I have had the idea for this project since the release of my first aerial video of Chappaquidick (bit.ly/overChappy) just over a year ago. Growing up, I spent countless hours fishing and swimming by the Cape Poge Lighthouse, but knew very little about the history of the lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard. I actually visited a few of them for the first time during this project. For example, I had only seen the West Chop Lighthouse from the ferry, but through this project I learned it is used as housing for the Menemsha Coast Guard.
I am not able to visit the Vineyard as often as I would like, so it took almost a year to get the footage. I was limited by weather, and wasn’t able to reshoot some of the lighthouses during better conditions, but I think their beauty is evident even on cloudy, cold days. In the future, I would like to capture some of these lighthouses during the summer and fall seasons. The most difficult part about this project was simply sorting through the hours of footage I acquired. So much of it was similar, and choosing the best pieces while trying to avoid redundancy was a challenge.
My love for Martha’s Vineyard has only grown since I started my aerial photography and videography projects, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent at each location. I wanted to capture the charm of these lighthouses from a unique perspective and film them in a way that really brings them to life.
Don’t sweat the technique
I am currently flying a DJI Phantom 2 that I have had for over two years now. It has a H3-3D Zenmuse gimbal, which holds most of the GoPro cameras. For this video, I used the GoPro Hero3+ Black and Hero4 Black.
Learning to fly the quadcopter wasn’t easy at first, and it took quite a bit of practice to feel comfortable. I have a special backpack case for my Phantom, so it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to set up and get in the air. I also have an LCD screen attached to my controller, which gives me a live feed of what the GoPro is filming. With this screen and a few other modifications, I am able to get crystal-clear video for about 2,000 meters, depending on the terrain and weather. I can fly for around 15 minutes on one battery, so having multiple batteries allows for multiple shoots and lots of fun.
I bought my first “real” quadcopter shortly after DJI released their first Phantom in 2013. I was really into the GoPro cameras (and still am), and wanted to get a new perspective on all the things around me. My Phantom has also been a great addition to my more recent travels throughout the Caribbean and Central America. Ever since I took my first aerial picture, I was hooked, and it has since given me opportunities to get involved in everything from conservation research to filming short documentaries.
The EnTidaled Project was created by my friends and me to help connect people to conservation initiatives around the world using engaging multimedia. We believe that people will only conserve what they love, and in a time when we all seem to be more connected to the Internet and our devices than the outdoors, it is increasingly important that people rediscover their passion for nature — whether it be the ocean, hiking, birding, etc. Through photography and short films, we hope to inspire others, especially young people, to take an interest in the future of the environment. We encourage people on social media to use the hashtags #EntidaledProject and #WhatDoYouLove to share the things they are passionate about.
For more info on EnTidaled: enTidaledproject.org.