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Mountains Deserts and Drone Racing!
Camera: Pentax 645D Fuji X-T1 Photo Location: Colorado 
Posted By: Colorado CJ, 10-10-2018, 07:39 AM

Hello everyone!

Besides being a photographer, one of my other hobbies is FPV (Drone) Racing. I am a staff member to a MultiGP chapter called "The Other Guys", a tier 1 racing chapter. We hold races every other weekend and have between 30-50 pilots in attendance with every race, making us one of the larges MultiGP chapters in the United States.

Last month, we held an annual "Drones in the Desert" race in Grand Junction. This event is extremely fun, held at a local modelers airfield and we get the chance to hang out and fly with our friends on the Western Slope.

Every time I am out in Grand Junction I camp at least one night at the Colorado National Monument. It sits atop a large mesa with neat rock formations, lots of hiking, climbing and photo opportunities. I arrived around 4 p.m. so that have me a little time for some hiking and picture taking.

I brought two cameras along on this trip, my Pentax 645D and my Fuji X-T1 (for IR photography and race photography).

Here's a few photos I took the first evening.













Waking up the next morning, I took a single photo, packed up camp and it was off to the races!




Next up, photos from the two day race event.

---------- Post added 10-10-18 at 08:52 AM ----------

Arriving at the airfield, we set up the track, met friends and started practicing. This race was a Regional Qualifier, so the track is an exact track that each region has to fly in order to qualify for regional finals. The top 100 pilots in each region gets to compete in the Regional Final to see who wins a spot at Nationals. Our Regional Final is being held this weekend in Dallas, Texas. I qualified for a place at Finals, but I own my own company, so it's hard to take time off.

































Towards the end of the event a huge Haboob blew in, the dust was extremely thick, covering everyone and everything with a layer of fine silt. It was an epic end to a weekend of racing.



---------- Post added 10-10-18 at 09:20 AM ----------

The next morning I broke camp and decided to take the long way back to Loveland. I wanted to do some more hiking and photography, so I decided to head over to Maroon Bells.

Weather didn't really cooperate, but I got some ok shots anyway. I hiked around 8 miles, took some photos and talked to a lot of people (the area was PACKED, I'll be glad for winter to arrive so the areas I like to hike will be less crowded.

I took a G690BL along with my other cameras for the hike. I have a huge problem with only hiking with a single camera. It seems I always hike with 50 lbs. of camera gear every time I go out.

At the first location, I took a photo with all three cameras. It's interesting to see the different rendering.

First shot is with the G690BL and Portra 160



Next a shot with the Fuji X-T1 and a 720nm IR Filter



And finally, with the Pentax 645D



















Leaving the Bells, I drove up over Independence Pass. It is a tight, narrow windy road, some places on the western side are single lane with a 1000 foot dropoff. That is fun when there are two vehicles traveling in opposite directions!

A couple of photos at the top of Independence Pass






And here is one last photo, looking back towards Twin Lakes while driving down to Buena Vista





Overall it was an extremely fun weekend of racing, hiking, camping and photography. I LOVE Colorado, not just for the scenery, but because in a single day, you can be in the in the desert, High Plains, Canyons and Alpine vistas. It is extremely nice to have a whim on what type of climate you want to be in and head there in just an hour or a few.
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10-10-2018, 10:32 AM   #2
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!thanks for posting. images 1, 2, 5 are gorgeous
10-10-2018, 04:30 PM   #3
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Amazing photographs! I love the places, action, people and narrative. Reminds me of going with my dad for radio controlled (hand made) model plane flying at the local county park--without the dramatic scenery. All of these are special, but I do really love that first shot. I am there, feeling it.
10-10-2018, 06:23 PM   #4
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Great collection here 😀 My neighbour has a drone, sometimes I wish I could borrow it for aerial photography.

10-11-2018, 04:49 AM   #5
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I need a nap. Great work--the "race" series is some of the best photojournalism that I've seen. Otherwise, I'll be curious if LF film continues to fit into your multi-format approach, or whether MF (both film and digital) will be what you reach for most often.
10-29-2018, 02:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote
Hello everyone!

Besides being a photographer, one of my other hobbies is FPV (Drone) Racing. I am a staff member to a MultiGP chapter called "The Other Guys", a tier 1 racing chapter. We hold races every other weekend and have between 30-50 pilots in attendance with every race, making us one of the larges MultiGP chapters in the United States.

Last month, we held an annual "Drones in the Desert" race in Grand Junction. This event is extremely fun, held at a local modelers airfield and we get the chance to hang out and fly with our friends on the Western Slope.

Every time I am out in Grand Junction I camp at least one night at the Colorado National Monument. It sits atop a large mesa with neat rock formations, lots of hiking, climbing and photo opportunities. I arrived around 4 p.m. so that have me a little time for some hiking and picture taking.

I brought two cameras along on this trip, my Pentax 645D and my Fuji X-T1 (for IR photography and race photography).

Here's a few photos I took the first evening.













Waking up the next morning, I took a single photo, packed up camp and it was off to the races!




Next up, photos from the two day race event.

---------- Post added 10-10-18 at 08:52 AM ----------

Arriving at the airfield, we set up the track, met friends and started practicing. This race was a Regional Qualifier, so the track is an exact track that each region has to fly in order to qualify for regional finals. The top 100 pilots in each region gets to compete in the Regional Final to see who wins a spot at Nationals. Our Regional Final is being held this weekend in Dallas, Texas. I qualified for a place at Finals, but I own my own company, so it's hard to take time off.

































Towards the end of the event a huge Haboob blew in, the dust was extremely thick, covering everyone and everything with a layer of fine silt. It was an epic end to a weekend of racing.



---------- Post added 10-10-18 at 09:20 AM ----------

The next morning I broke camp and decided to take the long way back to Loveland. I wanted to do some more hiking and photography, so I decided to head over to Maroon Bells.

Weather didn't really cooperate, but I got some ok shots anyway. I hiked around 8 miles, took some photos and talked to a lot of people (the area was PACKED, I'll be glad for winter to arrive so the areas I like to hike will be less crowded.

I took a G690BL along with my other cameras for the hike. I have a huge problem with only hiking with a single camera. It seems I always hike with 50 lbs. of camera gear every time I go out.

At the first location, I took a photo with all three cameras. It's interesting to see the different rendering.

First shot is with the G690BL and Portra 160



Next a shot with the Fuji X-T1 and a 720nm IR Filter



And finally, with the Pentax 645D



















Leaving the Bells, I drove up over Independence Pass. It is a tight, narrow windy road, some places on the western side are single lane with a 1000 foot dropoff. That is fun when there are two vehicles traveling in opposite directions!

A couple of photos at the top of Independence Pass






And here is one last photo, looking back towards Twin Lakes while driving down to Buena Vista





Overall it was an extremely fun weekend of racing, hiking, camping and photography. I LOVE Colorado, not just for the scenery, but because in a single day, you can be in the in the desert, High Plains, Canyons and Alpine vistas. It is extremely nice to have a whim on what type of climate you want to be in and head there in just an hour or a few.
The scenery is gorgeous!!
10-29-2018, 02:14 PM   #7
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Those are wonderful images of gorgeous scenery, no wonder you go there. I didn't know drone racing was a thing, but it makes sense and you captured the drama there for us to see too. Great post
10-29-2018, 05:03 PM   #8
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superbes images: j'adore

10-29-2018, 09:27 PM   #9
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What a great collection of photos! Thanks for sharing them. I would be really hard pressed to pick a favorite...the landscapes are fantastic, but I really like the drone racing shots as well.
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