Lake Tekapo is one of the most scenic places I’ve ever been to. I am just in awe of the beauty and expanse of the place. From never-ending mountain ranges to massive lakes, it’s one of those places that makes you want to hop into a caravan and just disconnect from the world for a few months.
Since picking up his first camera 12 years ago, Shaun Tan has been an avid travel photographer. Today, the 33-year-old has added the DJI Phantom 3 Pro drone to his arsenal of photography equipment that includes Nikon DSLRs and Sony mirror-less cameras, as well as a medium format film Contax 645.
The founder of newly launched custom personal computer company Dreamcore says of his gadget: “Drone photography opens up an avenue to capture subjects or locations rarely accessible and rarely seen, so all of a sudden I’m able to include places that I would not have normally travelled to – for example, a remote waterfall in Bali or a view of the mountains captured from above a lake.”
A recent trip to Hooker Lake in New Zealand to photograph floating icebergs was a particularly profound experience. “Because I pilot the drone through my smartphone, I see what the drone sees,” he says. “It was almost as though I was flying over the lake myself. That feeling of freedom is unparalleled.”
He has taken his drone on six trips so far, including Iceland, Bali and Malaysia, and it has allowed him to “push the boundaries as a photographer” in taking images with “impressive and interesting compositions”.
But while it is easy to forget Earthbound rules while soaring the skies via his device, Tan says he is careful to respect local regulations about drone flying. He says: “While national parks may sound like a great place to fly and grab some great shots, some do not allow drone photography, as the buzzing of the propellers disturbs the peace. Having a drone crash into a natural wonder of the world is a big no-no.”