Holiday on high
In the holiday spirit, children make snow angels at Meadowlark Park in Lakewood in mid-December. Denver Post photographer RJ Sangosti launched his drone into the skies to capture a unique perspective of the holiday season in Colorado.
My two young kids watched in amazement as my drone flew higher and higher above our heads.
“Watch out, Dad! If you go too high, you might hit Santa up there!” they said.
That inspired my photo essay, “Views from Santa’s Sleigh,” which features Colorado scenes shot by my drone during the holiday season.
The Denver Post has recently started using drones as part of its visual storytelling. Fellow photojournalist Hyoung Chang and I hit the books to study and took the test to get certified to fly drones for commercial use.
Don’t worry — as a hobbyist, there is no test involved. Drones are one of the most popular gifts this Christmas season, so here are a few tips to help get you started:
• Read the instructions. Most manufacturers also have great startup videos to watch online. Slow down and make sure you know what you’re doing before your first flight.
• If your drone hits the weight requirements, you need to register it with the FAA before you fly. Most manufacturers will supply instructions on how to do this for your device.
• OK, you’re ready to fly, but your living room of kids and Christmas chaos is probably not the best place to do it. Find an open area, such as an empty parking lot or a park that is sparsely populated.
• Now that you’ve found a safe place to fly, it’s time to look at the conditions. What kind of obstacles will be in your way? Scout out a good place to take off and land your drone, and always consider the weather in which you are about to fly.
• Finally, always make safety your first priority. Even if you bought your drone in the toy section at your neighborhood store, these devices can be dangerous. Always supervise kids while flying.
The Georgetown Loop Railroad makes its way along a snowy mountainside in Georgetown on Monday.
Michelle Sommerville transports a Christmas tree on horseback in Steamboat Springs on Dec. 9.
Decorations light up a home in Edgewater on Monday.
People ice skate at a rink in Boulder on Tuesday.