE!
Drone pilots’s and producers’s work featured in this video are:
Over the course of several blog posts, we’ll be taking a look at the winning videos from the 2017 AirVūz Drone Video Awards. There were a total of 13 winners — 12 videos and a Photo of the Year winner — in our inaugural contest. Each stood out for a different reason, and we’ll go in-depth as to what made this videos great.
We’ll be starting with the best for the first of this series. The Russian drone company Timelab.pro produced a stunning video of Moscow that won the “Cities” category of the contest. That video was also chosen as the overall Drone Video of the Year — and it’s easy to see why.
One of the first indicators of the quality of this video is in its title: “Moscow Aerial 5K.” It’s not often we see videos shot in 5K, but the guys at Timelab.pro used the DJI Inspire 2 drone to produce high-quality footage. That in itself sets this film up for success.
Another key ingredient of “Moscow Aerial 5K” is the opening shot. The first several seconds of a drone video are crucial to keeping the viewer engaged, and this video does just that. You’re instantly drawn in by the statue while also seeing the beautiful sunrise in the background. The second shot of the film, a close-up of the statue, continues to keep you interested in watching more.
The color grading of the video is also a big reason why this film is so successful. If you’re not familiar with color grading, it refers to the editing process of altering the color in post production. The colors in “Moscow Aerial 5K” are stunning, and that’s due in large part to the color grading done after the footage was taken.
One other factor that made this film stand out was it showcased an area we don’t often see in drone videos. Moscow is not a common location in videos on AirVūz, so the uniqueness of that was noted. Pilots Andrew Efimov and Andrew Rodin of Timelab.pro said in an interview for “The Drone Dish” that they actually received some violations for flying over the Kremlin.
It turned out that the violation was worth it. The video earned them the top prize in the AirVuz Drone Video Awards, along with USD $1,000 — and bragging rights for an entire year.
(We’re inspired by the amazing work of the amazing women who drone – and share their videos on AirVūz – and we’re proud to have Drone Doll on our own Team AirVūz FPV! Read on to learn the inspiration behind Drone Doll’s start in flying FPV!)
I watched from under his workbench as my dad built absolutely pristine model airplanes while I crafted and colored scraps of balsa wood. The dirt under my fingernails didn’t bother me a bit, but even eight year old me knew it wasn’t a good look for when Barbie came by my salon for her multiple daily hair and wardrobe changes. Despite my unprofessional appearance, she accepted the fact that my love was truer for the toy trucks and legos than it was for her, and there were never any hard feelings on the days when I chose to build roads in the sandy patches of our backyard instead of giving her a new set of bangs that were never going to grow out regardless of how much I willed them to.
Something about myself that I’ve only recently come to realize, is that as a child I was certain that my love for the boy toys was a forbidden one. All of my girl friends in the neighborhood played with dolls and little pastel colored ponies, so I played with dolls and ponies too. I played with them everyday until one afternoon I decided I would rather push a monster truck through the dirt. My best girl friend was so upset by the notion of me choosing to play with the cootie-ridden neighborhood boys and their crusty toy trucks instead of playing with our dolls, and she expressed her dismay until I eventually succumbed to the pressure and ditched the dirt for the dolls. The expectations became engraved in my young mind that afternoon, and from then on, whenever I felt the urge to pick out a Hot Wheel to cruise around or to build a modest two-bedroom Lego rambler, I waited until the other kids were gone and I played with the toys by myself.
Flash forward twenty years and here I am, playing with the boy toys. Only now I’m part of a global community of young girls and women who proudly play with the boy toys and who are writing history by doing so. When my boyfriend Simon began building and flying racing drones three years ago, he was quick to suggest that I learn how to fly as well. Flying radio control airplanes was something my dad always did with my brother, and I know without a doubt that they both would have been thrilled to teach me how to build and fly had I not already been foolishly convinced by someone who still had all their baby teeth that I should instead be spending my time learning how to braid and make miniature cakes in a miniature pink oven. So of course, my initial instinct in regards to Simon’s suggestion was to refer to those pesky expectations I still carried around in my mind, and they were telling me that flying drones was a guy’s thing and I should just continue to let them rule the hobby. Luckily for Simon, Space Jam was playing on the tv in the background and R. Kelly’s voice rang just a little bit louder, and he was telling me that if I believe, I can fly. So I fly.
Now, as we soar along in this new frontier of drones and flying in First Person View, it brings me so much joy to see girls of all ages being embraced and celebrated by model aircraft hobbyists around the world, a community which has always been dominated by men. These female pilots are bright beacons of light for anyone who wants to knock down the walls of the box that society has built for them. For me, this International Women’s Day serves as a reminder that I should never limit myself to the knowledge, skills and experiences that have been laid out for me by others. The incredible and unforgettable adventures I’ve had since beginning my journey as a drone pilot are numerous, and I’ve found myself skipping gallantly down a magical path that little eight year old me never would have imagined myself to be on some day.
To all of you reading this, don’t ever let yourself become so grounded by another’s expectations that you become too afraid to fly. And to the movers and makers over at Mattel, I think Barbie would make one hell of a drone racing pilot.
Drone Doll ❤️
If you haven’t already heard, selfies are old news. The best new way to take pictures of yourself is with a drone!
Combine a drone with a selfie and you have a dronie, which is becoming an increasingly popular way for drone pilots to capture their surroundings while also including themselves in the drone video. It’s a great way to add perspective to a landscape, building, or wherever you choose to take your dronie from.
Some of the new drones on the market are being built with the dronie in mind. The Yuneec Breeze was designed with a selfie mode included. Some of DJI’s smaller drones like the DJI Spark also emphasize the ability to easily take a dronie. Truly, though, drones of any size — big or small — are capable of taking an epic dronie.
In fact, it’s not so much about the drone you use to take your dronie. There are plenty of other factors to consider.
Renee Lusano has been taking dronies since before they were cool. For the past few years, the California-based Lusano has brought her drone with her on her travels all around the world. That has resulted in dronies from amazing locations such as a glacier in Iceland, a frozen ship in Russia, and a suspension bridge in Costa Rica, just to name a few.
Lusano’s collection of cool videos has even earned her the nickname “Queen of Dronies.” She now brings her DJI Mavic with her and is always scouting great locations for her next dronie.
In an interview for “The Drone Dish” on AirVūz, Lusano shared some of her tips for pilots who want to take the perfect dronie. While it may appear to be a simple shot to take, there’s more that goes into it than you might think. Planning out your shot can make a big difference.
“It’s important with the dronie to think about your two shots: where you want to start and where you want to end, and what you want to reveal in your final shot,” Lusano said. “I think a lot of times, especially when I was starting out, I would think a lot about, ‘Wow, I’m on the top of a pyramid,’ or ‘I’m on the edge of a cliff and this would be a beautiful reveal.’
“But I wasn’t thinking about the close-up shot. A lot of times it was me just sitting there kind of awkwardly. I wasn’t smiling. I was concentrating really hard on flying my drone. So you have to think about how you look in the initial shot.”
Lusano adds that you should make sure there aren’t many distractions in the video such as other people or moving traffic. In most of her dronies, Lusano manages to find herself far any from any other people. That helps make the drone pilot the key focus of the dronie.
The movement of the drone is important, too, in a good dronie. Most dronies simply include the drone flying backwards to reveal more of a landscape. In doing so, Lusano says it’s essential to keep your flight smooth.
And while you might thing that a cool location will automatically mean a cool dronie, Lusano said that’s not necessarily the case.
“Composition is everything with a dronie. A lot of times, you may be in an incredible environment and think, ‘Wow, I’ll send the drone off and I’ll take one of these dronies and I’ll reveal where I am,'” she said. “But sometimes a beautiful place doesn’t make for an incredible drone shot. A lot of times, I’ll do a test flight first and fly my drone up and look around and see what looks good.”
If you’re a drone pilot who loves taking dronies but wants to up your game, or perhaps you’ve never taken one before, watch more of Renee’s epic dronies and get inspired to take an awesome one of your own!
The votes are in and the best drone videos of 2017 have been chosen.
Thirteen aerial content creators were voted on as the winners of the 2017 AirVūz Drone Video Awards. Moscow Aerial 5K Timelab.pro by Russian drone pilot Timelab.pro was voted the Drone Video of the Year, while Paul Nurkkala won the FPV (First-Person View) Video of the Year for NURK’s Flight of the Year.
Five finalists in 13 different categories were selected by the staff of AirVūz, based on the quality, originality and creativity of the drone video or photograph. All AirVūz content creators had the opportunity to place their votes for which finalists they thought were the best of the best.
The voting concluded on Jan. 21 and the winners were announced on AirVūz Live on Facebook on Feb. 5. Each category winner will receive a plaque, cash and prizes. The categories included: People, Cities, Countries, Landscape, Freestyle FPV, Drone Racing, Tiny Whoop, Animals (including pets), Dronies (selfies taken with a drone), Sports, Originality, Reels and Photo.
For more information about the contest, go to www.airvuz.com/drone-video-awa
A list of the 2017 AirVūz Drone Video Awards winners can be found below:
DRONIE — There Is No One Else by Wellington Visuals
LANDSCAPE — Perspective by Jay Worsley
RACING — Drone Racing Underground by JohnnyFPV
PEOPLE — This is Yunnan by Face du Monde
ANIMALS — Majestic Beast Nanuk by Florian Ledoux
CITIES — Moscow Aerial 5K Timelab.pro by Timelab.pro
TINY WHOOP — エアリアルヨガスタジオ ｙ＋AERO × TINY WHOOP JAPAN by KatsuFPV
SPORTS — Dream… by PilotViking
ORIGINALITY — Cardboard Cadet by chrisxgxc
REEL — Drones are Awesome by ThisIsTilt
PHOTOGRAPHY — Floating in the Unknown by zimydakid
Tens of thousands of drone videos from around the world have been narrowed down to a handful of finalists in the first-ever AirVūz Drone Video Awards.
More than 33,000 videos uploaded to AirVuz.com between January 1, 2017 and December 15, 2017 were eligible to be chosen as finalists. The contest was open to anyone in the world who uploaded an originally-shot drone video on AirVuz.com.
A plaque, cash and prizes will be awarded to winners in 13 categories, which include: People, Cities, Countries, Landscape, Freestyle FPV, Drone Racing, Tiny Whoop, Animals (including pets), Dronies (selfies taken with a drone), Sports, Originality, Reels and Photo.
Five finalists in each category were selected by the staff of AirVūz, based on the quality, originality and creativity of the drone video or photograph. Videos submitted during 2017 will be ineligible to compete in 2018.
Grand Prizes: In addition to 13 category winners, AirVūz will award US$1,000 for the FPV (First-Person-View) Video of the Year and US$1,000 for the Drone Video of the Year. The Drone Photo of the Year will receive US$500.
All AirVūz content creators will have the opportunity to place their votes for the best drone videos in the world between Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 and Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 (voting closes at 11:59 p.m. EST). Only one entry per registered content creator will be accepted in the voting for the best drone videos in the world.
The 2017 Drone Video Awards Official Nominees:
TINY WHOOP CATEGORY
The drone world is growing and changing constantly, but it’s still a relatively young industry. In many cases, current drone pilots have only been flying for two to three years. Many other people are still hoping to get their first drone soon.
Yet there are some drone pilots who have been in the hobby as long as drones have been a thing. Those drone pioneers paved a path for the many drone pilots who followed in their footsteps.
Dirk Dallas is one of those pioneers.
Dallas, a Southern California-based drone pilot, acquired his first drone in 2013. That was well before the boom of the industry as people were just starting to figure out the capabilities of these flying cameras.
“I got a hold of a drone, got a hold of a GoPro, took it up and my mind was blown,” Dallas said when interviewed on “The Drone Dish” on AirVuz.com. “I’ve been hooked ever since.”
Dallas actually started as a regular photographer before adding drones to his arsenal, a path not uncommon in the drone world. He had been posting his photography to Instagram since the very beginning of the popular social media app. In fact, Dallas signed up for Instagram on the first day it launched.
Since first joining Instagram in 2010, Dallas has garnered a large following, both on his personal account and on a drone-specific account he started called @fromwhereidrone. His personal Instagram account, @dirka, now has more than 311,000 followers. Not everything he posts there is aerial photography, although that certainly is the primary focus of the account.
Dallas created @fromwhereidrone on Instagram, and the account has surpassed 145,000 followers to become one of the largest Instagram followings for a drone-specific account. The #fromwhereidrone hashtag has also garnered tons of popularity among drone pilots. That hashtag has been used more than 370,000 times on Instagram.
The creation of that hashtag, Dallas says on his website, started off as a joke. It was a play on a hashtag that was very popular at the time: #fromwhereistand. Dallas added an aerial twist to it to include the word “drone” instead. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I then started using it on every drone photo I posted and each time people seemed to think it was funny,” he said. “Then one day several months later I decided to click on the tag and I saw over 500 drone photos using it as well and I was blown away!”
The @fromwhereidrone account is now used similar to the way the AirVuz Instagram account works in that it features the work of other drone pilots. With the popularity of the @fromwhereidrone account, Dallas decided to launch a website as well, fromwhereidrone.com.
“People were being introduced to drones and what you can do with them, and they were being inspired,” he said. “One of the things that would happen is I would get a ton of direct messages and emails. People would be like, ‘Hey, what drone do I need? Hey, how does the camera work?’ Just all the various questions people would have about drones.
“After a while, it kind of got to be a lot, so I thought, ‘Hey, maybe I should start a website.’ … It all stems from when I first started flying, there was really no info.”
While the site does include plenty of aerial photography, it’s also a great resource for drone pilots who want tips on taking great aerial photographs. With a background in graphic design, Dallas uses his trained eye in that field when taking drone photographs and shares those with other pilots on his website.
“I feel like the way I compose my shots are based a lot on some of the design principles that I learned in school,” Dallas said. “Just to name a couple, like symmetry and contrast and repetition and always having a focal point, a subject.”
Dallas began flying with some of the older DJI Phantom series drones and has witnessed first-hand the progression of drone technology over the years. These days, his drone arsenal has grown to include many DJI products as well as the Typhoon H by Yuneec. But there’s one drone in particular that Dallas is currently partial to when he flies.
“I have to say that my favorite is the Mavic right now,” he said. “I cannot believe how small they made that drone, and I love that I can literally just put it in my pocket of a jacket.”
Most drone pilots have a favorite shot they’ve taken or a favorite video they’ve put together. While Dallas has done plenty of creative aerial work over the years — including a baby announcement of he and his wife’s third daughter — he has a few specific shoots in mind when recalling his top choices.
“I have a little series I did with one of my friends in a red dress that’s one of my favorites, because it’s kind of like a faraway portrait,” Dallas said. “Typically with drones, we’re always taking shots of landscapes and buildings. (And) probably my stuff from Iceland. That was the first time I really got to see Iceland from the air.”
Dallas is one of thousands of drone pilots from around the world who has uploaded his work to AirVuz.com. On the drone media website, Dallas posted some of his dronies (a selfie taken with a drone) as well as his aerial reel. He also shared some of his photos, from desert landscapes to water features to wooded forests in Wisconsin.
Dallas shared the story of his introduction to drones and much more on the AirVuz original program “The Drone Dish,” which features drone pilots from around the world. The pilots tells their stories of how they got their start with drones, tips they have for drone pilots, and what their favorite footage is that they’ve taken. To hear from other drone pilots featured on “The Drone Dish,” click here.
“The Drone Dish” is a episodic program by AirVūz Productions. Since its launch two years ago the show has interviewed over 75 drone pilots from around the world. It is the sister show to “Behind the Goggles,” which interviews drone pilots who fly first-person-view and race or fly freestyle. Click here to watch each of the 24 episodes of “Behind the Goggles”. The two shows are formatted to highlight as well as give understanding and perspective to other drone pilots or drone enthusiasts who visit airvuz.com or are a part of the 1.3 million plus social media fans the site has.
For more great drone content from the international community of drone pilots, or to share your drone photos and videos, check out airvuz.com.
And waaaay better than the Nice list.
It’s this week’s list of FPV Pilots to Watch, on AirVūz!
Each week, we show off the latest work of great FPV pilots! This includes we’re pretty sure you should follow, as well as our insanely talented Team AirVūzFPV…check ’em all out!
No one loves your FPV videos like AirVūz ❤️s your FPV Videos!
Team AirVūz | #UnitedbyDrone