When one of my best friends who has never camped before asked me if I wanted to go camping with him I said, when? where? and definitely why?
90 Miles from Cuba, and 165 Miles from Miami lies Key West, FL the southern most point in the US. Seems crazy I have lived my whole life in Miami to never have stepped foot on this famous little island. The tall bike crew wanted to camp at Boyd’s Campground which I had never heard of. This place was awesome about a 5 mile ride from the southern most point… it had electricity hookup, great showers, clean bathrooms, and ocean side camp sites. It’s one of the best campgrounds I have ever stayed at. They even had an arcade with billiards, a pool and a beach onsite. I mean come on!
If I had known these campgrounds existed I would have visited Key West some time ago. The only reason why I went down there this time was because my buddy Sisco is part of a tall bike crew TALLBIKES305. I could try to explain how and what a tall bike is but my buddy at Seth’s Bike Hacks does a much better job at it than I. Which brings me to the second why…
I wanted to shoot on my new Phantom 4 having just gotten in a couple days ago. Why not a couple big flights over open ocean to warm her up!?
Being the first time I ever really traveled with any drone; I brought way more than I needed, but that’s perfectly fine. I wanted to accomplish a couple different tasks:
- Stock style footage of Key West
- Test the Phantom 4
- Aerial shots of the Tall Bikes
- Rolling gimbal shots of the Tall Bikes
- Meet Seth
- Have Fun!
Like I was saying, I brought a lot of equipment: 3 Pelican Cases and Book Bag full of useful toys. For the stock footage I wanted to shoot 4K which is covered with the DJI Phantom 4, but I need a backup soooooooooo I also brought my Blade QX3 with Peauproduction modded GoPro 4. Another way I convinced myself I needed to bring this, was because it can do First Person View flights from a pair of goggles I can wear so that I can squeeze through tight spaces and fly around line of sight like in wooded areas/trails. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I also figured that I needed a backup incase I don’t know something happened to the DJI Phantom 4 plus I only have 1 battery for the Phantom 4 right now, sooooooooo I brought the DJI Phantom 3 it would give me most of the features in the Phantom 4 but I have three batteries for is so I can be in the air a considerably longer amount of time but only shoots 2.7K so it wouldn’t be Idea for the stock footage.
I wanted to shoot some rolling shots from the ground too, since I was brining the QX3 already I decided to bring the Yuneec Steady Grip with me which hooks up directly to the same GB-203 Gimbal the QX3 has, only gimbal to rule them all. This setup with that Peuproductions GoPro I am really starting to dig, when I can afford the battery life I just left it on and rolled around literally riding the bike and pointing in the direction I wanted to film. Peuproducitons put a lens on the GoPro that gives it the FOV of about a 30mm equivalent so its kinda easy to judge what you are framing. You can alway hook up your phone via Wi-Fi to your GoPro and use it as a screen but I find the Wi-Fi feature on the GoPro destroys your battery life so I only use it when I absolutely need critical framing, usually in controlled environments.
I had never really heard of Seth’s Bike Hacks, but after looking through some of his videos on Youtube I noticed that I had in fact seen a couple of his videos before. He has a channel dedicated to helping out the everyday person with bikes, and he does a great job doing it with over 130k subscribers and over 150 Videos explaining everything from how to change a tube to how to bail on the hardest of mountain bike trails. His channel gave me all the more motivation to shoot while I was out there and planned on gifting him the footage since we’re all in this together. Make sure to check out his channel and watch the video with my drone and gimbal footage in it.
Over all, I’m definitely going back to Boyd’s. I cannot let a great place like this be so close without me there. It will also give me a home base to shoot even more in and around Key West. I put together a quick clip with some of my favorite shots of the weekend. There was also a great bridge we stopped at on the way back, that I will be making a separate video on to go along with the deconstructed series. I’ve been posting on my Instagram on Urban exploration in the area. Enjoy my Snap Story!