Nat Geo 360 VR Shoot: Flying a 360 camera on DJI Matrice 600

DJI Matrice flight over a creek

Vancouver Island in winter

DJI Matrice with VR GoPro OMNI 360 Camera

Aerial Vista Productions was contacted at the end of January 2017 by a PI Studios a production company looking to film some 360 VR aerial video with a heavy lift DJI drone for a Nat Geo 360 Experience project. As a photographer who has travelled around the world for the last 20 years and has dreamt of doing a shoot with Nat Geo. We were absolutely stoked to be part of  a shoot that involved such innovative tech pushing the filming limits in order to provide viewers with a new richly immersive virtual reality experience.

A week later my spotter Dale Sanders (pro underwater photographer) and I were heading up island to meet the crew of PI studios and international underwater filmers David Schott, Becky Schott, and Adam Revetch.
Our crew would be filming BBC international cinematographer and Nat Geo star Bertie Gregory who has been making splashes with his Nat Geo Wild series “Wild Life“.
Aerial Vista Productions would be in charge of flying the Matrice 600 heavy lift drone made by DJI with the 360 Omni from GoPro camera. We were also helping out with location scouting which provided us with some extra challenges and learning in a very cold and snowy winter weak.
One thing to consider about a location while filming VR 360 is the various aspects that can sneak in, thus a very careful inspection of an area in all directions and all levels can yield something significant that makes the shot unusable.  As we were doing mostly scenic we found it challenge to find natural areas around Campbell River that didn’t have some sign of human interference.
Part 2 of our shoot was on Hornby Island, with us basing out of the Hornby Island Dive Lodge. Our fantastic hosts Amanda and Rob Zielinski are highly experienced and super helpful with everything from food, tanks to boats and location scouting.
The Matrice the good the bad and the ugly ;
The omni 360 the good, the bad and the ugly;