Location Scouting on the Mesabi Trail

The Mesabi Trail runs from Grand Rapids to Ely and will be more than 130 miles long when complete. Currently, about 115 miles of the trail are paved. We’ve been tossing around some ideas for aerial shots of the trail and scouted out a location along the Prairie River last night.

The hexacopter was out over the river for the above shot. Shortly after the camera was lined up for a picture of the bridge that included the three pillars, a biker passed by, and his yellow shirt helped pop him out of the background. Would like to go back and work on the angle of the shot and location of the biker in the scene.

I can see a whole series of shots similar to this one. Just need a runner or biker in that small section of open trail. Any volunteers out there?

This section of the trail is surrounded by the river, an abandoned mine pit that has since filled with aqua-blue water, and mountainous piles of red overburden. An aerial feast for the eyes, if you will.

Last Light

We launched the hexacopter on Deer Lake this evening and caught this shot just before the sun dipped behind the trees.

More UPM Blandin (from above)

The Mississippi, mill, and magic light. English majors, please note the alliteration.

In my imagination, the stacks of wood I helped put up as a kid were about this size. To give you a sense of the scale, each of those logs is eight feet long.

Shoot for Visit Grand Rapids

Last night, we set out onto Lake Pokegama to work on a cover shot for the upcoming visitor’s guide. Here are a few outtakes. Thanks to Camp Mishawaka for the use of their boats and to our willing models, Michael and Kate.

Michael and Kate head west to take position.

Is it just me, or does the hexacopter look nervous?

With the pontoon boat as its launch and landing pad, the hexacopter took flight over Drumbeater Island. Some curious onlookers pulled up in their boat and said it was the biggest dragonfly they’d every seen. Jokers!

Stay tuned for the aerials . . .

Aerial Photography of UPM Blandin

We had a perfect morning for aerial shots of UPM Blandin and its setting on the mighty Mississippi.




Crystal Lake Pier

I’m excited about capturing more low-altitude aerial shots. For this image captured just before sunset, the hexacopter was hovering about 40 feet overhead.


Lake Bemidji State Park

The stuff of which summer is made . . .






It’s not hard to make Grand Rapids look good . . .







There’s nothing better than shooting for your own hometown.

Bird’s-Eye View


Dan and I conducted one of our first test flights at the Forest History Center this spring and ended up with this cool shot of the fire tower there. Can’t wait to go back in the fall.