I gained the gift of flight at a time when I had lost the gift of walking. When I purchased my first drone, I had been bed-ridden for months, recovering from a mountaineering accident that left me with a broken foot. Hopping to my parent’s back porch on my good leg, I launched my Mavic Air and explored my neighborhood with more freedom than my legs had ever afforded me. I was hooked.
Drones give a photographer the gift of perfect compositional freedom, and a traveler the gift of massively expanded accessibility. My favorite part of drone photography, however, is the ease with which I am able to create unique images, even in the most overshot of locations. And in those locations that are undershot, I am often simply the only person in history to have ever taken a picture from the perspective of a drone.
Yet even drone photography eventually felt confining. After years of flying my drone around the world, I became jealous of its tiny sensor. I wanted to see what it saw. I wanted a different way to take aerial photos that felt less formulaic. I missed the days when I used to climb substantial peaks in Ecuador to find a good view to point my starter camera at. The pictures were less compelling, but each oozed with adventure. So naturally, I became a paramotor pilot.
Relative to a drone photo, a good paramotor photo is far more challenging to take, was actually seen by the photographer, and usually tells a story other than "I flew my drone somewhere beautiful". It's also a lot more fun for me.