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Two New Drone Techniques Create A Dizzying Vertigo Effect Of NYC

By Hanssie on April 23rd 2016

Finding balance in the modern world is something that most of us strive for and find elusive. Life is busy, unbalanced, and imperfect, but the technical execution of drone videos is so clinical they don’t reflect that – they feel unreal. At least, in the opinion of Aerial Cinematographer Tim Sessler. He says in his blog post, “The horizon is always perfectly level, shots, for the most part, are very straight tracking or push-ins without much life or human feel to them – in other words, the technical perfection nearly adds to how removed a lot of these shots feel.

And so, Tim, of Brooklyn Aerials, and, Brandon Bray, of Decade, collaborated on their latest project which seeks to demonstrate the imbalance in our world in the following drone video, ‘Balance’, which utilizes two new techniques: Extreme roll moves with the Freefly MoVI M15, and a Vertigo drone effect. You may be familiar with the Vertigo effect or dolly-zoom, made famous by filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock. This effect has never been done with a high-end cinema drone before, according to Tim.

Using a Canon CN-E 15.5-47mm cine-zoom lens and the RT Motion FIZ to control the zoom from a distance, he began with a 45mm focal length, then, with the camera moving toward the subject, he zooms out to the maximum wide angle but keeps the subject the same size to create the effect. The key is accuracy in the zoom that matches the motion of the camera.

His complete gear list included:

Combining the dolly zoom with extreme roll moves created a dizzying look at the skylines of New York City in a way never quite seen before. It’s impressive, and if you let yourself get past the technical marvel that is it, you may begin to appreciate what the video proposes we pontificate: “We humans, we create, we work, we stay busy from birth to death and never rest. We build, aim higher, work harder, accomplish more, and to what end?” Oh the power of photography…and drones.


Watch below.

Read more about it on Tim’s blog here and see more of his work on his website. Watch the behind the scenes making of “Balance” in the video below.

[Via Laughing Squid]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

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  1. Antonio Zavala

    Hauntingly beautiful

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