http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog Architectural and Interior Photographer: Blog
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/img/s/v-5/u287955239-o620802100-50.jpg 2018-06-12T16:05:00Z (C) Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved Architectural and Interior Photographer http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2018/6/commercial-drone-flights-at-night Commercial Drone flights at Night

As part of the standard Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) issued by the CAA drone flights are not permitted at night. The CAA defines night as 30mins after sunset until 30mins before sunrise.  With the submission of some additional paperwork to the CAA it is possible to vary the PfCO to include night flying. I have now received the relevant permission to carry out drone flights at night this type of flight can be a really useful and unusual way of showing off architecture and lighting schemes.

Here's an example of a recent night flight at the Moller Centre in Cambridge, the Moller Centre is located in the grounds of Churchill College.

You can watch the video in 4k on youtube.

 

 

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2018-06-12T16:01:28Z 2018-06-12T16:01:28Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2018/5/one-angel-square-wins-coverted-riba-east-midlands-award-2018 One Angel Square wins coverted RIBA East Midlands Award 2018

Nice to see that One Angel Square in Northampton was a winner in the RIBA East Midlands Award 2018. Congratulations to BDP and Consarc. 

It was great to revisit this completed project in 2017 after being commissioned back in 2013 to take the original images used for the design competition visualisations. 

AH8_0493AH8_0493

 

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2018-05-23T08:56:05Z 2018-05-23T08:56:05Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2018/5/cornerstone-crawley-drone-video-and-architectural-photography-project Cornerstone, Crawley, Drone video and Architectural photography project

This project is located at Cornerstone in Crawley, a redevelopment project within the Air Traffic Zone of London Gatwick Airport. With the weight of drone that I use it would be legal to fly within this area without the permission of Gatwick Airport Air Traffic Control, although I didn't feel this would be very wise. I approached LGA and applied for their own Permit for the Operation of UAV's. This was fairly straight forward although they requested that I reduce my maximum operating height from the usual 130m down to 50m. This wasn't a problem for me as the images I like to capture are generally lower than this showing off the building elevations rather the plan.

The second part of the project was still photography of the exterior and the spectacular interior space.

south elevation, cornerstone, crawley - architectural photographysouth elevation, cornerstone, crawley - architectural photographysouth elevation of elekta building at cornerstone crawley. south east corner, cornerstone - architectural photographysouth east corner, cornerstone - architectural photographyeast corner of the elekta building, cornerstone, crawley. quiet zone, atrium, cornerstone - interior photographyquiet zone, atrium, cornerstone - interior photographyatrium break out and meeting area at the elekta building, corenstone, crawley. atrium, cornerstone - interior photographyatrium, cornerstone - interior photographyinterior photograph of the 4 storey atrium at the elekta building, crawley. atrium bridge, cornerstone - interior photographyatrium bridge, cornerstone - interior photographyview along the atrium bridge at the elekta building in crawley. cornerstone site, crawley - aerial photographycornerstone site, crawley - aerial photographydrone photograph of the elekta building crawley showing the south elevation.

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2018-05-18T17:57:57Z 2018-05-18T17:57:57Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2018/5/a-photographers-guide-to-commercial-drone-operations---updated-may-2018 A photographers guide to commercial drone operations - updated May 2018

looking west above the moller centre cambridge - aerial photographylooking west above the moller centre cambridge - aerial photographyexample of commercial drone photography and video in cambridgeshire

I’ve recently completed all the various steps to obtain CAA permission to operate a drone or UAV in CAA speak on a commercial basis. When I was looking in to the process in spring 2017 I found it difficult to find all the stages I would need to go through to actually receive the paperwork from the CAA. This is not an exhaustive guide to the route merely my view as a architectural photographer and video maker wanting to extend their services to offer clients aerial imagery. At the start of the process I had little experience with remote control models and no experience with the usual quad rotor drones.

After a number of enquiries from existing clients wanting aerial imagery I decided to begin the process of obtaining the relevant CAA permission to operate. The first thing I found was that I would need some training to prove to the CAA I was competent to operate a drone. There are loads of companies offering training and assessment services on the web but the CAA publishes a list of approved training organisations here.

I contacted a few of the companies on the CAA list and picked Cambridge UAV Academy because they were very efficient when answering my queries, they ran regular monthly courses, offered free retests and they were fairly local. They weren’t the cheapest but the cheaper firms would have required greater travel costs, hotel accommodation and some didn’t offer free retests which I thought I might need.

Around the middle of March I booked onto Cambridge UAV’s  2nd/3rd May course, at the same time and after a fair bit of research I purchased a DJI Phantom 4 Pro and a Seyma X5. When you come to take your flight test you need to show that you have at least 2 hours flight time on the drone you are being tested on. Having never flown a drone I was a bit reluctant to risk the £1500 Phantom 4 at the start so would practice on the £35 Seyma X5 toy drone in the evenings before using the Phantom at the weekends. It took me about 10 hours on the Seyma before I could get to grips with the control reversal you need to use when the drone is coming towards you.

When the course came round I joined about 20 other people at Cambridge UAV’s offices in Godmanchester and was treated to  2 full days of classroom lectures on Air Law, Meteorology, Flight planning etc. all fairly boring stuff but the instructor Alan Perrin shared enough anecdotes and real world scenarios to keep it all interesting. There was an exam on the afternoon of the second day and everyone passed.

Once you have passed the exam, have at least 2 hours flight time on type and obtained commercial drone insurance you can take the flight test. I was lucky in that I had said to Cambridge UAV that I could be flexible on dates for the flight test, this combined with a run of decent weather meant that I was able to take and pass the flight test on the 10th of May. It could easily take a couple of weeks to get a test if the weather isn’t great.

With the exam and flight test in the bag I then had to complete a Commercial Operations Manual outlining how I was going to apply the theoretical knowledge gained on the course to my real world drone operations. Covering everything from pre-flight assessment, risk assessments, drone maintenance, record keeping etc.  The idea being this is a bespoke document written to support a specific operation and a typical manual is about 60 pages long. In my case there were a couple of ways of creating this, the first was to produce the document from scratch and then forward it to Cambridge UAV for proofing and editing before CAA submission. The second option was to use Cambridge UAV’s Ops. Manual writing service, where they take your specific details and modify their template accordingly to produce your bespoke manual. Although this isn’t a free service it will save you a considerable amount of time and effort. I went for the Ops. manual writing service and soon received my draft manual from Cambridge UAV. It needed a couple of hours modification but I was able to submit it to the CAA on the 12th on May. When I submitted my application to the CAA  I used form SRG1320 and include the following,

  • Operations Manual including a photo of my UAV
  • Copies of my remote pilots qualifications from Cambridge UAV
  • Evidence of at least 2 hours flight time in the preceding 3 months
  • Copy of my commercial flight insurance
  • Payment notification form FCS1500

 

All of the above had to be submitted via email in pdf format. When I submitted it I didn’t receive any form of receipt. The CAA advise they can take up to 28 working days to process the application. I received my permission via email on the 12th of June 2017 one month after submission without any issues. This permission is valid for 12 months.

Another thing that is a bit difficult to identify at the start of the process is how much it is going to cost. In my case I have spent the following.

 

Cambridge UAV Academy Training and Flight test £1,194
Cambridge UAV Academy Ops Manual Service  £358
Commercial Drone Insurance £407
CAA Submission Fee   £173
All these include VAT where applicable TOTAL             £2,132

 

I hope that’s of use to anyone contemplating applying for permission to operate a drone commercially. There is a lot more information on the CAA site and it’s worth checking on there regularly as guidance and the regulations appear to be changing constantly.

Get in touch if you would like any Architectural aerial video or stills work throughout the UK but particularly in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.  

 

Renewal Process

It has been nearly a year now since I was granted my PfCO and I have just  renewed my permission with the CAA.

  • Operations Manual with any revisions, completed update log, signed and dated
  • Form SRG1320 requesting renewal and providing payment details
  • Evidence of your insurance cover

 

The fee for a renewal and initial applications has recently increased,  as of 01/04/18 it is £243.   

You can apply for renewal up to 90 days before the expiry of your existing permission, I applied on 12/04/18 and had the new permission granted on 30/04/18. I took the renewal opportunity to apply for variation as well and have added a Night Rating to my existing permission, all detailed in my revised Ops Manual.  A separate variation to the PfCO would cost £243 and require submission of the same documents as the renewal.

 

General Observations

Here are a few of my observations regarding the commercial operation of a drone in the UK from a photographers perspective which you should consider when working out your business case.

In addition to the above original set up costs I have had to purchase 6 additional batteries and an additional charger to allow me to fly uninterrupted for half a day. Typical cost of Phantom 4 Pro batteries is about £160ea.

If you place a high importance on the quality of imagery you need to working in good light with some level of direct sunlight. Good light with low winds can be a bit difficult to forecast and days with both seem fairly infrequent requiring flexible clients and lots of rebooking.

Lots of time can be wasted in looking at the feasibility of flights, quoting work and rebooking flights and you should consider how you are going to account for those costs.

Drone technology is developing very rapidly at the moment, features and performance are going up while the cost is coming down. The cycle of significant drone upgrades and releases appears to be around  18 months. As a result you should consider the repayment of any capital investment over much shorter periods than normal camera equipment.   

 

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2018-05-02T12:35:27Z 2018-05-02T12:35:27Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/12/drone-video-showreel Drone Video Show Reel

Here is a short video showing some of my recent commercial drone video productions featuring, 

Holdenby House, Northamptonshire.

Franklin's Gardens, Stadium of the Northampton Saints.

Tile Mountain, Stoke on Trent.

The Moller Centre, Cambridge.

Centurion Golf Club near Hemel Hempstead.

If you would like to see the video in full 4K you can view it on youtube 

aerial drone video show reela selection of clips from aerial drone shoots captured at the Northampton saints stadium, holdenby house in northamptonshire, the moller centre in cambridge and centurion golf club in hertfordshire.

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-12-01T10:24:15Z 2017-12-01T10:24:15Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/11/architectural-and-interior-photoshoot-new-sports-centre-ashville-school-harrogate Architectural and Interior photoshoot, new sports centre, Ashville School, Harrogate

These images are from my second volumetric building shoot in recent months. This time I was working for Caledonian Modular who specialise in the large scale off site construction of volumetric buildings, such as high rise hotels, residential and educational buildings. This new building was at Ashville School in Harrogate and replaces old facilities at the front of the sports hall with a new reception, staff offices, visitor café, gym, dance studio and changing facilities.

Normally with modular buildings it is easy to see where the modules intersect and how the unit size impacts on the design layout. With this building I got no sense of the modular construction and would have assumed it was all constructed on site which is a real testament to CM's design and construction methods.

The exterior was relatively easy to photograph and I just had to wait until the afternoon to make sure the sunlight was falling across the main elevation to provide plenty of contrast revealing the form and detailing. The interior images were more difficult as the large south facing floor to ceiling windows needed careful placement of lots of off camera flash units to balance the daylight. 

south elevation, new sports center, ashville school, harrogate - architectural photographysouth elevation, sports centre, ashville school, harrogatefront elevation of the new modular constructed sports centre at ashville school in harrogate. image commissioned by caledonian modular and photographed by andrew hatfield. brise soleil, new sports center, ashville school, harrogate - architectural photographybrise soleil detail, new sports center, ashville school, harrogate brise soleil detail to the front elevation of the new modular constructed sports centre at ashville school in harrogate. image commissioned by caledonian modular and photographed by andrew hatfield. pool side cafe, ashville school, harrogate - interior photographynew pool side cafe, ashville school, harrogate - interior photographyview across the new café area towards the existing swimming pool at ashville school in harrogate. image commissioned by caledonian modular and photographed by andrew hatfield. changing rooms, new sports center, ashville school, harrogate - interior photographyfemale changing room, new sports center, ashville school, harrogate - interior photographynew female changing facilities at the new modular sports centre at ashville school in harrogate. image commissioned by caledonian modular and photographed by andrew hatfield. fitness studio, new sports centre, ashville school harrogate - interior photographyfitness/dance studio, new sports centre, ashville school harrogate - interior photographynew fitness and dance studio with full height glazing new sports centre at ashville school in harrogate. image commissioned by caledonian modular and photographed by andrew hatfield.

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-11-24T16:48:11Z 2017-11-24T16:48:11Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/11/interior-photographs-of-the-new-visitor-reception-at-the-national-physical-laboratory Interior photographs of the new visitor reception at the National Physical Laboratory

Here is part of a set of images taken during the opening of the new visitor reception at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. The interior of the reception space has been completely redesigned and sub dived by prominent coloured glass display panels highlighting the work of NPL. The interior design work was carried out by Triad.   

new reception area, national physical laboratory, teddington - interior photographynew reception area, national physical laboratory, teddington - interior photographynewly refurbished visitor reception area at the national physical laboratory in teddington. images commissioned by triad of northampton and photographed by andrew hatfield. feature panels, new reception, national physical laboratory, teddington - interior photographyfeature panels, new reception, national physical laboratory, teddington - interior photographycoloured glass information panels at the visitor reception area, national physical laboratory in teddington. images commissioned by triad of northampton and photographed by andrew hatfield. banquette seating, national physical laboratory teddington - interior photographybanquette seating, national physical laboratory teddington - interior photographynew multicoloured banquette seating at the visitor reception area, national physical laboratory in teddington. images commissioned by triad of northampton and photographed by andrew hatfield. new reception desk, national physical laboratory teddington - interior photographynew reception desk, national physical laboratory teddington - interior photographynew led illuminated curved reception desk at the visitor reception area, national physical laboratory in teddington. images commissioned by triad of northampton and photographed by andrew hatfield. curved glass panels, national physical laboratory teddington - interior photographycurved glass panels, national physical laboratory teddington - interior photographyreflection of the new coloured glass information panels at the visitor reception area, national physical laboratory in teddington. images commissioned by triad of northampton and photographed by andrew hatfield. information banners, national physical laboratory, teddington - interior photographyinformation banners, national physical laboratory, teddington - interior photographyvertical information banners at the visitor reception area, national physical laboratory in teddington. images commissioned by triad of northampton and photographed by andrew hatfield.

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-11-16T11:13:16Z 2017-11-16T11:13:16Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/11/aerial-photographs-of-the-moller-centre-cambridge Aerial photographs of the moller centre cambridge

I am currently work on a promotional video of the Moller Centre at Churchill College in Cambridge to show off the buildings design and its features as a conference and learning venue. Part of the work was to show off the exterior it's setting within the grounds of Churchill College. Here are a couple of stills extracted from the 4K drone video.

looking south east above the moller centre cambridge - aerial photographylooking south east above the moller centre cambridge - aerial photographyaerial drone view across the roof of the Moller Centre with the city of Cambridge in the background looking west above the moller centre cambridge - aerial photographylooking west above the Moller Centre Cambridge - aerial photographyaerial drone view across the roof of the Moller Centre looking west. looking west along the south elevation of the moller centre cambridge - aerial photographylooking west along the south elevation of the Moller Centre Cambridge - aerial photographyaerial drone view along the south elevation of the Moller Centre.

 

 

 

 

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-11-13T17:57:35Z 2017-11-13T17:57:35Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/11/interior-photographs-of-the-new-headquaters-of-northamtonshire-council Interior photographs of the new Northamptonshire Council headquarters

I originally became involved with this project back in 2013 when I was commissioned to photograph the proposed site of the new Northampton Council headquarters building. Those base images of a cleared brown field site and the surrounding buildings went on to form the base images for all the computer renders produced for the design competition to select the final design. The following images we commissioned by Consarc Architects who acted as Client Advisor on the project. The building now houses 2000 staff in the centre of Northampton.

visitor reception at the new council headquarters Northampton - interior photographyInterior photograph of the visitor reception at the Northampton Council HQ looking towards the main stairwell and atrium. Photographed for Consarc Architects by Andrew Hatfield. central aitrium at the new council headquarters Northampton - interior photographyInterior photograph of the atrium space at the Northampton Council HQ taken from first floor level. Photographed for Consarc Architects by Andrew Hatfield. ground floor break out area at the new council headquarters Northampton - interior photographyInterior photograph of the ground floor break out area and meeting rooms at the Northampton Council HQ looking towards the main stairwell and atrium. Photographed for Consarc Architects by Andrew Hatfield. first floor open plan offices at the new council headquarters Northampton - interior photographyInterior photograph of the first floor open plan offices and locker area at the Northampton Council HQ looking towards the main stairwell and atrium. Photographed for Consarc Architects by Andrew Hatfield. second floor at the new council headquarters Northampton - interior photographyInterior photograph of the second floor stairwell at the Northampton Council HQ looking towards the main stairwell and atrium. Photographed for Consarc Architects by Andrew Hatfield. meeting rooms at the new council headquarters Northampton - interior photographyInterior photograph of the perimeter meeting rooms at the Northampton Council HQ looking towards the main stairwell and atrium. Photographed for Consarc Architects by Andrew Hatfield. main stair at the new council headquarters Northampton - interior photographyInterior photograph of the main stair at ground floor level at the Northampton Council HQ. Photographed for Consarc Architects by Andrew Hatfield. first floor coffee area at the new Northampton council headquartersInterior photograph of the first floor coffee and break out area at the Northampton Council HQ looking towards the main stairwell and atrium. Photographed for Consarc Architects by Andrew Hatfield.

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-11-09T10:28:48Z 2017-11-09T10:28:48Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/11/architectural-and-interior-photoshoot-of-modular-building-in-richmond Architectural and Interior Photo shoot of Modular Building in Richmond for Boutique Modern

This was a great shoot for Boutique Modern who manufacture bespoke volumetric and modular buildings at their base in Newhaven. The site of the new building was formally a couple of residential garages at the end of a cul-de-sac in Richmond. The site was very compact and the developer required a building solution that filled all the available space. The new building arrived in modules and was craned into position in a single day. There are no real views from the site and so the rooms look into 2 courtyard spaces in the centre and rear of the plot. That said the building makes amazing use of the natural light and the transition between the interior spaces and the alfresco dining area and rear courtyard is visually seamless. 

The light, the simple well designed fixtures and fittings make for a very uplifting space to work and no doubt live in. 

The images were shot over a single day. Thanks to Debra Morrall for Production and Art Direction and to Barbed who provide all of the furniture.

Modular living space RichmondInterior Photo shoot of living space, new modular building, Richmond.Interior photoshoot of new modular building in Richmond. This image shows the view from the main living space out to the alfresco dining area with the 2nd bedroom beyond.

Custom made birch ply kitchen within modular buildingInterior Photo shoot of Kitchen and dining space, new modular building, Richmond.View across the dining space showing the custom made birch ply kitchen beyond.

Interior Photo shoot of Master Bedroom, new modular building, Richmond.View across the master bedroom showing the bathroom and internal courtyard beyond.

Photo shoot of rear courtyard, new modular building, Richmond.View of the rear courtyard and second bedroom/office. All furniture by Barbed.

AH8_4579 AArchitectural Photo shoot of the exterior, new modular building, Richmond.View of the north elevation photographed from the end of the cul de sac.

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-11-08T15:00:19Z 2017-11-08T15:00:19Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/11/architectural-drone-photograph-of-tile-mountain-soke-on-trent Architectural Drone Photography of Tile Mountain Soke on Trent

Here are some shots from the recently completed Tile Mountain showroom and distribution centre on a brown field site in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. The new £10 million development is on the site of an old tile factory and is the first development in the new Ceramics Valley Enterprise Zone. The site comprise a large 2 storey retail showroom to the east of with the remaineder of the site filled with warehousing distribution and offices.  

I was commissioned by the Architects to photograph the interior and exterior of the buildings along with aerial still from the drone. The 4K video from the  drone is such high quality that I opted to video all of the flights and extract tiff 25 MB files from the footage. Shot in D-Cinelike these files give great scope for postproduction. All the video footage comes as a bit of bonus when shot like this although the footage isn't that cinematic as the drone is just being used as really tall tripod in situations like this.

showroom, tile mountain stoke - interior photographyInterior of the Tile Mountain Retail Showroom Stoke on TrentCommercial Interior photograph of new Tile Mountain warehouse in Stoke on Trent. Showing sales consultation area. Tile Mountain industrial ware house and showroom photographed from aboveAerial drone photograph of the new Tile Mountain Warehouse and showroom. Aerial drone photograph of the new Tile Mountain warehouse, showroom and retail showroom take from 200 ft above ground level using a Phantom 4 Pro UAV. Industrial warehouse photographed from above with drone.Tile Mountain Warehouse and Showroom photographed by drone from directly above.Commercial drone photograph of the new Tile Mountain Warehouse and showroom photographed from 400 ft above using a Phantom 4 Pro UAV drone. Large industrial warehouse with blue sky background East elevation of the New Tile Mountain Warehouse in Stoke on TrentArchitectural photograph of the new Tile Mountain warehouse and distribution centre in Hanley, Stoke on Trent. Tile Mountain sign high up on the side of the warehouseTile Mountain signage to the east elevation of the warehouseArchitectural photograph of the Tile Mountain signage to the east elevation. Monochrome chequered cladding on the side of warehouse Monochrome chequered cladding to the east elevation of the Tile Mountain Warehouse Stoke on TrentArchitectural photograph showing the monochrome chequered cladding of the exterior walls of the Tile Mountain warehouse Stoke on Trent Industrial racking to warehouseInterior of Tile Mountain WarehouseInterior of the new Tile Mountain Warehouse Stoke on Trent showing 6 levels of new racking awaiting the delivery of stock.

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-11-04T17:20:56Z 2017-11-04T17:20:56Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/9/interior-and-exterior-photography-in-good-homes-magazine-september-2017-edition Interior and exterior photography in Good Homes Magazine September 2017 Edition

Here's an extract from Good Homes Magazine September 2017 edition featuring a shoot in Saint Albans for Architects Harvey Norman Associates and Kloeber who produced the bifold doors and windows.

Page 140 and 141 of Good Homes Magazine September 2017 featuring exterior photography by Andrew HatfieldArticle in good Homes Magazine featuring a project in St Albans photographed for Harvey Norman Associates and Kloeber Doors. Page 142 of Good Homes Magazine September 2017 featuring exterior photography by Andrew Hatfield

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-09-04T07:14:34Z 2017-09-04T07:14:34Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/7/a-photographers-guide-to-starting-commercial-drone-operations A photographers guide to starting commercial drone operations

Northampton Saints, Franklin Gardens, NorthamptonNorthampton Saints, Franklin Gardens, NorthamptonNorthampton Saints Stadium, Franklin Gardens Northampton from phantom 4 drone. I’ve recently completed all the various steps to obtain CAA permission to operate a drone or UAV in CAA speak on a commercial basis. When I was looking in to the process in spring 2017 I found it difficult to find all the stages I would need to go through to actually receive the paperwork from the CAA. This is not an exhaustive guide to the route merely my view as a architectural photographer and video maker wanting to extend their services to offer clients aerial imagery. At the start of the process I had little experience with remote control models and no experience with the usual quad rotor drones.

After a number of enquiries from existing clients wanting aerial imagery I decided to begin the process of obtaining the relevant CAA permission to operate. The first thing I found was that I would need some training to prove to the CAA I was competent to operate a drone. There are loads of companies offering training and assessment services on the web but the CAA publishes a list of approved training organisations here.

I contacted a few of the companies on the CAA list and picked Cambridge UAV Academy because they were very efficient when answering my queries, they ran regular monthly courses, offered free retests and they were fairly local. They weren’t the cheapest but the cheaper firms would have required greater travel costs, hotel accommodation and some didn’t offer free retests which I thought I might need.

Around the middle of March I booked onto Cambridge UAV’s  2nd/3rd May course, at the same time and after a fair bit of research I purchased a DJI Phantom 4 Pro and a Seyma X5. When you come to take your flight test you need to show that you have at least 2 hours flight time on the drone you are being tested on. Having never flown a drone I was a bit reluctant to risk the £1500 Phantom 4 at the start so would practice on the £35 Seyma X5 toy drone in the evenings before using the Phantom at the weekends. It took me about 10 hours on the Seyma before I could get to grips with the control reversal you need to use when the drone is coming towards you.

When the course came round I joined about 20 other people at Cambridge UAV’s offices in Godmanchester and was treated to  2 full days of classroom lectures on Air Law, Meteorology, Flight planning etc. all fairly boring stuff but the instructor Alan Perrin shared enough anecdotes and real world scenarios to keep it all interesting. There was an exam on the afternoon of the second day and everyone passed.

Once you have passed the exam, have at least 2 hours flight time on type and obtained commercial drone insurance you can take the flight test. I was lucky in that I had said to Cambridge UAV that I could be flexible on dates for the flight test, this combined with a run of decent weather meant that I was able to take and pass the flight test on the 10th of May. It could easily take a couple of weeks to get a test if the weather isn’t great.

With the exam and flight test in the bag I then had to complete a Commercial Operations Manual outlining how I was going to apply the theoretical knowledge gained on the course to my real world drone operations. Covering everything from pre-flight assessment, risk assessments, drone maintenance, record keeping etc.  The idea being this is a bespoke document written to support a specific operation and a typical manual is about 60 pages long. In my case there were a couple of ways of creating this, the first was to produce the document from scratch and then forward it to Cambridge UAV for proofing and editing before CAA submission. The second option was to use Cambridge UAV’s Ops. Manual writing service, where they take your specific details and modify their template accordingly to produce your bespoke manual. Although this isn’t a free service it will save you a considerable amount of time and effort. I went for the Ops. manual writing service and soon received my draft manual from Cambridge UAV. It needed a couple of hours modification but I was able to submit it to the CAA on the 12th on May. When I submitted my application to the CAA  I used form SRG1320 and include the following,

  • Operations Manual including a photo of my UAV
  • Copies of my remote pilots qualifications from Cambridge UAV
  • Evidence of at least 2 hours flight time in the preceding 3 months
  • Copy of my commercial flight insurance
  • Payment notification form FCS1500

 

All of the above had to be submitted via email in pdf format. When I submitted it I didn’t receive any form of receipt. The CAA advise they can take up to 28 working days to process the application. I received my permission via email on the 12th of June 2017 one month after submission without any issues. This permission is valid for 12 months.

Another thing that is a bit difficult to identify at the start of the process is how much it is going to cost. In my case I have spent the following.

 

Cambridge UAV Academy Training and Flight test £1,194
Cambridge UAV Academy Ops Manual Service  £358
Commercial Drone Insurance £407
CAA Submission Fee   £173
All these include VAT where applicable TOTAL             £2,132

 

I hope that’s of use to anyone contemplating applying for permission to operate a drone commercially. There is a lot more information on the CAA site and it’s worth checking on there regularly as guidance and the regulations appear to be changing constantly.

Get in touch if you would like any Architectural aerial video or stills work throughout the UK but particularly in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.  

 

 

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-07-02T08:14:25Z 2017-07-02T08:14:25Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/6/commercial-drone-operations-in-northamptoshire Commercial Drone Operations in Northamptoshire

After completing all of the necessary exams, flight tests and reams of paperwork submitted to the CAA I am now able to offer drone 4K video and stills work on a commercial basis. Modern drones are amazing tools and provide access to a whole new ways capturing images that would have been impossible or extraordinarily expensive to achieve.

Please get in touch if you are interested in any stand alone drone imagery or as part of a conventional stills and video package.

Here are a few film stills from a recent match day video currently in production for the Northampton Saints shot on location at the Frankiln's Gardens stadium in Northampton.

Franklin Gardens 005Franklin Gardens 005Aerial view of Franklin's Gardens viewed from the South East corner. Shot as part of a Match Day preparation video for Northampton Saints. Franklin Gardens 007Franklin Gardens 007Aerial view of Franklin's Gardens viewed from the East Side.Shot as part of a Match Day preparation video for Northampton Saints. Franklin Gardens 006Franklin Gardens 006Aerial view of Franklin's Gardens viewed from the South car park. Shot as part of a Match Day preparation video for Northampton Saints. grass cutting franklin's gardens, northampton - aerial photographygrass cutting franklin's gardens, northampton - aerial photographyDrone filming of grounds maintenance staff at Franklin Gardens Saints Stadium, Northampton tetley stand franklin's gardens, northampton - aerial photographytetley stand franklin's gardens, northampton - aerial photographyDrone filming of Tetley Stand at Franklin's Gardens Saints Stadium in Northamptonshire

   

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-06-30T08:47:59Z 2017-06-30T08:47:59Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/5/combined-colleges-boat-house-wins-riba-east-award-2017-for-rh-partnesrship Combined Colleges Boat House wins RIBA East Award 2017 for rh Partnesrship

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Congratulations to rhp on their recent win in the RIBA East Awards 2017 for the Combined Colleges Boat House overlooking the Cam in Cambridge. I really enjoyed photographing the newly completed building last summer and you can see more details about the award and more photographs on Architecture.com

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-05-20T09:04:40Z 2017-05-20T09:04:40Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/5/camera-app-gives-you-manual-control-over-your-iphone-camera Camera + App gives you manual control over your phone camera

When I give my basic photography CPD sessions about half of the people that attend don't have any form of camera other than the one on their phone. While you can get good results with a phone camera one of the problems is a lack of manual control over the settings. I recommend these phone users get some sort of camera control App to unlock the potential of their phones.

Use of something like the Camera+ App will allow you to make full use of your phone and give you a lot of the functionality of DSLR,

Version 9.1 of the Camera+ App gives you full manual control over,

Focus

Shutter Speed

Aperture

ISO

Exposure Compensation

White balance, including the ability to set the colour temp in K

 

It also provides useful composition tools like a display grid overlay and horizon level and the latest version allows you to save your files in RAW format to give you the largest scope of adjustment in postproduction.

Use of these manual controls is going to allow you to create much more effective Architectural imagery and provide greater scope for your creativity.

 

 

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-05-17T08:11:16Z 2017-05-17T08:11:16Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/3/specilist-interior-lighting-shoot-for-trilux-featured-in-mondo-arc-magazine Specilist Interior Lighting shoot for TRILUX featured in Mondo Arc Magazine

Magazine article featuring interior photo shoot for lighting manufacturer.Interior lighting photo shoot in Mondo Arc MagazineCase study and photo shoot about the use of TRILUX light fittings at the National Farmers Union HQ in Warwichshire Here are the results of a recent interior shoot featured in Mondo Arc a magazine specialising in lighting and lighting design. These images commissioned by TRILUX were used to illustrate the use of their light fittings during the refurbishment of the National Farmers Union HQ in Warwickshire.   

Photographs by Andrew Hatfield

Case study project managed by Too Busy For Words, www.toobusyforwords.co.uk

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-03-09T19:52:51Z 2017-03-09T19:52:51Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2017/2/homebuilding-and-renovating-magazine-february-2017 Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine February 2017, photographs by Andrew Hatfield

Architectural photograph of new home extension captured from garden.Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine Feature 1External photograph of rear elevation home extension in St Albans for Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine. Floor plans and interior photographs of kitchen and dining spaces. Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine Feature Photographs and plans of a new home extension in St Albans for Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine. Night photograph of patio and rear elevation of new home extension.Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine feature 3Photographs of patio area of new home extension in St Albans for Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine. Interior photograph showing dining and day room.Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine feature 4Dining room and day room.

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2017-02-01T09:18:18Z 2017-02-01T09:18:18Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2016/10/photographing-firework-displays Photographing Firework Displays

Photographing Fireworks
 

I have been asked by a couple of people about the best way of photographing fireworks.
 

Photographing a firework displayFirework DisplayHow to photograph firework displays

The first thing you need to do is get your night photography basics and equipment, right you can see some guidance on night photography lower down the blog.
 

Once you have the right set up consider how high the fireworks are going to go. The largest commercial fireworks go to about 400m high. The ones in the shot above which are still spectacular but can be brought by the public look to have gone to about 70-100m high. The people running the display may be able to give you an idea of the height they will go to.  Ideally you want a bonfire or a crowd at the bottom of the frame and it’s better to get a bit too far away as you can always zoom in a bit. Once you are in the right place focus on something at the same distance as the firework base, then switch to manual focus, you don’t want to be trying to focus during the display.
 

When you are all set up you need to work out your exposure, and you will need to end up with a shutter speed of sufficient length that you can record the flight of the firework and the starburst in one shutter opening, on the above I used about 3 seconds. If you want to capture multiple burst just use a longer exposure. Before the display set your shutter speed to about 3 seconds, then adjust your aperture and ISO to give you the background look that you want, keep you ISO low to minimise image noise. And you won’t need a very small aperture as you will be focusing near infinity so you will have plenty of depth of field. The above was shot at f/5.6, 3seconds, ISO 100.
 

Then when the display starts keep shooting and try and get the timing right so that you are opening the shutter between shell launches. Also keep an eye on your exposures during the display because some of the fireworks can create a lot of light and may cause you to over expose. Be ready to select a smaller aperture if things start to look over exposed.
 

http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2014/10/architectural-photography-at-night
 

Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2016-10-04T07:11:14Z 2016-10-04T07:11:14Z
http://www.andrewhatfield.co.uk/blog/2016/8/new-combined-colleges-boat-house-photographerd-for-rh-partnesrship New Combined Colleges Boat House, Cambridge photographerd for rh partnesrship

The new Combined Colleges Boat House serving Selwyn College, Churchill College, King’s College and Leys School opened this summer. Designed and project managed by rh partnership of Cambridge the boat house over looking the river Cam was completed for a project value of £2.5 million and replaces the previous dilapidated boat house on the same site. Due to the high risk of flooding in the area all habitable rooms are located on the first floor, accommodation on the first floor comprises a combined rowing gym and individual clubrooms for the individual colleges.
 

You can read more about the project on the Cambridge News website.  
 

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Architectural and Interior Photographer © Andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved 2016-08-10T10:59:15Z 2016-08-10T10:59:15Z