Adventures in Aerial Video

Capturing our amazing land in cinematic video. Simple idea – massive learning curve.

ABOVE: This latest video was shot in Skippers Canyon, the epic drive just out of Queenstown. A nail biting journey through rugged, spectacular landscapes, back to a time when men toiled in a harsh wilderness to extract fortunes from a wild, blue alpine river. This is my first video that begins to demonstrate my landscape vision.

This last year I have been looking for new ways to capture the epic scenery that surrounds us. The idea of making cinematic video has really caught my imagination. The more I venture into this area, the more I’m overwhelmed with the skills and equipment required to be successful. The versatility of the iphone has made it a staple tool. Resolution isn’t high, but being able to capture regular video, time-lapse and slow motion brings me a range of creative options.

Learning to compose truly impactful two dimensional images has taken years, but film requires composing in four dimensions, with the addition of space and time to the mix.

A month ago, I acquired a drone – a 4K video camera in a tiny four-rotor helicopter, with a computer using GPS to control it’s position. This machine is the most incredible tool, making it possible to shoot video scenes that really do justice to the grandeur and beauty of this region. I am so excited to have this piece of equipment, but it has taken a whole month to learn how to control it well enough and to set up a series of shots that approaches my vision.

Martin Kohn
Martin Kohn