I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Oregon Field Guide for a project they were working on. As OPB has always been on my list of dream employers, it was very exciting. One of those moments where you feel that your life’s work is taking you exactly where you want.
The project was an OFG’s special, Unprepared (full documentary available at the link). Unprepared uses Japan’s 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami as a point of reference to talk about the level of preparedness of Portland, and the area surrounding the Cascadian Subduction Zone. To do this, there were shots from the air that were vital in showing the scope of the problem Portland is facing.
My contributed imagery showed how the city is bisected by the Willamette and connected by a large number of bridges. It showed the vast petroleum farms on the bank of the Willamette built on dredge tailings. In the overall scope of the episode, the footage played a small role compared to the aerial footage supplied by manned craft. This was largely controlled by the bureaucratic climate of the time, which only allowed commercial drone footage to be used if it was pre-existing and shot for fun. OPB as a rule was not permitted to hire me as a drone operator and commission me to shoot specific footage. Now that I’m a Part 107, FAA-Certified Commercial Drone Pilot, I expect to do more project-specific work for OPB and OFG in the future.